The Swiss process engineering company recorded an 11 per cent increase in annual sales revenue to CHF 1907m (€1484m). But this growth came from the advanced materials and grain processing divisions rather than food processing.
Buhler blamed the slip in food processing sales on “the delayed market recovery”. On a more optimistic note, the company said the division contributed to the higher order intake in 2010.
Higher order intake
Overall order intake rose 21 per cent last year to CHF 2160m and the backlog in the order book going into 2011 gives Buhler an encouraging base from which to grow sales this year.
The company said: “The order backlog of CHF 1238 million as of the end of 2010 was almost 30 per cent above the level of a year ago and provides a solid basis for 2011. Turnover is therefore expected to continue to rise also in the current fiscal year.”
Buhler identified improved food safety and higher energy efficiency as the main drivers for growth.
Meanwhile, the geographic source of growth has shifted. Last year, Africa, Asia and the Americas developed strongly while turnover in Western and even Eastern Europe fell. Asia is now the biggest market in terms of volume for Buhler.
Going forward, Buhler gave a mixed assessment: “The increasing volatility of the global economy and the intensified competition for natural resources will continue to pose a challenge for Buhler in the coming years while at the same time offering a high potential.”