During the first half of 2016, consolidated sales amounted to CHF 600.4 million, representing an increase of CHF 75.7 million, or +14.4%, compared with the same period in 2015. This evolution was mainly driven by a good backlog at the beginning of the year and an overall good level of activity. Volume and price variances had a positive impact of CHF 46.7 million, or +8.9%. An improvement of CHF 14.9 million, or +2.8%, came from the full impact of the Nuova Gidue acquisition, which only affected one month in the first half-year 2015.
The favorable exchange rate evolution, due to the conversion of foreign currencies for consolidation, accounted for CHF +10.8 million, or +2.1%, and the transactional impact on sales volume from our Swiss operations accounted for CHF +3.3 million, or +0.6%.
The operating result (EBIT) reached CHF 18.0 million, compared with CHF 14.7 million for the same period in 2015. The increase in the operating result (EBIT) was mainly due to the positive contribution from higher sales. This improvement was partly offset by higher costs, particularly for the launch of new products and for exhibitions.
The net result reached CHF 9.7 million, compared to CHF 14.8 million in 2015. Financial expenses reduced further in the reporting year, but the Group had a one-time CHF 8.1 million positive tax effect in 2015 which did not occur in 2016.
The Group expects to see continued strong demand in Europe and North America. Asia should further improve, but demand in South America will remain low due to a slow economy. Most of the handshakes from drupa will transform into orders in the third quarter, which will lead to a very busy second half of 2016 in nearly all plants.
Due to the strength of business in the first half-year, at current exchange rates and barring unforeseen circumstances, the Group is confident of achieving full year sales of CHF 1.35 to 1.40 billion in 2016.