In 2022, Bühler expanded its business and improved profitability in an uncertain and volatile business environment. The company was able to mitigate effects of the war in Ukraine, tense supply chains, and
soaring energy and raw material prices, while further improving its financial position with a high equity ratio and repaying the first tranche of its bond. The company continued to invest in innovation, new partnerships, and education and training. With numerous opportunities in its markets and a high order backlog of over CHF 2.1 billion, the company’s ambition is to continue its positive development in 2023. “The impressive dedication of our employees worldwide helped us to be agile, resilient, and creative, even in the face of increasing volatility and uncertainties,” says Bühler CEO Stefan Scheiber.
At the Group level, order intake rose 8.7% to CHF 3.3 billion and order backlog was robust at
CHF 2.1 billion. Turnover increased by 10.3% to CHF 3.0 billion. EBIT improved by 36.0% to
CHF 199 million, reflecting an EBIT margin of 6.7% (prior year: 5.4%). Net profit went up
35.7% to CHF 154 million (prior year: CHF 113 million). With these results, Bühler has largely
managed to reach pre-pandemic business levels.
The growth in volume came mainly from the Advanced Materials business, where order intake
soared by 40.6% to CHF 871 million, nearly doubling its volume within the last two years.
Within Advanced Materials, the Die Casting business showed an outstanding performance,
growing orders by 60.4%. Turnover in Advanced Materials increased by 31.8% to CHF 671
million. The Consumer Foods business continued its recovery with strong order intake growth
of 21.6% to CHF 710 million, and turnover growth of 13.6% to CHF 578 million. The Grains &
Food business, Bühler’s largest business, showed solid performance despite being
particularly impacted by disrupted supply chains and a slow feed market in China. The
segment saw order intake in 2022 of CHF 1,663 million, down 6.5%, while turnover grew by
2.6% to CHF 1,696 million, and with this managed to keep business very stable throughout
the Covid-19 pandemic.
All regions contributed to Bühler’s turnover growth, with the Americas and Middle East Africa
& India standing out. Regional growth rates and turnover shares were as follows: Asia 6%
growth to 32% of the total share of turnover; Europe 3% growth to 30%; North America 17%
growth to 17% and South America 26% growth to 5%; Middle East Africa & India 24% growth
to 16%. With these successes in important markets, Bühler’s global distribution of turnover is
very robust and balanced.
Bühler’s Customer Service business (including Single Machines) also grew by 3.4% and
added substantially to the 2022 results with turnover amounting to CHF 955 million,
representing a 32% share of Group turnover. Bühler offers a holistic service portfolio with
seven modules from hardware, components, and spare parts to upgrading, maintenance,
software and process optimizations for systems, with the objective of improving the
performance of the existing customer asset base in terms of efficiency, safety, and
sustainability. Sustainability gained importance in 2022, as services are the fastest lever to
reduce energy, waste, and water in existing plants. “We judge the good business performance
in 2022 as a confirmation of our strategy to be a provider of sustainable solutions and
services, and to be a reliable and innovative partner in creating value for our customers,” says
CEO Stefan Scheiber.
Strong financial position
In 2022, Bühler’s financial position improved further, with the equity ratio increasing by 2.6pp
to 49.8% (prior year: 47.2%). An important milestone was the repayment of the first tranche of
the corporate bond of CHF 180 million in December. In 2017, Bühler raised capital on the
financial markets for the first time in the form of a CHF 420 million dual tranche bond to invest
in its growth and innovation capabilities. The second tranche of the bond of CHF 240 million is
due in 2026. “Our ongoing solid financial position enables us to continue investing in new
solutions and services and to remain fully independent in the long term,” says CFO Mark
Innovation and collaboration through partnerships
In 2022, Bühler expanded its innovation and education ecosystem. The Networking Days
event in June provided the opportunity to bring together 1,000 industry leaders who engaged
with each other on how to improve energy and food security, reduce waste, cut water usage,
lower CO2e emissions, improve biodiversity, and rethink mobility. Bühler announced several
joint ventures and partnerships that will facilitate the transition towards more efficient food and
feed production and accelerate the shift towards sustainable mobility during this key event.
2022 also marked an important milestone for Bühler in terms of sustainability as it announced
the next level of targets with more tangible goals and action plans. Bühler has developed a
pathway to achieve a 60% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in its operations by 20301
and has committed to having solutions ready to multiply by 2025 that reduce energy, waste,
and water by 50% in the value chains of its customers.
To keep the pace of innovation high, expenses for research and development (R&D)
remained stable at CHF 141 million representing 4.7% of Group turnover in line with the
Bühler strategy to be the technology leader of the selected industry segments. Continuing its
innovation promise to sustainably transform value chains, Bühler launched some 40 new
products, including six new core products, in 2022.
Investing in people
It is thanks to the efforts and dedication of our employees that Bühler was able to achieve
these good results despite the many challenges faced by the markets. All our employees
around the world showed great commitment and resilience. A special mention should be
made to our colleagues in Bühler China. Though they faced strict zero-Covid restrictions,
regional lockdowns, and energy disruptions, they kept production facilities running.
Throughout 2022, Bühler has been building on and complementing the programs it has in
place for the development and lifelong learning of its more than 12,700 employees globally. In
2022, Bühler onboarded 230 new apprentices across Europe, North America, South America,
Africa, and Asia who are enrolled in three- and four-year courses covering nine different
vocational fields. In total, Bühler employs 500 apprentices globally.
Creating one food segment and increased focus on services
To further increase the value offered to customers, Bühler will integrate its Consumer Foods
segment into the Grains & Food segment and will strengthen its focus on its service offerings
for the whole Group. Building one harmonized food and feed segment will allow for more
direct interfaces to customers and increase the efficiency of processes. It will be led by
Johannes Wick, CEO of Grains & Food. Germar Wacker, who headed the Consumer Foods
segment, will take up new opportunities outside of Bühler. He will support Johannes Wick in
the transition and leave the company at the end of Q1 2023. “We thank Germar Wacker for
his massive contribution in making the acquisition of the Haas Group a success and wish him
all the best for his personal and professional future,” says CEO Stefan Scheiber.
To accelerate the positive development of Bühler’s service business, Samuel Schär, who held
the positions of CEO Advanced Materials and Chief Services & Sales Officer, will fully focus
on leading the global Services & Sales organization going forward. The Advanced Materials
business will be led by Marcel Natterer, who successfully managed Bühler’s Value Nutrition
business area in the past 10 years. He has also been appointed Member of Bühler’s
Outlook: continue positive development
While 2023 will likely continue to be challenging, Bühler is starting the year with a solid
financial position and high carryover of orders. Thanks to developments in the markets Bühler
serves, there are many opportunities for which the company can provide solutions that create
impact and value for customers.
Despite all the uncertainties, Bühler’s ambition is to continue its positive development.
“Overall, we are convinced that Bühler is well prepared to take another positive step in
developing the business successfully in 2023, even in a very dynamic market environment,”
says CEO Stefan Scheiber.