Swipe here for further topics

Key Figures

Key Figures
Key Figures
million CHF 
2012 20112010

 

Sales

 

3 602

 

3 511

 

3 447

EBIT221233180
Return on sales (EBIT margin) %6.16.65.2
Return on invested capital (ROIC) %12.113.49.1
Free cash flow19103150
Dividend (proposed) per registered share in CHF151510
Employees at year-end13 41213 15312 908

Contact us

Corporate Communications
Georg Fischer Ltd
Amsler-Laffon-Strasse 9
8201 Schaffhausen
Switzerland

kommunikation #at# georgfischer dot com

Highlights 2012

Georg Fischer Corporation

Working with master students at the ETH Zurich

Working with master students at the ETH Zurich

As partner of the two month long entrepreneurial leadership seminar, Georg Fischer worked together with 18 master students of the ETH Zurich to figure out how Cleantech drives innovation. The students worked on real business cases in strategy, innovation, and leadership in all three divisions. The results will be integrated into current and future projects at Georg Fischer.

Working with master students at the ETH Zurich

At the 116th Annual Shareholders’ Meeting of Georg Fischer Ltd in March, a total of 1,296 shareholders representing 33.1 percent of the share capital attended. Andreas Koopmann, who joined the Board of Georg Fischer in 2010, was elected as new Chairman and Gerold Bührer as new Vice Chairman. Isabelle Welton and Roger Michaelis were elected as new members of the Board.

Clean Water partnership with Caritas

Georg Fischer’s Clean Water Foundation and Caritas Switzerland agreed to a partnership for the supply of drinking water. Clean Water will donate CHF 1 million in cash, which will enable Caritas to provide at least 35,000 people worldwide with sustainably improved access to clean drinking water by 2015.

GF Piping Systems

Acquisition of IPP enhances market position in US

Highlights Piping Systems

In May, Georg Fischer announced the acquisition of Independent Pipe Products Inc (IPP) in Dallas, Texas (USA), the leading provider of large diameter pipes and fittings in polyethylene (PE). The acquisition strengthens the leading position of GF Piping Systems in the growing North American water infrastructure market.

Large water supply order for Australian coal mine

GF Piping Systems secured an CHF 8 million order to supply high-density polyethylene (HDPE) piping systems for the extension of a major Australian mine by the end of 2013. The order demonstrates the successful penetration of the mining market by GF Piping Systems, a sector with considerable potential in Australia and worldwide.

Innovation Award at the ACHEMA

The check valves from GF Piping Systems were awarded at the world’s largest trade fair of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, ACHEMA 2012. The division has created a solution that reduces wear on the valves and achieved an added value in the energy consumption with innovative improvements.

GF Automotive

Ultramodern facility in Mettmann opened

Highlights Automotive Robot

Following investments of some CHF 45 million at its largest iron foundry in Mettmann (Germany), GF Automotive operated its novel production line, one of the world’s most modern manufacturing facilities. The plant’s efficient and resource-sparing production is instrumental in meeting the steadily growing demand for light-metal parts in the automotive industry.

Second place at ÖkoGlobe awards

GF Automotive won second place in the raw materials, work materials, and process optimization category at the ÖkoGlobe awards in Germany. The prestigious prize is awarded for groundbreaking innovations in sustainable mobility.

Expansion in Asia and focus on core business in Europe

In November, GF Automotive announced it would further enlarge its existing plants in China and focus on its core activities in Europe. In order to concentrate on its iron and aluminum die-casting foundries in Europe, GF Automotive divested the entire aluminum sand casting business, thus reduced its production footprint in Europe.

GF AgieCharmilles

Training academy opened in Geneva

Highlights Agiecharmilles Academy

In December, GF AgieCharmilles inaugurated its new GF AgieCharmilles Academy, a state-of-the-art training environment with the dedicated goal of setting the industry’s training standard and exceeding customers’ expectations for expertise and quality. The opening of the academy sets the stage, through investment in GF AgieCharmilles employees worldwide, to build on a culture of excellence.

New Head of GF AgieCharmilles

Pascal Boillat, previously Head of Operations, was appointed Head of GF AgieCharmilles as of 1 January 2013. Boillat succeeds Jean-Pierre Wilmes, who is retiring from a successful career at GF AgieCharmilles spanning more than 40 years.

Major order for high precision machine tools

GF AgieCharmilles received a major order for 55 machines from a well-known Chinese manufacturer of components for electronic devices. The new order includes both EDM (electric discharge machines) as well as milling machines for a total value exceeding CHF 10 million. The contract is a follow-up of the January 2012 order for over 100 machines.

