31 Mar 2020
Maker of machine vision components anticipates gradual improvement in China amid sharp decline elsewhere.
Germany-based Basler, which specializes in cameras and other components for machine vision applications, has posted solid financials for its 2019 fiscal year, alongside a cautious outlook for this year as the impact of the coronavirus crisis unfolds.
At €162 million, the Ahrensburg firm’s 2019 sales rose 8 per cent on the previous year, while orders increased at a similar rate, reaching €167 million.
That came despite a wider decline of around 10 per cent in the German-centric market for machine vision equipment, with Basler’s sales boosted by its acquisitions of Silicon Software and Chinese distribution partner Beijing Sanbao Xingye (MVLZ) Image Tech. Co. Ltd.
Partly as a result of those moves - which have added around 200 employees to the roster - Basler’s profit declined somewhat. It posted a net income of €12.9 million, down from €17 million in 2018.
Until the huge global impact of Covid-19 had become evident, Basler’s executives had been expecting the market environment to stabilize this year, with hopes for a general upturn in the low single-digits.
“However, the outbreak of the coronavirus at the turn of the year and the pandemic spread are currently leading to a major change in the economic outlook and a high risk of a global recession,” reported the company.
“Even if the sales and procurement market situation of the Basler Group has so far been relatively stable, the management is assuming noticeable effects over the coming quarters. The impact cannot currently be quantified due to the uncertainty of the events.”
Nevertheless, the company has provided a forecast for the first half of the year, with sales revenues expected to be in the range of €70 million to €78 million.
“This forecast assumes that the situation in China will continue to improve gradually over the course of the second quarter, and that demand in the regions of Europe and North America will weaken significantly in the second quarter,” added Basler.
The current predicament has also prompted Basler to push back by one year its target to reach €250 million in annual sales.
“On the basis of the current outlook, and depending on the longevity and [severity] of the coronavirus crisis, we expect to achieve sales of €250 milllion [at the] earliest by 2023,” stated the firm’s CFO Hardy Mehl in an investor presentation.