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Gurit Q1 2021 sales results indicate decline in lightweighting business

Composite Materials and Kitting negatively impacted by slowdown in China and reduced material pricing. Marine and industrial recover to pre-COVID-19 levels, aerospace stabilizes at low levels.
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Unsplash image of a wind turbine blade.

Photo Credit: Gonz DDL

On April 14, Gurit (Zurich, Switzerland) reported unaudited sales results for the first quarter of 2021. Net sales for this period were 127.7 million Swiss Francs ($138.2 million) which is a decline of -4.8% at constant exchange rates or -5.2% in reported Swiss Francs versus prior year. Sales in the lightweighting business declined mainly due to the aerospace business, while marine and industrial has recovered to pre-COVID-19 levels. The wind business overall was flat and benefited from strong results in Tooling.

Gurit says net sales in the first quarter were impacted by a temporarily reduced demand for wind blades in China in 2021 — a result of the expiry of the Chinese wind feed-in tariffs by year-end 2020 — as well as decreasing balsa raw material costs and corresponding lower sales prices. The marine and industrial markets have rebounded to pre-COVID-19 levels and aerospace has stabilized at low levels.

Composite Materials achieved net sales of 59.8 million Swiss Francs ($64.7 million) for the first quarter of 2021. This represents a decrease of -9.8% at constant exchange rates compared to the first quarter of 2020. The decrease is mainly due to wind volumes in China and reduced prices in balsa, while marine and industrial markets are back to pre-pandemic levels.

Kitting recorded net sales of 43.0 million Swiss Francs ($46.5 million) for the first quarter of 2021. This is a decrease of -9.5% at constant exchange rates compared to the first quarter of the prior year. Kitting net sales were also negatively impacted compared to prior year due to the slowdown in China and lower material pricing.

Tooling saw an increase in first quarter 2021 net sales by 57.7% at constant exchange rates compared to the first quarter of 2020 to 30.6 million Swiss Francs ( $33.1 million). The strong growth is mainly due to the timing of orders of western wind turbine OEMs and blade manufacturers. 

Aerospace net sales in the first quarter of 2021 of 6.6 million Swiss Francs ($7.1 million) declined by -51.5% at constant exchange rates compared to the first quarter of 2020. While the industry faces a sharp decline compared to prior year’s pre-COVID-19 levels, Gurit says sales have stabilized at a low level and necessary cost adjustments have been executed.

For the year 2021, Gurit expects a revenue of around 530–580 million Swiss Francs ($573-$628 million) and an operating profit margin between 9–11%. After the transition year 2021 the company also expects the wind market to continue to grow strongly, driven by increased demand for renewable energy.   

 

 First Quarter

   

 Net Sales (in mCHF) 

 2020

2021

Change in reported CHF 

Change at constant 2020 rates

 Composite Materials

 59.8

66.2

 -9.6%

 -9.8%

 Kitting

 43.0

48.1

 -10.6%

-9.5%

 Tooling

 30.6

19.5

 57.4%

57.7%

 Aerospace

 6.6

13.4

-50.7%

-51.5%

Elimination

-12.3

-12.4

   

Total Continued Operations

127.7

134.7

-5.2%

-4.8%

Composite Components
(Discontinued Operations)

0.0

1.4

-100.0%

-100.0%

Total Group

127.7

136.1

-6.2%

-5.8%

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