Contact us

Corporate Communications
Georg Fischer Ltd
Amsler-Laffon-Strasse 9
8201 Schaffhausen
Switzerland

kommunikation #at# georgfischer dot com

Letter to the Shareholders

Resilient thanks to global footprint

Dear shareholders

Despite a clear market slowdown in Europe, Georg Fischer generated a turnover of CHF 3.6 billion in 2012, 3 percent above the 2011 figure. On a like-for-like basis, sales reached the same level as in 2011. All three divisions both considerably increased their sales in Asia and the Americas and continued to generate value.

Yves Serra, President and CEO and Andreas Koopmann, Chairman of the Board of DirectorsYves Serra, President and CEO and Andreas Koopmann, Chairman of the Board of Directors

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 abovementioned one-off effect. The Board of Directors will propose an unchanged dividend of CHF 15 at the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting.

GF Piping Systems grew with acquisitions and new markets

GF Piping Systems increased its top line by 11 percent to CHF 1,299 million in 2012 partly thanks to its two US acquisitions, which added CHF 97 million during the year. The division reached a further milestone in 2012 regarding its global presence. For the first time, sales in Asia, the Americas, and the emerging markets exceeded 50 percent of total. Demand for water supply systems remained high, following a clear global trend. In addition, promising new solutions were developed and have already been sold successfully for mining applications as well as to address hygiene issues in hospitals and large buildings in Europe.

Operating profit amounted to CHF 130 million for an ROS of 10 percent, compared to CHF 137 million in 2011. The ROIC reached 13.9 percent. The lower capacity utilization of several plants in Europe, especially in Italy, as well as the amortizations linked to the IFRS accounting of the new US acquisitions had an impact on profitability in 2012.

In 2012, GF Piping Systems strengthened its presence in the US significantly with the acquisitions of Harvel Plastics and IPP, closed in January and May respectively. Harvel Plastics allows the division to cover the whole US territory for industrial piping systems and IPP enables it to substantially increase its leadership in PE (polyethylene) large water transport systems, certainly a growth area in the US.

In addition, one new plant has been added in Zhuozhou, bringing the total number of manufacturing facilities in China to 16.

GF Automotive: Europe subdued, importance of Asia grows

GF Automotive faced a clear demand slowdown in Europe especially in the truck and compact car sectors and at the same time enjoyed strong growth in China.

Sales decreased organically by 4 percent. Moreover, two plants were sold, subtracting CHF 118 million from the top line. As a result, turnover stood at CHF 1,461 million. Operating profit (EBIT), which was affected by the reduced capacity utilization at several European plants, amounted to CHF 54 million for an ROS of 3.7 percent, compared to CHF 69 million and an ROS of 4.5 percent in 2011. The ROIC amounted to 10.3 percent.

GF Automotive took action in 2012, adjusting the number of temporary workers and overtime at all its plants in Europe. Furthermore, the non-core aluminum sand casting plants of Garching and Friedrichshafen were sold, and the European activities focused on large-series iron and aluminum pressure die castings. At the same time, GF Automotive invested about CHF 45 million in a new ultramodern automatic molding line at its iron foundry in Mettmann (Germany), in order to boost productivity and ensure the best quality for its customers.

Performance further enhanced at GF AgieCharmilles

GF AgieCharmilles increased its top line by 5 percent to CHF 842 million despite a difficult market situation. This result was achieved by promoting sales in less cyclical segments like mobile phones, medical devices, and aeronautics and thanks to a well-balanced distribution of sales worldwide.

The division significantly increased its profitability from an ROS of 4.6 percent in 2011 to 5.3 percent in 2012, resulting in an EBIT of CHF 45 million. The ROIC went up to 13.4 percent.

Promising new products were launched in 2012 including a highly precise small-size five-axis milling machine to support customers in the machining of miniature metal parts. Also two new machines were developed at the Chinese plants of GF AgieCharmilles to further complete the offering in China.

A state-of-the-art training facility was inaugurated in Geneva in December to deepen and focus the expertise across the division regarding the key market segments of the future.

Finally, the production plants in Beijing and Changzhou were upgraded and the milling machine facility of Nidau (Switzerland) enlarged, including a new Milling Technology Center, in order to cope with the increased demand for the products made at those sites.

Strategic implementation well on track

Due to the Swiss franc appreciation and the slowdown in the eurozone, our profitability objectives have become more challenging. Nevertheless, we are sticking to them because the implementation of all key strategic initiatives is on track.

Firstly, the portfolio of activities is continuously being realigned towards less cyclical and more profitable end markets. In 2012, GF Piping Systems added almost CHF 100 million of turnover through acquisitions while GF Automotive divested two aluminum sand-casting plants.

Secondly, the share of turnover generated in the growing markets of Asia and the Americas is increasing.

Today a clear majority of the turnover of GF Piping Systems and GF AgieCharmilles is generated outside of Europe. Finally, the focus on productivity and innovation at all divisions is well underway. Plants in Europe are being further automated at GF Automotive and GF Piping Systems, while GF AgieCharmilles is introducing new products at a faster rate.

