Industrial X-Ray Modules
With growth in all markets and regions and a vigorous surge in its security inspection business, sales of the IXM segment rose by 13% to CHF 78.8 million. Operating earnings (EBITDA) advanced by 9% to CHF 18.0 million – even as IXM invested as planned in the expansion of the security inspection business and in the forward strategy with the launch of the new iVario™ generator platform.
Helped by the recovery in the manufacturing and energy sector, the Industrial X-Ray Modules segment saw moderate sales growth of 5.8% in the core business of non-destructive testing. This still surpassed the market's rate of growth and allowed the business to further cement its position as technology leader and development partner. The strongest growth for IXM came in the security sector. With its highly reliable x-ray sources tailored to the various specific market needs, IXM delivered volume growth of almost 45% in this market segment. Development projects with customers also made strides. As a result of the higher volume and successful measures to raise productivity, IXM improved its profitability. As this gain was, however, more than offset by currency impacts and a negative effect from the change-over of the defined-benefit pension plans in Switzerland to a fully insured model, the EBITDA margin eased slightly to 22.8% (prior year: 23.7%).
Growth in all regions – strong expansion in Asia
IXM generated growth in Europe (its core region) both in non-destructive testing and in security inspection. Meanwhile, business in the USA expanded faster than the market, primarily in the security space. In Asia the pronounced volume growth was achieved mainly with customers in the market for non-destructive testing, thanks to a general recovery in the market.
Addressing new customers and markets
IXM passed an important milestone in its strategy with the launch of and first orders for the new IoT-capable iVario™ family of generators. As part of the digitalization of products and services, the segment also carried out a successful pilot project for predictive maintenance of portable x-ray systems.
As the market leader, the segment is continually working on the development of new products and applications, with the clear goal of further expanding its customer base. By adding more staff to its marketing and sales organization and dividing it into the three departments of business development, sales, and marketing, IXM towards the end of the fiscal year intensified its focus on new customers and the development of new markets.