Report to the shareholders Bossard – Seizing Opportunities and Taking Advantage of its Strengths
expectations that the problem could be quickly solved with some creative political maneuvering were continuously dashed. The greater uncertainty that ensued very rapidly led to slower growth in key markets and high exchange rate volatility. New limits to competitiveness were set practically overnight. Our home market of Switzerland took a direct hit. In 2011, the Swiss franc rose an average of 11 percent against the euro and 15 percent against the U.S. dollar; on top of the 9 percent and 5 percent respectively we had to absorb in the prior year. This left its mark not only on our company but also on our primarily export-oriented customers in Switzerland. Our 2011 year-end financial statements are therefore greatly characterized by the enormous currency fluctuations. Consequently, a year-on-year comparison in Swiss francs, the Group’s reporting currency, would paint an inaccurate picture of our company’s actual development and effective performance. For this reason, we primarily base our assessments and analyses as well as our strategic objectives on local currencies because they are the only factors that we can directly influence in our operations. In this year’s report, we therefore present key figures not only in Swiss francs but also show you the real performance in local currencies for comparison.
David Dean, CEO, and Dr. Thomas Schmuckli, Chairman
Ladies and Gentlemen, 2011 was a special year in many respects. First of all, our company celebrated its 180th anniversary. We crowned this happy event with an excellent result, and we did this in a year characterized by enormous uncertainty and political change. These developments were reflected in the global business cycle and currency developments, which directly impacted our business. While excessive indebtedness in the key economic blocks of Europe, the United States and Japan did not begin in 2011, it became the central focus of the capital markets. This created a climate of uncertainty under massive media attention. The rising and simultaneously utopian
bossard Annual Report 2011 | Report to the shareholders
Despite the difficult situation, we have seized our opportunities and taken advantage of our strengths in 2011. The results are clear: 9 percent purely organic sales growth in local currency and a record-breaking operating profit, thereby setting another milestone in our company’s history. 2011 – setting a successful strategic course
In 2009, we set ourselves the target of doubling sales revenue by 2015 through expanding our product and service portfolio as well as seizing the opportunities presented by our strong global presence. To reach this target, we need to achieve double-digit growth each year. A strong growth spurt of 25 percent in 2010 gave us a comfortable head start. Although we expected this growth rate to level out over the reporting year, we nevertheless aimed for doubledigit growth, albeit at a slightly lower level. We managed to achieve this target with an outstanding sales increase of 14.6 percent in local currency by mid-year. At that time, however, the first harbingers of a slowdown were
Bossard Annual Report 2011