The Swiss cabling specialist R&M ended the 2014 financial year with a significant increase in turnover of 7.3%. The family company, based in Wetzikon, achieved a turnover of CHF 211.7 million, and the EBIT margin rose from 2.5% to 4.3%. "The positive increase in turnover and profits confirm that in operative terms, we are on the right track. The optimization measures we have implemented since 2012 are showing their effect", said CEO Michel Riva, on submission of the financial report (please see link to the PDF at the end of the document).
The targeted investments in the international sales organizations, optimized sales processes, and the introduction of competitive and innovative products with high customer benefit led to strong growth in the financial year. R&M saw faster growth than the industry in all three strategic market segments. R&M experienced the strongest increase in the fast-growing data center market and in the public broadband network area. In total, turnover in the Asia-Pacific and Europe regions increased the most, at more than 20% and just under 10% respectively. R&M generated over 70% of turnover and around 90% of growth outside Switzerland.
The strengthening of the production plants in Bulgaria, Poland, Dubai, and India, the successful implementation of various efficiency-increasing measures and the consistent application of lean management principles in all production plants have also contributed significantly to improving the operative results.
The company Advanced Fiber Systems, acquired in March 2014 in India, was successfully integrated and further expanded. R&M is now able to participate in the growing telecommunications market in India, which has already enabled the first large project successes to be achieved.
Despite the operative improvements, the prospects for the 2015 financial year have been greatly affected by the strong appreciation of the Swiss franc. In order to remain competitive, R&M is launching a comprehensive cost reduction program at their headquarters in Switzerland. This also includes further transfer of various activities to the locations in Bulgaria and Poland. These measures will lead to the reduction of around 50 of the 325 jobs in Wetzikon in the coming months. The employees have been informed of this decision. A severance program has been created together with the workers’ representation in order to alleviate the effects of the layoff for the employees concerned.
The company deeply regrets these staff losses, but is convinced that this step is essential to re-strengthen R&M's market position following the appreciation of the Swiss franc and to ensure the continuation of the international growth strategy.