Basler has posted 2016 sales of €97.5 million, up 14 per cent from 2015.
The pre-tax result amounted to €11.4 million, an increase of 25 per cent on the previous year. Basler therefore achieved the upper end of its 2016 guidance figures.
Basler’s growth was above the 10 per cent growth that the European machine vision industry experienced in 2016, according to statistics from the VDMA.
The company’s cash flow from operational activity amounted to €16.1 million, up 25 per cent. The free cash flow, calculated as the sum of cash flows from operational activity and investment, reached a value of €8.1 million (previous year: €3.6 million, up 125 per cent).
In 2016, 21 new employees were hired building up staff on the planned moderate level. The focus, however, was on the integration of the numerous new employees hired in 2015 and on an increase in productivity.
Against the background of a positive annual result in 2016, the company will propose to this year's shareholders’ meeting the distribution of a dividend of €0.74 per share. This corresponds to a distribution ration of 30 per cent of the after-tax result.
After strong incoming orders in the past months – in particular for factory applications in Asia – the Basler group expects sales revenues to increase to €120 million to €130 million in 2017. On the result side, the company plans to have a pre-tax return rate of 13 to 15 per cent depending on the sales development.
Elsewhere, sensor manufacturer Sick posted sales of €1,361.2 million in 2016, an increase of 7.4 per cent year-on-year. Orders received in 2016 totalled €1,398.9 million, growing 10.1 per cent.
Gains in sales were made primarily in the factory and logistics automation business fields, according to the company. Vision will play a role in these fields.
R&D activities further intensified in the past fiscal year; €143.4 million was spent in this area, as compared to €129.0 million in the previous year. This equates to 10.5 percent of sales.
Towards the end of 2016, 8,044 people were employed by the Sick Group across the globe, an 8.5 percent increase compared to the previous year. It was mainly the areas of R&D and global sales that experienced growth in their ranks.
Within Germany, Sick employed 4,739 people at the end of the year, an 8.0 percent increase on the previous year. Outside Germany, the workforce grew by 9.1 per cent compared to the end of 2015 to 3,305 members of staff.
The first quarter of 2017 achieved positive outcomes for Sick. Orders received and sales grew more than expected and, by the end of March – in contrast to the trend of the past years – were significantly higher than they were in the previous year.