06. Feb 2020 "New" Datwyler with significantly higher margin

In future, Datwyler will focus on the existing sealing business and will sell the distribution companies Distrelec and Nedis. The net revenue for continuing operations increased in 2019 to CHF 1’088.5 million, which equates to growth of 5% when adjusted for currency effects. In difficult market conditions, continuing operations achieved adjusted EBIT of CHF 168.7 million and an adjusted EBIT margin of 15.5% thanks to the early adoption of efficiency-improvement programmes. Asset impairment charges and one-off costs from the sale of the distribution companies resulted in a reported net result of CHF –86.6 million. The Annual General Meeting will be asked to pay an unchanged cash dividend of CHF 3.00 per bearer share.
With the announced sale of the distribution companies Distrelec and Nedis, Datwyler is now focusing on the existing high-growth, high-margin sealing business. During 2019, the company was faced with a slowdown in the economy as a whole, which led in turn to difficult market conditions. The trade dispute between the USA and China led to a reduction in inventories, particularly in the automotive sector, and a decline in demand, whereby this decline varied from region to region. Thanks to good strategic positioning in low cyclical markets and some positive acquisition effects, Datwyler was able to increase net revenue for continuing operations (Sealing Solutions division and Reichelt) to CHF 1’088.5 million (previous year: CHF 1’060.9 million). Adjusted for currency effects, this equates to growth of 5.0%. Integration of the 2018 acquisitions Parco and Bins is proceeding according to schedule and has already generated added value. Adjusted for these two acquisitions, revenue for continuing operations declined slightly by 0.6%. Including the distribution companies Distrelec and Nedis, Datwyler’s net revenue is virtually unchanged at CHF 1’360.8 million (previous year: CHF 1’361.6 million).
"The focus on high-quality, system-critical components combined with operational excellence and a keener focus on customers will continuously drive our growth. With the investments and acquisitions we have already made, we are in an ideal position. Our aim is to exceed average growth levels in our target markets," says CEO Dirk Lambrecht.
Solid operating profit figures – dividend levels maintained
The announced sale of the distribution companies Distrelec and Nedis led to asset impairment charges and oneoff costs for the restructuring of the Group of CHF 195.0 million in the 2019 financial statements. There were also start-up costs for the new Healthcare plant in the USA of CHF 9.2 million. Overall, the negative one-time effects in the reporting year resulted in a reported operating result (EBIT) of CHF –40.3 million and a reported net result of CHF –86.6 million. At an operational level, however, Datwyler again reported solid profit figures in the reporting year despite the difficult environment. Thanks to the early adoption of efficiency-improvement programmes, continuing operations achieved adjusted EBIT of CHF 168.7 million (previous year: CHF 183.5 million) and an adjusted EBIT margin of 15.5% (previous year: 17.3%). The decrease on the previous year is largely due to the cyclically induced decline in demand for automotive components and higher depreciation. The adjusted net result for continuing operations was CHF 129.7 million (previous year: CHF 140.2 million). The previous year’s figures highlight the potential of the “new” Datwyler in a normal market environment. The investment programme to expand production capacities is nearing completion, with investments in the reporting year declining accordingly as planned to CHF 104.6 million (previous year: CHF 138.0 million). In view of the solid profitability levels and given that prospects look promising, the Board of Directors is asking the Annual General Meeting to pay an unchanged cash dividend of CHF 3.00 per bearer share and CHF 0.60 per registered share. This equates to a payout ratio of 43.1% of the adjusted net result of the former Datwyler Group.
Technical Components: Continued Reichelt with profitable growth
In the Technical Components division, the general economic situation in the European markets served continued to deteriorate during the reporting year – as reflected in the sharp decline in the purchasing managers’ indices. In this difficult environment, the Datwyler distribution companies achieved revenue of CHF 445.2 million (previous year: CHF 470.5 million). Adjusted for negative currency effects, this translates into an organic decline of 1.9%. Reichelt has continued to enjoy success in its pursuit of international expansion and grew profitably in a difficult environment. Thanks to a consistent and disciplined approach to costs, the adjusted EBIT margin was 3.0% (previous year: 4.2%). The contract to sell Distrelec and Nedis is still due to be concluded in the first quarter of 2020 subject to fulfilment of the usual conditions for completion.
Sealing Solutions achieves currency-adjusted revenue growth despite difficult automotive market
Despite the difficult environment in the automotive market, the Sealing Solutions division increased net revenue compared with the previous year to CHF 915.6 million (previous year: CHF 891.1 million). Adjusted for currency effects, this equates to growth of 4.8%. Adjusted for acquisition effects, revenue declined by 1.8%. Through the early adoption of a cost-reduction programme, the Sealing Solutions division has managed to achieve targeted cost reductions without becoming less competitive. The adjusted operating result (EBIT) was CHF 150.6 million (previous year: CHF 162.3 million), which corresponds to an adjusted EBIT margin of 16.4% (previous year: 18.2%). The negative one-time effects to the value CHF 26.4 million include the one-off costs for the restructuring of the Group (mainly provisions for possible contractual IT obligations associated with divestment of the distribution business) and start-up costs for the new Healthcare plant in the USA. Reported EBIT declined to CHF 124.2 million (previous year: CHF 155.5 million).
