The Bossard Group set once more a new sales record in the first quarter of 2014. The growth trend that began in the second half of 2013 continued into the new year. The group benefited in Europe and Asia from a clear increase in demand. It should be noted, however, that the growth in the first quarter rests also on additional business volume from existing and new customers. For CEO David Dean, the first quarter is “an ideal start to the current financial year.”
The Bossard Group reported record sales of CHF 161.5 million in the first quarter of 2014. In local currency, this represents an increase of 5.6 percent compared to the first quarter of 2013. It is important to emphasize that the volume of business in the various regions has developed differently for a variety of reasons. The European and Asian markets are currently decisively supporting the growth of Bossard. Sales in America declined significantly primarily as a result of reduced demand from a major customer. The shift in exchange rates had the consequence that the growth in sales in Swiss francs was only at 3.5 percent (local currency 5.6 percent).
Encouraging performance in Europe
In Europe, the positive trend in demand has continued, extending from the second half of 2013 into the new year. Sales increased in local currency by 8.4 percent, with Bossard reporting growth in virtually all of the company's sales regions. Sales in Swiss francs were up by 8.0 percent to CHF 106.5 million, only slightly below the growth rate in local currency. The substantial recovery in Europe is all the more important with regard to the overall result of the Group, as Bossard generates 66 percent of its sales in this region.
Downturn in sales, new momentum in America
In America sales amounted to CHF 34 million, which corresponds to a decline of 7.8 percent in local currency. In Swiss francs, this translated to a drop of 11.2 percent due to the currency impact. The revenue decline is mainly due to the weaker demand from a major customer. It should be noted that this decline is primarily the result of comparing this year’s first quarter with a very successful first quarter in 2013. On the other hand the sales volume of the first quarter 2014 exceeds the level of the second half of 2013, partly also for seasonal reasons. It is encouraging that the rest of the business is developing favourably for Bossard. The recently announced three-year agreement worth USD 140 million that Bossard signed with the electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla will stimulate business in the second half of the year. Against this background, Bossard expects that it will be able to offset the negative quarterly figures during the year.
Significant progress in Asia
In our Asia business, the growth trend has continued into the new year in an impressive way. Revenues in local currency increased in the first three months of 2014 by a hefty 17.2 percent to CHF 21 million. Due to the related currency depreciation in some emerging markets, in Swiss francs sales increased only by 9.4 percent. With the exception of India, all Asian countries experienced growth in sales, some at high double digit rates. This dynamic growth is promising for the further development of the Bossard Group.
We expect that demand in the coming months will steadily trend upward. This assessment is based in part on the Purchasing Managers’ Indices in our key markets which are above 50, indicating economic growth. However, our confidence can also be explained by the investments we have made, and will continue to make, in several countries. These investments and the launch of new product solutions in growth markets will help the Bossard Group to consolidate its market position and gain new customers. In light of these developments, Bossard management strives for a revenue growth in 2014 of 5-8 percent in local currency.