Despite currency volatility and continued weak economic conditions in some of its principal markets, Schindler achieved further growth and maintained its operational performance at a high level in 2011. Orders received rose by 4.8% and revenue increased by as much as 6.9% in local currencies but declined by 6.0% and 4.1%, respectively, in Swiss francs due to currency impacts.
After high restructuring costs of CHF 135 million, the Elevators and escalators business reported an EBIT margin of 10.5%. Before restructuring costs, an EBIT margin of 12.3% was reported. Net profit totaled CHF 611 million and – before restructuring costs of CHF 98 million after taxes – was almost in line with the very good result for the previous year.
The construction sectors in Asia/Pacific, India and Latin America once again experienced strong growth. In North America, demand stabilized and signs of an upward trend are visible. Several markets in Southern Europe experienced further declines.
Despite these very different market trends, Schindler achieved growth in all regions – particularly in Asia/Pacific, followed by Latin America. Orders received totaled CHF 8 249 million, corresponding to an increase of 4.8% in local currencies. After conversion into Swiss francs, a decline of 6.0% was recorded. Schindler was once again selected as a partner for a number of notable projects in the reporting year. Its innovative PORT technology, which manages and optimizes the transit of passengers through buildings, was an important factor contributing to this success.
Revenue totaled CHF 7 854 million, a decrease of 4.1% compared to the previous year, reflecting negative impacts in the amount of CHF 900 million due to lower exchange rates. In local currencies, revenue rose by 6.9%. Growth was reported in all regions, with significantly above-average growth rates in Asia/Pacific and Latin America.
In the fourth quarter of 2011, the package of measures referred to as LEAP (Leading in Execution and Accelerating Performance) was launched to further enhance the positioning of the company and make it more competitive.
On the one hand, LEAP is focused on making additional investments in the further expansion of Schindler's presence in the strategic growth markets of China and India. On the other hand, the structures of Group companies in the USA and Europe were adapted in line with sustained lower levels of demand. Restructuring costs of CHF 135 million before taxes were charged to the income statement in the fourth quarter of 2011 in connection with LEAP.
The reported operating profit in the Elevators and escalators business for 2011 declined to CHF 828 million, which corresponds to an EBIT margin of 10.5%. Before restructuring costs of CHF 135 million, operating profit (EBIT) for 2011 was CHF 963 million and the EBIT margin was 12.3%.
Despite the strength of the Swiss franc and significant pricing pressure, the EBIT margin was thus in line with the previous year. In the fourth quarter of 2011, an EBIT margin of 12.6% was generated before restructuring costs. Lower exchange rates had a negative impact in the amount of CHF 110 million in the reporting year.
After restructuring costs of CHF 135 million, the Group's consolidated operating profit (EBIT) totaled CHF 790 million. Negative currency impacts totaled CHF 110 million in 2011. The net profit of CHF 611 million – before restructuring costs of CHF 98 million after taxes – was almost in line with the very good result for the previous year.
Schindler Holding Ltd. closed the financial year 2011 with a net profit of CHF 671 million (previous year: CHF 670 million). The distribution of an ordinary dividend of CHF 2.00 per registered share and per participation certificate will be proposed to the forthcoming General Meeting on March 19, 2012.
It remains difficult to predict how global economic conditions will develop. However, Schindler is convinced that it is well positioned to succeed even in this uncertain environment. The LEAP package of measures will begin to generate operational improvements in the coming quarters and represents an important step towards further enhancing the positioning of the company and making it more competitive. Excluding any unforeseeable events, Schindler expects to achieve a significantly higher net profit for 2012.