Recognised core competencies as the basis for profitable growth
The strong market positions are based on the recognised core competencies in terms of solution design, materials expertise and operational excellence. With the announced new organisational structure, Datwyler wants to make it even easier for customers to draw on and benefit from its strengths and decades of experience. The pace of technological progress means our globally active customers are running increasingly powerful systems. But these are becoming increasingly complex too. This is why customers are paying ever greater attention to Datwyler’s core competencies and recognising the value they bring. As a result, there is growing demand for high-quality system-critical Datwyler components across a wide variety of industries, and these components no longer only seal, but also perform a variety of functions. Taken together, its core competencies allow Datwyler to support its customers as a development partner – from the original design study and prototype phase through to global production of billions of parts based on a zero-defect philosophy throughout the entire life cycle of the product. The successful partnership with Nespresso is just one example of how this approach can work. And with FirstLine for healthcare components and Lean&Clean for automotive components, Datwyler has sector-leading production standards.
Structural growth trends in existing and new markets
Megatrends such as the rapid development of living standards in emerging countries or the pace of technological progress are ensuring that growth remains high in the markets served. In the Healthcare market, further structural growth trends such as the ageing society in industrial countries, the increase in rates of chronic diseases like diabetes and rising numbers of injectable drugs are boosting demand. In the Mobility (previously Automotive) market, new opportunities are emerging in the wake of increasingly stringent exhaust gas standards, the electrification of vehicles and autonomous driving. Here, Datwyler is working on projects relating to seals for sensors, high-voltage connectors and housing for power distribution equipment. Besides developing its core business, Datwyler is also working on innovations with a view to accelerating long-term organic growth. The key themes here are smart rubber and soft dry electrodes, which are paving the way for interesting new applications in the fields of digital health, diagnostics and wearables – as well as driver-vehicle interfaces and digitalisation in vehicles. The common thread with all these innovations is how Datwyler is using its unique core competencies, in terms of solution design, materials expertise and operational excellence, in order to develop new system-critical applications for existing or new market segments.
Short-term uncertainties – promising prospects for the medium term
The immediate challenges facing the markets served have increased due to political, economic and currencyrelated uncertainties, which makes it difficult to come up with the forecast for 2020. For example, it is hard to see any significant turnaround in the automotive market during the coming months. Thanks to strong market positions, new product lines, targeted use of resources, ongoing efficiency-improvement programmes and the strategic priorities it is pursuing, Datwyler is well positioned to cope with the challenges the future will bring and aims to achieve profitable growth above the average of the markets it serves. With the Healthcare and the Nespresso businesses, the company is earning more than half the revenue of the future core business in low cyclical markets that are growing steadily. When the Healthcare production capacities created – featuring the very latest in “Industry 4.0” technology – come on stream in the USA, Europe and India, this will have a positive impact on revenue and margins in the coming years. The remaining online distributor Reichelt – thanks to its attractive price-performance proposition and its low cost base – is well positioned to compete even in difficult market conditions. For the sale of Reichelt, Datwyler takes the time to evaluate further options to optimise value. For 2020, for continuing operations (including Reichelt), Datwyler is aiming for revenue growth of 2% to 5% and an EBIT margin of more than 15% in 2020. In the financial statement 2020, the deconsolidation of the Distrelec and Nedis companies will result in a non-cash loss of CHF 415.3 million from the write-off of goodwill and CHF 53.4 million (as at the end of 2019) from the realisation of cumulative currency translation adjustments of the foreign subsidiaries to be sold. These two items will not reduce cash or equity.  

Annual Press Conference/Analyst Conference: 6 February 2020, 10.00 a.m., SIX ConventionPoint, Pfingstweidstrasse 110, Zurich
Publication of Annual Report 2019: 6 February 2020, 06.00 a.m., http://www.datwyler.com/en/investors/publications/  
Datwyler - leading provider of high-quality, system-critical elastomer components  
Datwyler is focusing on high-quality, system-critical elastomer components and has leading positions in attractive global markets such as healthcare, mobility, oil & gas and food & beverage. With its recognized core competencies and technological leadership, the company delivers added value to customers in the markets served. Datwyler concentrates on markets that offer opportunities to create more value and sustain profitable growth. With more than 20 operating companies, sales in over 100 countries and more than 7’000 employees the Datwyler Group generates annual sales of more than CHF 1’000 million. The Group has been listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange since 1986 (security no. 3048677).   
Guido Unternährer, Head Corporate Communications, +41 41 875 19 00, guido.unternaehrer@datwyler.com
Photos (in print quality): www.datwyler.com > Media > Image Library http://www.datwyler.com/en/media/image-library/ 
Financial Calendar:
Annual Press Conference/Analyst Conference   6 February 2020
Annual General Meeting                                 11 March 2020
Interim Report 2020                                      11 August 2020 
Datwyler uses certain financial performance measures including adjusted key figures, that are not defined by Swiss GAAP. The definition of these alternative performance measures and adjustments are published under: datwyler.com/investors/publications
The figures in the 2019 Annual Report are binding (German edition). The Annual Report and this media release contain forward-looking statements. These statements reflect the Group's current assessment of market conditions, economic developments and future events. However, these forward-looking statements are subject to economic, regulatory and political risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors over which Datwyler has no control. Unforeseen events could therefore cause actual developments and results to differ materially from those anticipated and from the information published in this release. To that extent, all forward-looking statements contained in this release are qualified in their entirety and Datwyler cannot guarantee that they will prove to be correct. Datwyler is under no obligation, and assumes no liability, to update any such forward-looking statements. This document is neither an offer nor a solicitation to buy or sell Datwyler securities.