In line with the previously announced forecast, the Picanol Group realized a consolidated revenue of 666.71 million euros over the full 2018 financial year, a decrease in revenue of 3% compared to the 688.93 million euros recorded in 2017 (the best year in the history of the Picanol Group).
Following an absolute record year in 2017, the Weaving Machines division again experienced an excellent year. Based on the well-filled order book at the end of 2017, it achieved a strong first half-year, with high demand for quality and technology resulting in strong sales. In the second half of the year, increasing geopolitical uncertainty in the markets caused a slowdown in demand for weaving machines.
The Industries division also had another strong year, which was driven by Weaving Machines and this was mainly thanks to the strong growth in new projects. The Industries division thus continues to contribute to the growing diversification of the group by fully focusing on castings and mechanical finishing (Proferro), controller capacities (PsiControl) and precision parts (Melotte). In 2018, Industries continued to further modernize its machine park in order to increase efficiency and quality.
The activities of the Picanol Group resulted in 2018 in a profit after tax (consolidated companies) of 77.98 million euros compared to 91.64 million euros in 2017. In addition, Tessenderlo Group nv made a positive contribution to the net profit of 32.95 million euros in 2018 (compared to 10.07 million euros in 2017). The group closed 2018 with a net profit of 110.92 million euros, compared to 101.71 million euros in 2017.
The Board of Directors will propose the payment of a gross dividend of 0.2 euros at the annual general meeting on April 17, 2019, for a total amount of 3.54 million euros. The Board of Directors approved an investment plan for 2019 for Ypres for an amount of 25 million euros.
For 2019, the Picanol Group is taking into account a slowdown in the global weaving machine market. This is due to the current macroeconomic and geopolitical climate, in which customers are more cautious and investment decisions might either be delayed or postponed. In 2019, Industries will mainly aim for further growth with customers in other markets. For the first half of 2019, Picanol Group expects a decrease in revenue of approximately 25% compared to the first half of 2018.