REVIEW OF THE FISCAL YEAR SERVICES DIVISION
|in CHF mn||2016||2017||2018||Change 2017/2018|
|in % of sales||49.4%||46.6%||47.0%|
|Operating income (EBIT)||53||54.4||58.2||7.00%|
|in % of sales||27.8%||25.9%||26.0%|
|Headcount as per end of fiscal year (full-time equivalents)||649||778||830||6.70%|
On track for further growth
The Services Division maintained its growth trajectory in 2018. Orders received amounted to CHF 230.7 mn, which topped the figure for the previous fiscal year by 12.3% and marked a new all-time high for the division. Sales also rose, by a pleasing 6.5% to CHF 223.9 mn, and now account for 37% of the Group’s consolidated sales. Canada was a strong growth driver thanks to CSM Compressor Supply & Machine Works Ltd, the services provider acquired during the previous year, as well as countries in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Gross profit for the Services Division increased by 7.5% to CHF 105.2 mn, resulting in a gross profit margin of 47.0% (46.6% in the prior-year period). Operating income amounted to CHF 58.2 mn, an increase of 7.0% from the prior year (CHF 54.4 mn).
Incoming orders also reached an all-time high at the Services Division and were up by about 12% from the previous year.
Burckhardt Compression’s services cover the following areas:
– Spare Parts
– Field Service
Major contracts were received from customers in Singapore, China and elsewhere during the year under review. On the innovation front, new sealing materials for piston rings were added to the portfolio and new diagnostic and analysis tools and technology for older compressor systems were developed, along with guidelines for modernizing, retrofitting and overhauling such systems.
There was another pleasing increase in orders for spare parts in fiscal year 2018. Customers are increasingly ordering spare parts for compressors made by Burckhardt Compression and other manufacturers with the services we provide. The market response to our strategy of growing this business to include spare parts for other brands remained positive.
The growth trend in large-scale compressor overhaul and modernization projects remained intact in fiscal year 2018 but smaller and mid-scale projects accounted for a larger share of the overall business in this segment than in fiscal year 2017. Long-term service contracts are a sound platform for future growth in the Services Division. Major engineering projects were acquired in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
Burckhardt Compression profited from the commissioning of numerous new systems in the US and China last year and LNGM vessels already in operation were another source of growth. Our preventive maintenance services for Burckhardt Compression and other-brand compressors continued to deliver good growth too.
Sales of new monitoring and diagnostics systems were slightly lower year-on-year but the services business continued to grow. Demand was particularly high for gas transport & storage and petrochemical applications.
Sales structures strengthened
The centralized management system introduced in the previous year to oversee quote and order processes and the realization of service engineering solutions proved its worth in 2018. Regional sales structures were strengthened too. Our local Field Service Representatives are highly qualified employees who are also responsible for managing customer relationships and assessing local market opportunities. A new partnership model to provide services as a local player close to customers in smaller but fast-growing markets was introduced through a limited investment.
New Service Centers
We continued to expand our geographic reach during the year under review. In December 2018, Burckhardt Compression opened a new service center in Slovakia with its local partner Sultrade Compressor Services (SCS) for the Central Europe region. This enables it to offer compressor operators in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Austria a full range of services and repairs for all reciprocating compressor brands as well as Hyper Compressor services. The new location brings Burckhardt Compression closer to its customers in the region and enables it to respond to customer needs and inquiries more quickly.
Another service center was opened in Thailand in collaboration with local partner SPAN Maintenance and Service. It offers compressor valve services and repairs. The new service center in Sweden was officially inaugurated together with our strategic local partner Kompressorteknik ML AB.
In China, Burckhardt Compression expanded its component manufacturing capacity at its existing site in Shanghai. Besides valves, it now manufactures rings and packings to address increasing market demand in China attributable, among other factors, to our cooperation with Shenyang Yuanda – customers are increasingly ordering Burckhardt Compression’s spare parts for their other brand compressors.
The outlook for growth in our services business remains attractive:
– More and more customers are outsourcing service-related operations.
– The installed base of compressor units continues to grow.
– Compressor operators are seeking efficiency gains to sharpen their competitive profile, which requires retrofit and overhaul services.
– Preventive maintenance in conjunction with the continuous condition monitoring of compressor systems is growing in importance.
Therefore we believe that the demand for a full range of compressor services from a single source will grow more strongly than the spare parts business alone. Customers are increasingly expecting engineering solutions, competent onsite advisory services and tailor-made maintenance concepts.
In view of the growing number of LNG tankers, we established a services organization that addresses the specific needs of the marine business.
In our Mid-Range Plan for 2018 to 2022, we expect the Services Division to achieve annual organic growth of 6% to 8%. Including the expected consolidation of Arkos Field Services, the divisional sales target for 2022 is CHF 360 mn. The target range for its EBIT margin is 20% to 25%. Growth priorities are services for compressors made by other manufacturers and people-driven services. To ensure success in this business, Burckhardt Compression has launched operational initiatives to strengthen customer relationship management, for example, and expand its local and regional service capabilities. Other measures include the expansion of its engineering and project management resources in the Services Division and the implementation of global processes for all service center locations. In view of the growing number of LNG tankers equipped with Laby®-GI fuel gas supply compressors, we will establish a services organization that addresses the specific needs and requirements of the marine business. Digitalization will also be used to create new services and applications. The main aims here are to improve access to company and customer data and the utilization thereof, foster transparent communication, and optimize business processes. Stricter cost controls will also be imposed.
Last year’s achievements indicate that the Services Division is on the right track. The market response to the expansion of our service presence and our engineering and project management resources was very positive. Numerous engineering specialists and sales staff were hired to strengthen this unit. We also offered more training courses and resources, not only for our own employees but also for our customers’ service and maintenance technicians.
A large-scale customer satisfaction survey conducted for the first time in 2018 confirmed that we are moving in the right direction with our latest strategic initiatives. The target groups of this survey were our customers’ service and maintenance technicians and other employees with a technical background as well as procurement specialists. The survey showed that our customers are very satisfied with the competence of our field service specialists and the quality of the spare parts we make. These findings were evaluated with inputs from all of our country organizations and specialist units and corrective measures were taken where necessary. This survey will now be conducted on a periodical basis.
Operating Income (EBIT)
Before fiscal year 2015, no EBIT was reported at divisional level.