Segment Access Solutions EMEA5 min.
Growth in Europe, higher profitability
AS EMEA generated total sales of CHF 781.9 million in 2017/18. Organic sales growth was 2.5% compared to the previous year. The segment reported an EBITDA of CHF 57.4 million (+16.2% vs. previous year), with an EBITDA margin of 7.3% which was above the level of the previous year (6.7%). Merger-related cost synergies were partly offset by additional investments in R&D as well as by merger-related costs for IT.
In the financial year under review, growth in AS EMEA accelerated towards the end of the period supported by major airport and stadium projects. Sales growth varied substantially between individual countries and regions. There was strong growth in Central and Eastern Europe where business was driven by all Product Clusters thanks to successful execution of cross-selling activities, strong Entrance Systems business and major stadium projects. Southern Europe experienced good growth with a strong improvement in the second half of 2017/18 driven by project business particularly for automated border controls at airports in Spain. This growth overcompensated a weaker business environment in France. The Benelux countries and the UK contributed to growth as well, whereas sales in Scandinavia were below previous year. Benefitting from some major projects like the Metro in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) and the Abu Dhabi Airport in UAE, sales in the Middle East improved during the second half of 2017/18; however, overall sales in the Middle East for the financial year 2017/18 were still slightly below previous year's level.
Growth was driven by the three Product Clusters Services, Entrance Systems, and particularly Lodging Systems. The business won several major contracts for Mobile Access Solutions from European hotel chains which is another step in establishing this technology also in Europe.
Post-merger integration was proceeding according to plan, as reflected in successful cross-selling initiatives, improved cost structures as well as in the status of the roll-out of the joint IT platforms such as ERP and CRM in various countries. These applications are expected to strengthen local organizations by providing a seamless digital customer journey along the entire customer supply chain, thereby optimizing customer experience, business processes and increasing profitability.
AS EMEA overall expects no major changes in its business environment. Recently increased political and economic volatility, however, might negatively impact the overall market situation.
The segment expects growth in Europe driven by continued good demand in Central and Eastern Europe. In the Middle East, AS EMEA will re-direct its focus towards the project and solution business, where the outlook for growth is expected to be more promising.
In Scandinavia, ERP and CRM platforms are scheduled to go live in the second quarter of 2018/19 and are expected to contribute positively to the business performance in this fiscal year.
The segment will continue to focus on innovative, industry-specific access solutions to support customers in their business. For example, the segment gained a large order from a major European care provider for a customer-specific solution based on our TouchGo technology. TouchGo was developed for care and nursing homes. It utilizes the body's electrostatic energy to transmit access rights from an access medium which is placed in a pocket, belt or a wheelchair to the handle. User rights are then checked simply by touching the door handle.
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Financial year ended 30.06.2018
Financial year ended 30.06.2017
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