Operating profit (EBIT) reached CHF 221 million, down from CHF 233 million in 2011 on account of low capacity utilization at several European plants. As a result, the EBIT margin (ROS) stood at 6.1 percent versus 6.6 percent in 2011, and the return on invested capital (ROIC) stood at 12.1 percent versus 13.4 percent in the previous year. Nevertheless, all three divisions continued to generate value. The equity ratio increased again to 44 percent, up from 42 percent in 2011. Free cash flow before acquisitions reached CHF 97 million, slightly below the 2011 figure of CHF 103 million.
The three divisions of Georg Fischer reported mixed growth patterns in 2012. Whereas GF Piping Systems and GF AgieCharmilles increased their top line, GF Automotive suffered a drop of 5 percent due to its large exposure to the European car and truck market.
Headcount went up by 259 to 13,412 employees. More personnel was hired in the growing markets of Asia. In America headcount increased on account of the two acquisitions.
Net profit reached CHF 127 million after the CHF 28 million non-cash impact of the GF Automotive divestments. Earnings per share stood at CHF 30, including the above-mentioned one-off effect. The Board of Directors will propose an unchanged dividend of CHF 15 at the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting.