Bobst Group expects first half loss due to Covid-19 impact

Major disruptions in the global supply chain

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Bobst
No guidance for the full year Photo: Bobst

Bobst Group has said it expects the first half-year loss due to Covid-19 lock-down impact. The company has also announced a change in the group executive committee. The spread of Covid-19 has caused major disruptions in the global supply chain and has impacted the international trade and service business in recent months. Most machine installations and service interventions scheduled for the second quarter of 2020 could not be performed as planned due to travel bans, which has a significant impact on revenue recognition, Bobst said.

The 2020 sales will be even less balanced than in previous years affecting negatively the first half-year profitability. Bobst Group expects its sales for the first half of 2020 to be more than CHF 200 million lower than the CHF 737 million achieved in the same period in 2019. The operating result (EBIT) for the first half of 2020 is expected to be around CHF 50 to 60 million lower than the CHF 15 million achieved in the same period of 2019.

Although countries are reopening borders, there is still a lot of uncertainty mainly linked to air travel and the overall economic and pandemic situation. It is therefore not possible at this time to give reliable guidance for the Group’s full-year revenues and results, it said.

Change in the Group Executive Committee

After 9 years of service in Bobst Group’s Executive Committee, Philippe Milliet, Head of Business Unit Sheet-fed, decided to take on new mandates and to re-focus his activities on business outside of Bobst in the near future.

Effective 1 July 2020, Jean-Pascal Bobst, Group CEO, will head the Business Unit Sheet-fed ad interim.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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