Mid-term objectives confirmed

In 2013, additional investments including acquisitions are being planned in order to extend our presence in the growing areas of the world and further align our portfolio to our strategic objectives.

For 2013, we do not expect any major improvement in demand in Europe and will therefore focus on productivity there while continuing to expand in Asia and the Americas.

Despite signs of improved demand in China and in the US, the short-term overall economic trend remains difficult to predict at least in the sectors of activity relevant for us. However, we confirm our mid-term profitability objectives for 2015 of an ROIC in the 15 percent range and an ROS between 8 and 9 percent.

Personnel changes

At the Shareholders’ Meeting of March 2012, the terms of office of Martin Huber, Chairman, and Bruno Hug, Vice Chairman, came to an end.

Martin Huber has had a great career at Georg Fischer spanning over 30 years, of which eleven years as CEO and nine years as Chairman. Bruno Hug was elected to the Board in 1992 and served as Vice Chairman since 2004. Together with the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee, we thank Martin Huber and Bruno Hug for their long-lasting and outstanding contributions to our Corporation and wish them all the best for the future.

Isabelle Welton and Roger Michaelis were elected as new Board members. Isabelle Welton is a Swiss citizen and a lawyer by training. She is Group Chief Marketing Officer of Zurich Insurance Group Ltd. Roger Michaelis was born and grew up in Brazil and is a dual citizen of Brazil and Germany. An economist by training, he is partner and director of Verocap Consulting, São Paulo (Brazil).

At the end of 2012, Jean-Pierre Wilmes retired from the Corporate Executive Committee, where he had served since 2010 as Head of GF AgieCharmilles.

GF AgieCharmilles has benefited for 40 years from his deep market knowledge and his leadership skills. We thank him for his outstanding achievements and wish him all the best for his future endeavors. His successor is Pascal Boillat, until end of 2012 Head of Operations at GF AgieCharmilles.

Teamwork and dedication to master the challenges

Thanks to exemplary teamwork at all levels, Georg Fischer made the most out of the new opportunities in the growth markets. We express our special thanks to all our employees whose flexibility, dedications and commitment made it possible.

We also extend our thanks to our investors and to our banks for their trust in our Corporation. Finally we thank our customers for their loyalty and for their continued constructive feedback, which allows us to relentlessly innovate and improve in order to serve them better.

Signature by Andreas Koopmann

Andreas Koopmann
Chairman of the
Board of Directors

Signature by Yves Serra

Yves Serra
President and CEO


Worldwide for you

Contact us

Corporate Communications
Georg Fischer Ltd
Amsler-Laffon-Strasse 9
8201 Schaffhausen
Switzerland

kommunikation #at# georgfischer dot com

Corporate Report 2012

Executive Committee of Georg FischeExecutive Committee of Georg Fischer in the factory of GF Piping Systems (left to right): Josef Edbauer, Pietro Lori, Yves Serra (CEO), Roland Abt, Pascal Boillat

Contact us

Corporate Communications
Georg Fischer Ltd
Amsler-Laffon-Strasse 9
8201 Schaffhausen
Switzerland

kommunikation #at# georgfischer dot com

Interview with CEO Yves Serra

Yves Serra for the CEO interview

This annual report has been released under the title “All about you”. What is the idea behind it?

“All about you” encapsulates our attitude towards our customers. We want to give them an outstanding service and be better than our competition in quickly understanding and addressing their needs.

What does this mean more specifically for the three divisions of Georg Fischer?

In the automotive business for instance, our customers need, until 2020, to drastically reduce the CO2 emissions of the cars they sell. One way is to reduce the weight of the cars. This is what we can contribute through new materials and part designs which reduce weight by 20 percent to 30 percent. At GF Piping Systems our contribution is to offer safe and secure water networks free of leaks and contamination. I think here for example about preventing chemical spillage or the proliferation of legionella in hospital pipes. And at GF AgieCharmilles we develop machinetools which allow our customers to achieve the highest precision and best surface finishes required for the production of smartphones or LEDs.

How relevant in this respect is the close contact to the clients?

Keeping in close touch with our customers allows us to quickly understand their future needs as well as what we can improve on their behalf. In addition, our managers frequently visit the customers to underline how much we care for them and to give the right signal within the organization.

Employees shown in your report illustrate a customer-oriented attitude. How do you make sure that this value is delivered and reinforced within Georg Fischer?

