In the first nine months of 2018, order intake rose by CHF 291 million (US$191.57 million), with currency-adjusted growth of 11.7 per cent and organic growth of 7.2 per cent. Currency impact was a positive 0.5 per cent and acquisitions contributed CHF 107 million (US$107.21 million). Order intake grew in all of Sulzer’s target markets with the exception of the power market. Some larger orders in Pumps Equipment and Chemtech also supported growth.
Sulzer also recorded high organic growth rates in other markets, such as water (16 per cent) and CPI (24 per cent).
Orders increased across all regions. Growth was particularly strong in the Americas, followed by Asia-Pacific and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).
Free float increased
On September 18, Sulzer placed all five million of its treasury shares with domestic and international investors, and increased the free float to 51 per cent. The placement price of CHF 112 (US$112.22) per share, calculated against the purchase price of CHF 109.13 (US$109.34) per share in April 2018, resulted in a capital gain of around CHF 15 million (US$15.03) that increases Sulzer’s equity. Sulzer acquired the five million treasury shares from its former majority shareholder Renova.
Financing mix optimised
On June 19, Sulzer raised CHF 400 million in the Swiss capital market via a dual tranche issuance to optimise its financing mix. The first tranche of CHF 110 million (US$110.22 million) has a term of two years and carries a coupon of 0.25 per cent at a price of 100 per cent. The second tranche of CHF 290 million (US$290.57 million) has a term of five years and carries a coupon of 1.30 per cent at a price of 100 per cent.
Taking advantage of favourable market conditions, Sulzer raised another CHF 460 million (US$460.9 million) in the Swiss capital market again via a dual tranche bond issuance on September 27. The first tranche of CHF 210 million (US$210.41 million) has a term of three years and carries a coupon of 0.625 per cent at a price of 100 per cent. The second tranche of CHF 250 million has a term of six years and carries a coupon of 1.6 per cent at a price of 100.1 per cent. The additional bonds further optimise the maturity profile of Sulzer’s financing mix. They will also support the company’s bolt-on acquisition strategy.
Guidance increased for order intake and confirmed for sales and opEBITA margin
The order intake momentum is expected to extend into the fourth quarter. Sulzer therefore increases its guidance for 2018 order intake growth to 10 to 12 per cent, up from seven to 10 per cent previously, including acquisitions and adjusted for currency effects. Sulzer’s guidance for 2018 sales and opEBITA margin remains unchanged: Sales are expected to grow by six to eight per cent and operational EBITA margin to be around 9.5 per cent.
Sulzer expects that the above-mentioned guidance combined with lower non-operational expenses will result in a significantly higher growth rate for net income compared to the growth rate of opEBITA.