GF generated sales of CHF 3 795 million in 2014 for an increase of 1%. The operating profit (EBIT) rose 9% to CHF 274 million mainly thanks to significant productivity gains.
The EBIT margin went up from 6.7% to 7.2% and the return on invested capital (ROIC) from 16.7% to 17.9%. All three divisions generated ROICs well above their cost of capital.
Free cash flow before acquisitions and divestments stood at CHF 110 million compared to CHF 174 million in 2013 mainly on account of higher investments in fixed assets, especially at GF Automotive. Furthermore, the high turnover in December led to a clear increase of the net working capital at year-end compared to 2013.
The number of employees rose slightly from 14 066 to 14 140. The increase due the acquisition of Meco Eckel (Germany) and Liechti Engineering (Switzerland) has been nearly offset by the divestment of the gravity-die-casting operations in Herzogenburg (Austria).
Net profit grew 34% to CHF 195 million and earnings per share 32% to CHF 45 also supported by the disposal of non-operative real estate. The Board of Directors will propose a dividend of CHF 17 (CHF 16 for 2013) at the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting.