Basler growth static in 2018; focus on China in 2019

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Basler’s sales in 2018 remained the same as in 2017, amounting to €150.0 million. Incoming orders were €154.0 million, close to the previous year’s €153.6 million.

In 2017 the company grew by 54 per cent thanks to projects in the electronics sector.

The earnings before taxes decreased to €24.5 million from €29.8 million in 2017, particularly down to a strategic investment in hiring staff. Basler took on 100 new employees in 2018, especially in marketing, sales and R&D.

Pre-tax margin was 16.3 per cent, down from the 2017 level of 19.8 per cent.

The company’s focus in 2019 will be on training new employees and integrating Silicon Software into its business, which it acquired in 2018. Free cash flow was down 94 per cent to €1.3 million (previous year: €22.0 million), largely because of the Silicon Software acquisition.

In 2019, Basler will aim to establish Basler China by taking over the business from the local distribution partner Beijing Sanbao Xingye (MVLZ) Image Tech.

The company is also now offering services for building complete vision solutions - consulting, development and production solutions - especially as it targets the embedded vision sector. It formed a partnership with electronics firm Congatec in 2018 and purchased embeded computing consulting firm Mycable in 2017.

Basler estimates 2019 sales figures of between €160 million to €180 million, because of uncertainty in the markets and the economic slowdown, the company stated.

The company estimates the market trend for vision components to stagnate or to decrease slightly in 2019; it expects a pre-tax return rate within a corridor of 7 to 11 per cent.

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