First of all we focus ourselves on those market segments where we believe we can bring to our customers a superior offering. Secondly we train our employees to work together as a team in order to serve our customers more quickly and more efficiently. Assume for a second that one of our customers overseas is not satisfied with one of our products and that our local company cannot find a solution. It is imperative that our research and development crews quickly offer their support. Teamwork training helps in that respect, because employees learn to know and trust each other despite cultural and language differences. And finally we celebrate successes and especially shared successes, how for example the good collaboration of two or more of our companies allowed us to enter a new market or gain the trust of a new customer.

You have been mentioning for years the need for Georg Fischer to achieve a balanced presence worldwide. Where is Georg Fischer today regarding this topic?

Ten years ago more than three quarters of our sales were generated in Europe. In 2012 more than 40 percent of our turnover was achieved outside of this region. During that period each of our three divisions has experienced an accelerated shift of their markets towards Asia. Today, more than 50 percent of the machine-tools sold worldwide are sold in China, as well as 25 percent of all cars. And if we look at market dynamics, chances are this shift is not over. In addition, we saw in America new opportunities especially in water infrastructure where our presence was insufficient. This is why we increased our investments and acquisitions in Asia and in America in the past decade. And we will probably continue to do so to achieve step-by-step a more balanced presence worldwide, in line with the respective importance of each region for our relevant markets.

On which areas will you focus in the coming months?

We will further implement our strategy by adapting our portfolio towards Asia and America, but also towards less cyclical market segments in all three divisions. We will continue to do our best to attract talents not only in Switzerland but worldwide. Finally, we will keep on offering innovative solutions in order to remain our customer’s first choice.

Contact us

Corporate Communications
Georg Fischer Ltd
Amsler-Laffon-Strasse 9
8201 Schaffhausen
Switzerland

kommunikation #at# georgfischer dot com

Corporate organization and structure

Organization of Georg Fischer

Georg Fischer Ltd, the Holding Company of the Georg Fischer Corporation, is organized under Swiss law, headquartered in Schaffhausen (Switzerland) and listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange.

Board of Directors

The ten members of the Board of Directors, elected individually by the Shareholders’ Meeting, are responsible for determining the Corporation’s strategic direction, the design of accounting, the financial controlling and financial planning. It appoints the Executive Committee and has ultimate responsibility for supervising and monitoring the management of Georg Fischer Ltd. All members of the Board of Directors are non-executive.

A shared corporate culture is becoming increasingly important with the spread of internationalization.

Executive Committee

The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for the management of the Corporation. Under his leadership, the Executive Committee addresses all issues of relevance to the Corporation, takes decisions within its remit and submits proposals to the Board of Directors. The Heads of the Divisions and the Corporate Staff Units are responsible for drafting and achieving their business objectives and for managing their units autonomously.

Corporate structure

Georg Fischer Corporation is organized in three divisions and two Corporate Staff Units. The divisions are GF Piping Systems, GF Automotive and GF AgieCharmilles. The Corporate Staff Units are Finance & Controlling and Corporate Development. The Heads of the Divisions and the Corporate Staff Units are responsible for managing their businesses and for achieving their business objectives.

Corporate center

The CEO and the CFO form the Corporate center in the narrower sense. The Corporate center is closely involved in management, planning, communications, finance, management development, and corporate culture and is supported in these tasks by a team of about 50 people. The Corporate center ensures that risk management, transparency, corporate governance, sustainability, and compliance practices meet the requirements of the owners and the public, and it supports the Board of Directors in meeting its responsibilities.

Finances

Corporate Finance & Controlling uses powerful information systems to ensure the time-critical financial management of the Corporation. A standardized system of financial reporting is used throughout the entire Corporation, guaranteeing immediate and complete transparency. Currency, interest-rate, and credit risks are monitored and managed at Corporation level.

Management development

Strategically important competencies and information are shared and made available throughout the Corporation. Considerable importance is attached to internal training and to the focused nurturing and development of leaders and managers.

Communication

The Corporation has a strong brand in Georg Fischer and a presence and reputation in the public sphere from which all divisions benefit. Internal and external communications and investor relations (i. e. relations with the financial markets) reinforce the public perception and the image of the Corporation.

Corporate culture

A shared corporate culture is the basis for overall sustainable development and is becoming increasingly important with the spread of internationalization. The Corporate center conveys and promotes the fundamental corporate values throughout the company, thereby nurturing and fostering this corporate culture. Open, active, and timely communication with employees, customers, investors, and the public makes for both credibility and trust.

Corporate Governance

For detailed information about the Corporate Governance of Georg Fischer see pages 44 to 55.

Download the corporate organization and structure

Contact us

Corporate Communications
Georg Fischer Ltd
Amsler-Laffon-Strasse 9
8201 Schaffhausen
Switzerland

kommunikation #at# georgfischer dot com

Sustainability

Contact us

Corporate Communications
Georg Fischer Ltd
Amsler-Laffon-Strasse 9
8201 Schaffhausen
Switzerland

kommunikation #at# georgfischer dot com