The Board of Directors proposes to the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders the payment of a dividend of CHF 2.60 per share (CHF 1.70 in 2016).
The group started 2017 with a lower machine backlog than the year before and order entries during 2017 have been higher than in the previous year for both of the machinery Business Units and particularly for Business Unit Sheet-fed. Globally, order entries increased by nearly 17% compared to the previous year, driven by very high activity in Europe. The Americas, Asia and Africa remained stable. The Group finished the reporting year with a more than 20% higher machine backlog than in 2016.
Sales of Sheet-fed products increased by 4.4% to CHF 745 million ($794 million). This growth was once more driven by a very strong demand for products for the corrugated industry. The demand for products for the folding carton industry remained stable. Sales of Web-fed products increased by 6.9%, reaching CHF 330 million ($352 million) for 2017. The growth came mainly from gravure printing and coating equipment.