Schott stays on course for growth

At Schott Group’s annual results press conference, Chairman of the Board of Management Dr. Frank Heinricht and Chief Financial Officer Dr. Jens Schulte presented the figures for fiscal year 2016/2017

Sales exceed EUR 2 billion mark; EBIT and consolidated earnings improve once again; Good prospects for 2018.

Schott AG continued on its growth course in fiscal year 2016/2017 by improving on all of its key earnings figures (reporting date: 30 September 2017). EBIT reached EUR 272 million, well above the EUR 223 million the company reported in fiscal year 2015/2016. Consolidated earnings reached a record level of EUR 197 million. Free cash flow of EUR 153 million was also a significant improvement. “Overall, we are satisfied with the past fiscal year. We achieved all the goals we set,” Chairman of the Board of Management Dr. Frank Heinricht said at the annual results press conference.
Sales increased by 3.1% to EUR 2.05 billion. All three segments “Precision Materials,” “Optical Industries” and “Home Appliances” contributed to this. Demand for ZERODUR® glass-ceramic as a key component in microlithography and astronomy, high-quality pharmaceutical packaging and special glass for kitchen appliances was particularly dynamic. Foreign sales accounted for 86% of total sales. Nearly half of sales were generated in Europe, around a quarter in North and South America and around a quarter in Asia. The number of employees worldwide remained unchanged at 15,100, 5,200 of whom were based in Germany. Investments in property, plant and equipment amounted to EUR 154 million. More than half went to German sites. The largest foreign investment was the establishment of a pharmaceutical packaging plant in China, which went into operation last September.
At the presentation of the balance sheet, CFO Dr. Jens Schulte indicated that equity had reached the solid figure of EUR 763 million. The equity ratio improved from 22% to 32%. A significant increase in net liquidity and a credit line of EUR 250 million have increased the scope for acquisitions and investments. The remaining 49% of the previous joint venture NEC Schott Components was acquired in November 2017. The company, now operating under the name Schott Japan Corporation, is one of the leading manufacturers of electronic components in the field of glass-to-metal feedthroughs and thermal fuses in Japan.
Schott intends to continue on its path of sustainable and profitable growth in the current fiscal year. The technology group expects a boost from demand for ZERODUR® glass-ceramic, pharmaceutical systems and the expansion of production capacities for specialty glass products. SCHOTT plans to invest a total of EUR 180 million. A quarter of this will go to the main plant in Mainz, creating more than 100 new jobs.
On the basis of innovations, investments and the strong global economy, Schott expects Group sales to increase by between 3 and 6% and earnings to remain stable at a high level.
Schott is a leading international technology group in the areas of specialty glass and glass-ceramics. The group maintains a global presence with production sites and sales offices in 33 countries. With its workforce of approximately 15,000 employees, sales of EUR 2.05 billion were generated in fiscal year 2016/2017. The parent company, Schott AG, has its headquarters in Mainz (Germany) and is solely owned by the Carl Zeiss Foundation. As a foundation company, Schott assumes special responsibility for its employees, society and the environment.