Successful financial year of Perlen PackagingDemand for medicines continued to grow in 2018, and so did the demand for the films used in manufacturing their blister packs. The growth showed regional variations, however, with the highest rates recorded in the emerging Asian and Latin American markets. The Packaging Division increased its net sales for the year 17.5% to CHF 153.0 million, and substantially raised its EBIT margin to 10.1%. The division invested in enhancing the productivity of its European plants and raised the utilization of its Chinese manufacturing facility to handle the higher demand. Operations were also expanded to Brazil with the acquisition of the Sekoya company and the opening in autumn of a new Anápolis plant. The division’s new PERLAMED™-BLISTair single-use powder inhaler continued to win further innovation prizes, including the packaging industry’s most prestigious distinction, the World Packaging Award.
CPH Chemie + Papier Holding AG - Efficiency further enhancedThe prices of key raw materials such as recovered paper, energy and ethylene all rose in 2018. At least part of these increases could be passed on to the markets. That the cost of materials compared to production-generated sales of the CPH Group was reduced from 54% to 49% was due largely to the favourable developments in the Paper Division. While workforce numbers were increased from 1 019 to 1 081, personnel cost declined from 18% to 17% as a proportion of total costs. The new recruits primarily strengthened the Packaging Division (Perlen Packaging), which now employs over 400 personnel. The strong demand and high plant utilizations entailed additional production shifts. With efficiency showing positive trends in all three divisions, consolidated EBITDA for the year was raised 146.2% to CHF 83.1 million, and EBITDA margin improved to 15.6%.
Encouraging outlook for 2019In view of its current order book health, the CPH Group expects to see a continuation of the present positive business trends in the first half of 2019. “Provided prices and currencies remain stable, we should see a slight further increase in our net sales this year,” says Peter Schildknecht. “It will be challenging, however, to maintain our EBIT margin at its 2018 level.” Thanks to higher non-operating income, the net result excluding extraordinary influences is likely to be broadly in line with its prior-year level. The Group plans to invest a further CHF 29.9 million in tangible fixed assets during the year, to further enhance efficiencies and raise production capacities.
Excerpt from the CPH media release from 26.02.2019