Thanks to a strong second half-year, 2015 ended up better than it started, allowing GF to reach profitability levels not seen since 2006 and meet the 2011-2015 strategy targets published early 2011.
Owing to the Swiss franc’s sharp appreciation of January 2015, sales decreased 4% to CHF 3 640 million. In local currencies and adjusted for acquisitions and divestments, turnover was up 1%.
The operating result (EBIT) rose to CHF 296 million, up 8% compared to previous year. Adjusted for one-off effects, the EBIT stood at CHF 294 million, resulting in an EBIT margin (ROS) of 8.1% against 7.2% in 2014, in line with the strategy objective of 8%. The total one-off effect of CHF 2 million consists, on one hand, of the profit of CHF 18 million generated by the sale of an administrative building of GF Machining Solutions in Geneva and, on the other hand, of the CHF 10 million negative one-off impact of the Swiss franc’s appreciation in January 2015, as well as of a provision of CHF 6 million taken for the closing of two older molding lines of GF Automotive in Germany.
The return on invested capital (ROIC) also increased to 18.9%, well inside the strategy objective range of 16 to 20%. All three divisions generated ROICs clearly higher than previous year, significantly above their cost of capital.
Total net profit amounted to CHF 198 million, resulting in earnings per share of CHF 46, up 2%. Free cash flow substantially rose by 73% to CHF 190 million. Given the improved results, the Board of Directors proposes to the Annual Shareholders Meeting an increased dividend of CHF 18 per share (previous year: CHF 17).