Annual Report 2023

Regional Business Review

EMEA region

Customers in the EMEA region (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) were cautious due to geopolitical tensions and high inflation, which also resulted in higher interest rates. Although many sheet metal processing companies continued to have high-capacity utilization, they were careful regarding new acquisitions and were waiting for more favorable financing costs with lower interest rates. Order intake dropped by 28% to CHF 369 million (–23% at constant exchange rates).

Thanks to a high order backlog at the beginning of the year, sales were CHF 453 million, which corresponds to a drop of 9% compared to prior year. The strong Swiss franc had a significant negative influence. The organic decrease, however, was only 4%.

In late 2023, the Dutch customer VDL opened its Smart Factory in Eindhoven. Working together with Bystronic over the past two years, the company was able to put fully automated production into practice. Our BySoft Suite, which completely networks all production and business processes, was used in this project, and enabled enormous productivity improvements.

Americas region

The Americas region is a very attractive market for Bystronic. Large-scale US infrastructure programs, as well as the reshoring trend happening there, have led to strong growth in recent years. Bystronic has expanded its local presence and has been on the ground and closer to customers in the USA with its own production location and an Experience Center since 2019. In 2023, the local team in Hoffman Estates in the greater Chicago area produced laser cutting systems for the gold segment based on our new, standardized product platform for the first time.

Bystronic's strong market position in the Americas region is evidenced by order intake, which was CHF 290 million, 6% below the previous year. However, this decrease can mainly be attributed to exchange rate effects. Organically, order intake was on par with the previous year's level, underscoring that the investments of the past few years have paid off.

Thanks to the high order backlog, the region increased sales by 6% to CHF 335 million. At constant exchange rates, growth was 12%.

China region

High overcapacity, competitive pressure, and restrained economic growth affected the Chinese market again in the 2023 financial year. Order intake decreased by 16% (–6% at constant exchange rates) to CHF 65 million and sales decreased by 24% (–15% at constant exchange rates) to CHF 64 million.

In China, in addition to the sales and service organization, Bystronic also operates three production sites:

APAC region

Some of the fastest growing economies in the world are part of the APAC region (Asia Pacific). Nevertheless, growth in 2023 was restrained due to high inflation and rising interest rates. Customers have tended to defer the expansion of their production facilities. As soon as the situation improves, however, the region will benefit from high consumption in many APAC countries, as well as from the development of production capacity outside of China.

Due to the economic slowdown, order intake dropped by 39% to CHF 70 million (–34% at constant exchange rates) and sales by 33% (–27% at constant exchange rates) to CHF 78 million.

As part of its regionalization strategy, Bystronic seeks to position itself near its customers. As such, the Group expects to benefit from a market recovery in this region, particularly in India. The country is considered one of Asia’s up-and-coming economies. Its industrial sector has shown strong growth, and its infrastructure is being developed. To maximize the region’s market potential, in 2023 Bystronic opened a new site in Pune, 150 kilometers southeast of Mumbai. The site also includes a demonstration center, and currently, 30 employees work there in sales, service and administration.

1 Group structure and shareholders Group