At Ligna Biesse Group sold around 45 million Euros (AUD$67 million) of equipment with a major sale on the final half day. Their strong growth and union with Donatoni and Uniteam; coupled with the move into advanced materials a few years ago stand the Company in good stead.

Stefano Porcellini, the Group General Manager of Biesse reports “We started the 2017 with an extraordinary first quarter versus the same period in 2016; however it’s correct to underline that the next quarter’s results will converge towards the ones stated in the three years plan. That being stated, we are particularly strengthened by this nice beginning especially at the biennial fair eve (Ligna – Hannover May 22-26) regarding the wood segment; the Group has realized best of ever turnover, margins and N.F.P. regarding a first quarter.”

The Group financial position at 31 March 2017 shows net cash of Euro 4.9 million which represents a net improvement (+Euro 16.7 million) compared with the situation at March 2016. This was substantially unchanged compared to the net financial position at end-December 2016 in spite of the seasonality that is typically characteristic of Biesse’s business in the first quarter. Net operating working capital (+ Euro 5.8 million in absolute terms compared to December 2016) represents 45% of consolidated revenues (61% at March 2016) which, although not indicative of the annual trend, shows the expected improvement arising from the constant attention devoted to control of the component elements of working capital.

Net invested capital was Euro 165 million, and net shareholders’ funds totalled Euro 170 million. The positive trend in order intake continued for the Group (machinery) through the first quarter of 2017 with a total increase; compared with the same period of the previous year of 14.2%. Particular emphasis was given at the Ligna fair to Industrial Revolution 4.0 concepts, highlighting the significant progress achieved in the design of integrated plant (panels/solid wood) and developments in integrated software solutions (bSolid).

The wood division remains the predominant segment (71%) compared to both glass/stone (15.5%) and mechatronics (15.9%). While volumes reported by the “advanced materials” segment do not yet allow it to be defined as an autonomous business division, it continues to grow in line with the expectations contained in the three year plan. World sales breakdown shows Western Europe 44.7% (including Italy). Eastern Europe 13.1% North America 19.4% Asia Pacific 20.1% and the rest of the world 2.7%. The share of Biesse’s Italian market was 14.2%.