Bühler strengthens market positions in 2021


Innovations in new products, services, and applications resulted in even stronger market positions of the global technology company Bühler. The company grew order intake by 16%, to more than CHF 3 billion. Thanks to its strong global production, supply, and service network, Bühler was able to secure timely deliveries to customers even under difficult conditions. At the same time, Bühler further improved its financial stability with improvements in the net liquidity and the equity ratio. “Our engaged employees in our strong global network allowed us to prove our reliability to our customers and partners. And we clearly strengthened our innovation power,” says Bühler CEO Stefan Scheiber.

The key markets of Bühler in the food, feed, and mobility sectors underwent fundamental transitions driven by changed consumer requirements and enabled by new technologies. As a result, the demand for sustainable solutions has clearly increased. As part of the long-term innovation strategy of Bühler, spendings into R&D over the last 3 years including the “coronavirus years” increased to more than CHF 400 million (2021: CHF 141 million, 5.2% of turnover). Bühler has positioned itself as a key enabler and partner for its customers, supported by collaborations with key partners in industry and science.

New drivetrains and new designs dominated the automotive industry. The new processing technologies of Bühler’s Die Casting business area with high locking force production cells resulted in accelerated growth in this market; the Grinding & Dispersing business area, which established its market segment Battery Solutions a decade ago, experienced a record order intake in 2021, attributable to the boom in lithium-ion batteries for e-mobility. Similar positive market demand was noticeable in Bühler’s food and feed businesses, for example, processing solutions for plant-based proteins or for dairy alternatives were in high demand and contributed to growth in Bühler’s Value Nutrition business. New types of chocolates, pralines, and various confectionary and snack products required new applications which the Bühler Consumer Foods segment (which includes the technologies of the former Haas business acquired in 2018) created. Also, Bühler’s Milling Solutions business grew in the wheat and rye and speciality segments, with processing solutions for high-capacity plants as well as for special applications for local niche markets. Digitalization and cloud-based services acted as key enablers to improve performances of existing assets of customers all over the world, and this also addressed the need for improved sustainability and CO2 emission reductions.

Strong order intake

On Group level, order intake increased by 16% to CHF 3 billion. Because of the time gap in the plant business between order entry and turnover, the upward trend on orders is not yet visible in turnover, which remained stable at CHF 2.7 billion. The same is true for profitability, which amounted to CHF 146 million, reflecting an EBIT margin of 5.4%. Net profit amounted to CHF 113 million, also slightly better than last year. Orders on hand by year-end 2021 increased strongly by 27.2% to CHF 1.9 billion. “Our innovations, both for plants and services led to growth in our order book. Our strategy to position ourselves as an innovative solution provider for material transformation has been paying off,” says Stefan Scheiber.

All three business segments of Bühler contributed to this positive development. Grains & Food grew orders by 12% to CHF 1.8 billion, Consumer Foods by 6% to CHF 584 million; and Advanced Materials showed the strongest growth of 37% to CHF 620 million. The business areas with the highest grow rates were Die Casting, Grinding & Dispersing, Grain Quality & Supply, and Milling Solutions. From a regional perspective, the Americas, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and India experienced the strongest upswing. China represented the single largest market for Bühler in 2021.

Global network, and passionate people key for success

The global network of Bühler with 30 factories, 103 services stations, and 24 Application & Training Centres across the globe was key to being successful in a very dynamic business environment. This allowed Bühler to secure on-time deliveries, also in times when supply-markets were difficult and logistic chains partly interrupted. In 2021, the company executed over 2,000 customer projects, and as part of this Bühler produced and delivered around 50,000 machines and key components. This was only possible thanks to the expertise and dedication of Bühler’s employees, and their focus on customer success.

In 2021, Bühler continued to prioritize the safety and wellbeing of all employees, while maintaining our focus on training and education. With nearly 12,500 staff across the globe, flexibility and resilience became key success factors in response to public health challenges and all related limitations. Bühler continued its commitment to its global apprenticeship program and to the development of employees on all levels. The same was true for the training of personnel of customers, both in Bühler schools as well as in dedicated training centres.

Read more of the latest news and developments in our new edition here: February 2022 Single Issue form – International Confectionery Magazine (in-confectionery.com)

Media contact

Roshini Bains,
Editor, International Confectionery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 922
Email: editor@in-confectionery.com

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