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Basler grows in 2019, but faces uncertain times

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Basler has recorded growth in its 2019 group sales, amounting to €162m compared to €150m in 2018.

Incoming orders were €166.5m, also higher than the previous year’s level of €154m.

But the company stated that its management were 'assuming noticeable effects' in sales over the coming financial quarters, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The statement read: 'After a phase of a market decline of around 10 per cent in 2019, the Basler Group assumed until March a structural stabilisation for the 2020 financial year with low single-digit growth in the market. However, the outbreak of the coronavirus at the turn of the year and the pandemic spread are currently leading to a major change in the economic outlook and a high risk of a global recession.'

Basler said the impact caused by coronavirus cannot currently be quantified because of the uncertainty of the events.

However, for the first half of 2020, the group expects a sales corridor of €70m to €78m with a pre-tax return between 6 per cent and 10 per cent. This forecast assumes that the situation in China will continue to improve gradually over the course of the second quarter and that demand in the regions of Europe and North America will weaken significantly in the second quarter.

In a message from its management board, Basler said: 'Our focus is on the well-being of our employees, partners and customers.'

It continued: 'We feel confident that with our unique capability of having two independent production sites (Germany and Singapore), we maximise our chances of maintaining our industry leading delivery times and uninterrupted supply. Our pre and post sales technical support teams are fully up and running and able to assist our customers as well as our order administration teams worldwide.

'Although it is not business as usual for anyone, we are confident that we are well prepared to serve you during these uncertain times.'

In 2019, Basler's earnings before taxes decreased by 31 per cent to €16.9m (previous year: €24.5m), because of planned strategic investments to build up personnel. Thus, the pre-tax margin summed up to 10.4 per cent (previous year: 16.3 per cent).

The free cash flow calculated as sum of the cash flows from operations and cash flow for investments reached a value of -€9.7m (previous year: €1.3m). It was significantly impacted by the acquisition of MVLZ Sanbao Xingye in 2019.

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