Bossard Group reports that 2019 first quarter sales grew 5.4% to CHF 232.2 million, despite "markedly more challenging business conditions" and a comparatively high baseline.
Bossard credits the broad diversification of industrial segments it supplies as supporting the Group’s growth stability. The Group says its first quarter’s overall solid performance was all the more remarkable because it was achieved in a weakening economic environment as well as the comparative baseline from the previous year being very high.
Activities in Europe and Asia contributed substantially to the Group's positive sales development, while business in America stagnated. European sales increased 5.1% to CHF 138.9 million (+7.3% in local currency), boosting market share in spite of lack-lustre economic conditions.
After enjoying dynamic business development in America 2017 and 2018, Bossard says it was unable to realise further sales growth at the start of 2019. American sales were CHF 58.1 million, down 4.9% in local currency. Bossard identifies two reasons for the decline. Last year it benefited from several customer projects that did not result in follow-on projects. For the beginning of this year Bossard experienced subdued sales development with several major customers, which could not be compensated by “encouraging growth in new business”.
In Asia, Bossard benefited from preliminary work and capacity expansion in previous years, with first quarter 2019 sales growth of 16.6% to CHF 35.2 million (+17.7% in local currency). The main contributing regions were China and India.
Bossard is targeting full year sales of CHF 900 to 920 million, with first quarter sales on track. However, the Group says the weakening economic momentum, evident from falling Purchasing Managers’ Indices published recently, makes achieving the goal more challenging.
Having held senior management roles in leading automotive and fastener businesses, Phil joined Fastener + Fixing Magazine as editor in 2002. Convinced there is no substitute for ‘being there’, over 15 years of visits and interviews around the world means he has accumulated an extraordinary knowledge and perspective of the global fastener industry, reflected in his incisive and thought provoking reporting.