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Walter Meier increases sales by 11.9 per cent thanks to acquisitions

Walter Meier increased its net sales to CHF 717.8m in 2012 (£509m) representing growth of 11.9 per cent on the CHF 641.7m (£455m) recorded in the previous year.

The Group Division Humidification & Evaporative Cooling achieved the largest increase in net sales by some margin, at 64 per cent, but this is almost exclusively due to the acquisition of the American evaporative cooling specialist Port-A-Cool, the company stated.

In spite of faltering growth in the Swiss metalworking industry, the Group Division Machining Solutions was able to largely maintain its result from the previous year and finished the financial year with a slight decrease in sales of 2 per cent.

On the balance sheet date, total assets had increased from CHF 355.8m (£253m) to CHF 410.2m (£291m), primarily due to the acquisitions of Port-A-Cool and the MWH Barcol-Air Group, the company reported.

The high outflows of funds required for investments in the Group Divisions Humidification & Evaporative Cooling and Climate were not completely offset by increased cash inflows from operating activities, it added. Funds tied up in operating assets also increased compared to the previous year as a result of the acquisitions.

Acquisitions were primarily responsible for the increase in the number of employees, which rose by 391 at the end of 2011 to 2,018 (full-time equivalents).

Provided that the general economic situation in the two core markets of Switzerland and the US does not deteriorate significantly, Walter Meier expects further sales growth for the current year, although not quite to the extent achieved in 2012.

This sales forecast is based primarily on the effect of the full-year consolidation of the business units acquired over the course of 2012.

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