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Packaging equipment: OYSTAR back in the black

OYSTAR has finished the first half of fiscal 2010 with a profit. Incoming orders totaling EUR 214 million have boosted the order book to 11 percent above the level at same time last year, and sales are 10 percent up on first half of 2009 at EUR 198 million.

“The good results are directly attributable to our restructuring program and to the sales offensive that started just under a year ago“, says OYSTAR CEO Tom Graf. No significant growth is expected for this year. “But we have stopped the downward trend and successfully completed the first phase of the restructuring program“, he adds. There has also been a big improvement in relative profitability: “Although we’re not going to hit the record sales level reported in 2008, the good news is that this year’s bottom line is already showing higher earnings than in 2008.“

In 2009, OYSTAR was forced to cut back its production capacity following the slump in demand for packaging machines caused by the economic crisis. But it used this as an opportunity to thoroughly restructure the group, which had undergone major growth through acquisitions over recent years. OYSTAR has now condensed the 14 different subsidiaries formerly operating within the group into four Business Units (Food, Dairy, Consumer und Pharma).

On the sales side, profit centers with clear responsibilities have been formed for each product group. Internal organization and procedures have been tightened up significantly and big cost-saving potentials have been realized in the field of procurement. “It has even proved possible to beat the planning targets that we set ourselves in the restructuring program for the first half of 2010“, underlines Group COO Markus Ehl.

The mood in the packaging machine sector is now starting to brighten up, not only in Germany but internationally as well. OYSTAR is expecting to see further growth, especially in emerging markets, and it is focusing its attention on these countries. For some years now OYSTAR has been developing machines specially designed to cater for the needs of threshold economies, and this has helped build up the very successful business now being done by the group in India, Thailand, China and South America. Foreign markets now account for 86 percent of the OYSTAR Group’s total sales.

Graf emphasizes that the restructuring program is not yet completed. “Not only do we want to steer OYSTAR safely through the crisis, we are also getting it into good shape for the period after that. Right now we’re working on a growth-based corporate strategy for the year 2015“, he explains. “And if we keep up the excellent progress on our restructuring program to date, we’re definitely on the right course.”

SOURCE: OYSTAR Group

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