Basler sales up 5% for first 9 months of year

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Basler's sales and bookings are both up 5 per cent after the first nine months of the year. Sales were €129.2m and order entries were €128.3m.

Orders taken by the company have weakened over the second and third quarter of 2020, at €39m and €36m respectively. In the first quarter of 2020, bookings were €53m, strengthened by a large order from a life science customer.

Presenting the third quarter results, Hardy Mehl, Basler's CFO, said: 'We believe that with €36m in Q3 in bookings we have seen the bottom of this trend, and from Q4 onwards we believe that bookings will increase again.' He put this down to demand from the semicon and electronic sectors, which is expected to return towards the end of the year and into 2021.

Revenue has followed bookings with a bit of delay: €44m in Q1, €45m in Q2, and €40m in Q3. The company expects sales to be around the Q3 bookings mark – €36m – for the fourth quarter of the year.

Basler generated 54 per cent of its revenue for the year-to-date from its Asia operations, 30 per cent from the EMEA, and 16 per cent in the Americas. Mehl said the company was 'happy to have a global footprint at this time'. He said: 'It clearly gives us a competitive advantage at the moment to have such a global presence, and balance out the negative effects of the market that we see in Europe and North America.'

Basler signed a join venture with its Chinese distributor Beijing Sanbao Xingye (MVLZ) Image Tech in 2018 to give it a direct presence in China. It also has offices in South Korea and Japan, and manufacturing in Singapore.

The VDMA is predicting 10 per cent decline in turnover for the German machine vision market for 2020, and European and American vision suppliers are seeing a lot of uncertainty among domestic markets. Manufacturing has resumed in China, but travel restrictions could have implications on sales for companies without a presence in the country.

Basler expects a rise in orders from the semicon and electronics sector by the end of the year, but believes that automotive and general automation and machine building will remain weak. Logistics will grow, as will business in China.

The company is expecting revenue for the year of €165m, with earnings before tax margin at 10 per cent, the top end of its guidance.

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