UZWIL, SWITZERLAND — Bühler said in its 2022 annual report that it has largely returned to pre-pandemic business levels with a 10.3% turnover increase and a 35.7% boost in net profit.

At the group level, the Uzwil, Switzerland-based business said order intake rose 8.7% to CHF 3.3 billion ($3.58 billion), while turnover increased to CHF 3 billion. Net profit increased to CHF 154 million, up from CHF 113 million a year ago.

During the year, Bühler said it was able to mitigate effects of the war in Ukraine, tense supply chains, and soaring energy and raw material prices, while further improving its financial position with a high equity ratio and repaying the first tranche of its bond. The company continued to invest in innovation, new partnerships, and education and training.

“The impressive dedication of our employees worldwide helped us to be agile, resilient, and creative, even in the face of increasing volatility and uncertainties,” said Stefan Scheiber, chief executive officer of Bühler.

The growth in volume came mainly from the Advanced Materials business, where order intake increased by 41% to CHF 871 million, nearly doubling its volume within the last two years.

The largest business, Grains & Food, which had been particularly impacted by disrupted supply chains and a slow feed market in China, showed a solid performance.

Order intake for the segment was down 6.5%, while turnover grew by 2.6%, and with this managed to keep business very stable through the years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, the Consumer Foods business continued its recovery with strong order intake growth of 22% to CHF 710 million, and turnover growth of 14% to CHF 578 million.

Bühler said it will integrate its Consumer Foods segment into the Grains & Food segment to strengthen its focus on its service offerings for the whole group. Harmonizing the food and feed segment will allow for more direct interfaces to customers and increase the efficiency of processes, the company said.

It will be led by Johannes Wick, CEO of Grains & Food. Germar Wacker, who headed the Consumer Foods segment, will take up new opportunities outside of Bühler. He will support Wick in the transition and leave the company at the end of the first quarter.

Expenses for research and development (R&D) remained stable at CHF 141 million (4.7% of turnover). In 2022, Bühler entered into several joint ventures and partnerships that will facilitate the transition toward more efficient food and feed production and accelerate the transformation toward sustainable mobility.

To strengthen its training offerings, Bühler also announced plans to build a new Grain Innovation Center, where customers and partners will develop, test, and scale sustainable and efficient solutions for grain- and feed-processing, to improve performance of lines and systems, and to continue innovating for the food- and feed-customers globally.

Bühler said it is starting 2023 with a solid financial position and high carryover of orders.

“Overall, we are convinced that Bühler is well prepared to take another positive step in developing the business successfully in 2023, even in a very dynamic market environment,” Scheiber said.