With the divestment of the Drive Systems Segment to Dana Incorporated, this business was reported as discontinued operations in 2018. Oerlikon successfully navigated the increasingly complex trade and geopolitical environment and capitalized on sustained demand in its industrial and regional markets to deliver strong results.
Full-year Group order intake increased year-on-year by 23.5 % to CHF 2.731 million, including a positive currency impact of 1.7 %, while sales were 26.2 % higher year-on-year at CHF 2. 609 million.
In 2018, the Group delivered on its strategy by strengthening the market and technology leadership position of its Surface Solutions Segment and achieving record-level sales in the Manmade Fibers Segment. The Surface Solutions Segment generated 58% of Group sales and 70% of Group EBITDA in 2018, making it the largest contributor to Group sales and profits for the year. The Manmade Fibers Segment accounted for 42 % of Group sales.
“We recorded an increase in sales of more than 26 %, delivered on our portfolio transformation and sustained EBITDA margin year-over-year. This is a notable achievement considering the significant investments we are making for our future growth,” said Dr. Roland Fischer, CEO Oerlikon Group.
Fischer countinued: “In our surface solutions business, we accomplished a double-digit increase in orders and sales year-over-year and higher sales in all regions, underlining our ability to deliver on its growth. In our manmade fibers business, we achieved a substantial increase in top line and double-digit operating profitability. The top-line growth was attributed mainly to the China-led filament equipment market but also to market penetration in the USA and Latin America.
Oerlikon saw sales growth across all regions in 2018, particularly in China, the USA and Latin America. Asia-Pacific accounted for the largest proportion of Group sales in 2018. Sales in Asia-Pacific amounted to CHF 1 210 million, or 46 % of Group sales, versus CHF 884 million, or 43 % of Group sales, in 2017. Europe was the second-largest regional contributor to Group sales in 2018, with sales totaling CHF 852 million, or 33 % of sales, compared with CHF 775 million, or 37 % of sales, in 2017.
Group sales in North America totaled CHF 409 million, or 16 % of Group sales, in 2018, versus CHF 300 million, or 15 % of Group sales, in 2017. Sales in other regions remained at 5 % of Group sales in 2018 with sales of CHF 138 million, compared to CHF 109 million in 2017. The Group generated 38.1 % of its revenue from services in 2018 (2017: 44.8%).
CONTINUED STRONG COMMITMENT TO R&D
In 2018, Oerlikon strengthened its innovation pipeline by filing 87 patents.
The company continued to invest in innovation and channeled more than 4 % (CHF 120 million) of 2018 Group sales into R&D, developing upgrades and new technologies to meet customers’ needs and demands. These efforts underline Oerlikon’s commitment to maintaining its technology leadership position in its end markets and advancing its strategic development. The increase in sales was seen in all Segments. The Surface Solutions Segment continued reporting growth; in particular, higher demand was noted in the aviation and automotive industries. The Manmade Fib- ers Segment recorded an increase in sales of over 6.7 % in Q4 2018.
Sales in the segment in Q4 were driven mainly by continued demand for filament and texturing equipment. The Manmade Fibers Segment posted record-level sales and operating profitability improvement in 2018.
Segment order intake increased 44.8% to CHF 1 157 million in 2018, compared with CHF 799 million in 2017. Sales jumped 57.3 % in 2018 to CHF 1 098 million, compared to CHF 698 million in 2017. These results reflected a healthy demand in the segment’s core filament equipment market for fibers, which consequently boosted orders and sales for texturing systems. In the USA, the robust demand for carpet yarn equipment also contributed to the strong performance. Additionally, the segment’s nonwoven business posted an impressive increase in sales in 2018, underlining its initial success in establishing a foothold in this market. The Segment experienced growth across all its key regional markets, most notably in China, the USA and Latin America. The segment continued to gain market share and generated a robust order pipeline with deliveries into 2021, laying the groundwork for sustaining a high level of top-line results over the next few years.