The Wipf Group overcomes the Corona crisis
Venturing a look into the future a year ago, we did not anticipate how incisively the Covid-19 pandemic would impact the financial year ahead of us. The pandemic shook elementary pillars of our society and confronted us with hitherto unknown breaking points. The lockdown periods and the uncertainties were endurance tests for our customary living and working norms and at the same time illustrated the extent of human resilience. More than ever, adaptability has become a benchmark and suc-cess factor for businesses. For us, adaptability means swift response to change, to innovation, to instability, and also to incisive external events. Overall, we suc-ceeded on all counts in the year under review.
Although the Wipf Group – after years of growth – had to absorb a decline in sales by 4.6% to CHF 161 million (PY 169 million), it posted an income gain despite the crisis.
The economic scenario
The Corona pandemic is still influencing the global econ-omy. But except for the hospitality, event, and culture segments, the Swiss economy is already back on track to recovery, even though uncertainties with respect to the Corona situation persist.
Review of financial 2020/2021
The crisis impacted sales and earnings as well as the results of the Wipf Group’s individual companies in dif-ferent ways. One positive factor is the EBITDA trend which improved despite the difficult economic situa-tion. Net income of the Wipf Group closed significantly over prior year. Participations dependent on the adver-tising market that were acquired in earlier financial years once again imposed a burden on the operating result. Goodwill writeoffs on these acquisitions encumbered the result. Investments in fixed assets amounted to CHF 7.0 million (PY CHF 10.9 million) and were wholly financed internally thanks to high cash flows from oper-ating activities. Net financial assets increased in the year under review. The equity ratio closed at a solid 57.9%. The head count declined slightly with now 576 employees (PY 590).
Outlook for financial 2021/2022
While postal mail volumes in Switzerland are still shrink-ing, existing online activities handled by Flyerline Schweiz AG, Stickerella, and Karten4you continue to grow. The new www.myelco.ch online shop operated by Elco AG was able to benefit from the lockdown and showed a reassuring trend.
In the domain of Digital Services and Direct Marketing, we expect a tendentially slow recovery of the advertising market in the project business, which is why we adjust-ed our cost structure.
The foreign investment RC-Film Co. Ltd. (joint venture 50/50%) in Thailand attained the expected advance in sales by 30%. Despite the crisis, RC-Film Co. Ltd. posted its first positive full-year contribution to the result; this justifies an optimistic look to the future.
Further information on fiscal year 2020/2021 can be found in our Annual Report.