Financial solidity and continued investment despite Covid-19Published 10/5 at 11:44
The Hilti Group closed the challenging Covid-19 pandemic year of 2020 with a decline in sales of 9.6%, totalling €4.8B, and an operating profit of €658M (-7.0%).
Nevertheless, investments in strategic initiatives continued as planned to ensure the long term success of the company.
Net income declined to €480M (-10.2%). Despite the decline in sales, the negative currency effect and ongoing investments, the return on sales (ROS) grew slightly and reached a new high of 13.7%. By contrast, the return on capital employed (ROCE) decreased by 3.4% to 16.4% due to the lower capital turnover. This was caused by a combination of the build-up of a higher liquidity reserve, the implementation of IFRS 16, a negative currency mix of the capital employed and lower sales. The free cash flow reached €415M (2019: €274M) leading to a cash flow conversion rate of 86.5%. The total cash position increased to €1.18B (2019: €1B). The equity ratio continues to be over 50%.
For the current year, the Hilti Group expects a moderate economic recovery, which will vary from region to region and depend heavily on the course of the coronavirus pandemic in the coming months. Despite these challenges, the company is adhering to its strategic objectives and will continue to invest significantly in innovative solutions and the digitalisation of its portfolio and its internal processes. The Hilti Group expects sales growth in local currencies in the upper single digit range, a continued significant negative currency effect and profitability at about the same level as before Covid-19.