Positive trend despite currency-related factors
The Feintool Group continued to benefit from its strong market position and the relatively positive market environment in the first quarter of 2015. However, the sharp appreciation of the Swiss franc is impacting on the key figures. The Group as a whole generated sales of CHF 120 million, in line with the previous year's level. After adjusting for currency movements, this corresponds to an increase of 3.9%. The bulk manufacturing of demanding precision components (System Parts segment), which depends directly on car manufacturers' production volumes, advanced by 6.0% to CHF 106.5 million – despite negative currency effects. This corresponds to a 10.9% increase in currency-adjusted terms. All regions contributed to the growth. Sales in the Fineblanking Technology (investment goods segment) were down 28.1% to CHF 16.6 million owing to customer-related delays in press deliveries. The figures for the System Parts segment are in line with the previous year.
Delay in investment goods orders received – healthy orders backlog
Orders received in the Fineblanking Technology segment decreased by 13.9 % to CHF 23.3 million. The prices for fineblanking presses and tools went up for many regions on account of the strong Swiss franc. This delayed conclusion of the orders, which ultimately led to this decline. The orders backlog increased by 7.1% versus the previous year to CHF 45.1 million. Fineblanking Technology now has roughly six months' work in hand.
Expected order releases in the series parts business above previous year
Order releases expected for the next six months went up by 1.7% to CHF 206.1 million despite the aforementioned currency effects. After adjustment for currencies, the increase came to 5.8%.
The outlook at the beginning of the financial year with sales of CHF 460-480 million and an operating margin of CHF 27 million is based on a Swiss franc/euro exchange rate of 1:1 and a Swiss franc/US dollar rate of 0.92. If the current exchange rates persist and the market environment remains positive, it is likely that the forecast will be raised in the context of mid-year reporting.