BHS took another successful step forward in its American operations in the past year. The American subsidiary BauscherHepp, Inc. and the sales cooperation with the American drinking-glass producer Libbey, which distributes the Schönwald brand in the US market through its distribution channels, have both developed positively.
BHS thus recorded an 8.8 per cent increase in sales in the US market, rising from €15.9 million to €17.3 million.
In the United Kingdom, the Brexit discussions in the middle of last year led to significant market uncertainty, with the pound sterling going into decline. Consequently, overall revenue of the British subsidiary John Artis Ltd. was lower than in the previous year (€15 million compared to €16.8 million), wholly due to exchange rate effects. Adjusted for currency translation effects, Artis slightly increased its sales by 0.4 per cent compared to the previous year.High investment: next major project adopted
BHS made investments of €5.2 million in its operating sites in Schönwald, Weiden and Selb in the last financial year. The commissioning of a combined heat and power system (CHP) in Schönwald represented a milestone in terms of energy efficiency. An additional adornment automation system was acquired in Weiden in 2016, adding handles to up to 15,000 cups every day. In conjunction with the subsidiary company Tools & Technologies, the plant was further developed to ensure that it meets the high production standards required.
BHS will again provide major investment in the current business year, with the acquisition of a new annealing furnace in Schönwald. BHS is estimating an investment of €4.5 million for this project alone. The existing annealing furnace will be replaced by a new one by the end of the year, shortening furnace time and using considerably less energy. The new annealing furnace is designed for a burning capacity of up to 13 million units per year.
The company is planning investments totalling €8.8 million in 2017. Outlook: BHS remains cautiously confident
In light of the protectionist tendencies in the USA, the as yet unforeseeable consequences of Brexit and terrorist threats which continually impact travel patterns, forecasts are uncertain according to Christian Strootmann.
Christian Strootmann, CEO of BHS says:“The negative potential based on these geopolitical risks is high for the German economy as a whole. However, we feel that BHS has a very strong position and, in the case of stable conditions, we remain confident that we will continue to grow in 2017.”