Food & Drink Process & Packaging Issue 17 2018 - Page 24

ground for Bühler’s future profitable business development. Despite the issue of a corporate bond, the equity ratio remained at a high level of 45% (previous year: 47%), and the return on net operating assets (RONOA) rose to 21% (previous year: 19%). “In order to safeguard our entrepreneurial flexibility and to use the current beneficial conditions in the financial markets, we decided to launch a corporate bond on the capital market,” says CFO Andreas Herzog. Becoming the Number 1 in the consumer food market with Haas The acquisition of the Austrian Haas Group, announced in 2017, was a highlight in the past fiscal year. The closing of the transaction took place in early 2018. Haas is the global leader in the manufacturing of plants and equipment for making wafers, waffles, cakes, and cookies, with over 1,750 employees and turnover of around EUR 300 million. The machinery and solutions of the two companies supplement each other excellently. This step opens up great perspectives for Bühler and Haas alike. Both organizations together hold a leading position in the consumer foods market and can offer customers integrated, sustainable, single-source solutions along the entire value chain. Unique innovation model drives growth The starting point for these sustainable process solutions are the leading technologies that Bühler develops on the basis of a unique collaborative innovation model. In 2017, Bühler once again increased its investments in research and development (R&D) by 10% to CHF 119 million (about 4.5% of total turnover) and launched over 50 innovative technologies and products. One special focus was on the development of new digital services and business models, of which several have now been rolled out. The significance of innovative solutions This operating performance further 6.5% (previous year: 5.9%). Significantly is exemplified by the market launch strengthened the already very sound higher capital investments of CHF 100 of a new process for manufacturing financial position of Bühler. Net profit million (+41%) – among other things battery slurry – a key component for surged by 22% to CHF 174 million, in the modernization and expansion of manufacturing lithium-ion batteries. representing a net profit margin of the global production network – lay the Bühler’s continuous mixing process is 24 FDPP -