Gurit adds that a drop in wind energy sales volumes had a negative impact on the operating profit, which was also impacted by price decreases in the wind market, some production inefficiencies and CHF 1.4 million net impairment charges triggered mainly by the implementation of the new PVC core material strategy. Rigorous cost containment efforts has kept the business profitable. Gurit achieved an operating profit of CHF 6.5 million or 2.3% of sales and reports net profit of CHF 0.1 million for the full year 2013.

Gurit says it is continuing its transformation into a Composite Materials and a Composite Systems and Engineering Group. The strong double digit sales growth and margin improvements in all end markets of the Composite Systems and Engineering business and additional materials sales to industrial and marine customers could, however, not compensate for the 43% decline in materials sales to wind energy customers.

Gurit Composite Materials sales decreased by 26.7% to CHF 227.3 million. Sales to the wind energy industry suffered heavily from the delayed tax credit renewal in the USA at the beginning of the year, but also from the ongoing low demand for glass fibre prepreg in Europe. In contrast, sales to the industrial and marine markets developed successfully – predominantly supported by significant sales for civil construction and military boat applications.

Gurit Composite Systems and Engineering continued to develop its activities in 2013 and achieved 31.9% higher revenues of CHF 53.8 million. The sales generated in the fourth quarter reached a new high with CHF 16.9 million. Gurit’s automotive exterior component business grew by 24.1% year-over-year. Sales in engineered structures increased by 60.5% due to large deliveries of composite components for buses. Sales of tooling equipment increased by 31.3% over 2012, driven mainly by large deliveries to non-Chinese customers in the second half of 2013.