In the first half of 2016/17, the Schaffner Group increased its net sales compared with the same period in the previous year by 2.2% to CHF 94.6 million (H1 2015/16: CHF 92.6 million). In local currencies, the increase was 4.5%. Operating profit (EBIT) rose substan¬tially to CHF 6.0 million (CHF 1.6 million), while the EBIT margin increased by 4.6 percentage points to 6.4% (1.8%). Net profit improved to CHF 4.2 million (CHF 0.4 million), and earnings per share (EPS) to CHF 6.57 (CHF 0.70). Shareholders' equity as at the reporting date was CHF 50.3 million (30.9.2016: CHF 46.2 million), the equity ratio increased to roughly 38.1% (37.6%), and shareholders' equity per share was CHF 79.10 (CHF 72.64).
Growth drivers in the first half of 2016/17 were the core markets: automotive electronics with a rise of 14%, machine tools with an increase of 45% and power supplies for electronic devices with growth of 7%. After a slump in the second half of the previous year, the energy-efficient drive systems and rail technology core markets also showed slight improvements. As in the first half of 2015/16, 22% of Group sales came from North America, while Europe accounted for 41% (H1 2015/16: 40%) and Asia for 37% (38%). In the first half of 2016/17, Schaffner received new orders worth CHF 99.7 million (CHF 94.2 million). The book-to-bill ratio for the Group was 1.05 (1.02).
In the first half of 2016/17, segment sales in the EMC division remained more or less unchanged from the prior-year level at CHF 45.7 million (CHF 45.4 million). Segment profit, on the other hand, nearly doubled to CHF 6.2 million (CHF 3.2 million), while the profit margin increased by 6.6 percentage points to 13.6% (7.0%). As a result of further progress in operational excellence, production costs were reduced slightly despite a marginal increase in raw material prices.
The Power Magnetics division
The Power Magnetics division is still in turnaround mode. In the first half of 2016/17, a sequential compari¬son of segment sales versus the preceding period showed an improvement of 16% from CHF 20.2 million to CHF 23.4 million (H1 2015/16: CHF 25.2 million), while segment losses before restructuring costs were nearly halved from CHF -6.2 million to CHF -3.5 million (H1 2015/16: CHF -3.0 million).
Segment sales in the Automotive division rose to CHF 25.4 million in the first half of 2016/17 (CHF 22.0 million). Segment profit amounted to CHF 5.9 million (CHF 4.7 million), and the profit margin was confirmed at a high level of 23.1% (21.4%). The division has identified growth opportunities in the market for EMC fil¬ters for electric vehicles. A multiyear contract with a European premium automobile manufacturer has al-ready been concluded. The first deliveries are scheduled for fiscal year 2017/18. Schaffner is expecting the electric vehicles market to make a significant contribution to segment sales from fiscal year 2018/19 onwards.
The core markets – automotive electronics, rail technology, energy-efficient drive systems, power supplies for electronic devices, machine tools and electromobility – offer long-term opportunities for organic growth within the scope of the Group's strategic targets. Although global economic development is difficult to predict due to political and macroeconomic risks, its strong position in attractive niche markets and solid orders in the EMC and Automotive divisions make the Schaffner Group confident of continuing its recovery and exceeding the results of the same period last year in the second half of 2016/17. Following the turnaround of the Power Magnetics division, Schaffner looks forward to achieving its medium-term targets, with organic growth of >5% and an EBIT margin of >8%.