Strategic refocusing and the divestiture of the systems business marked EBT’s fiscal year. Sales fell by 32.2% to CHF 20.0 million (prior year: CHF 29.5 million). The EBITDA loss rose to CHF 20.2 million (prior year: loss of CHF 16.2 million) on one-time costs.
The results of the previous years’ investments in the renewal of the product portfolio of the large-systems business in Davenport, Iowa, USA, as well as restructuring measures, did not meet expectations. The Comet Group therefore decided to realign the ebeam business and divest the loss-making manufacturer of customized systems in Davenport. The divestiture was completed more rapidly and with a slightly lower impact on net income than expected, thanks to the transfer to a local technology group that took over the operational business, the great majority of the employees, and the obligations to customers.
Going forward, the division will focus on the OEM components and modules business, which promises long-term success and allows industrial processes to be made more eco-friendly and productive. EBT is placing these activities on a new and attractive footing. It will eliminate current losses in the near future, is raising operational excellence and lowering costs in the continuing business.
The Group sees attractive medium-term opportunities for the continuing business to grow and generate value by scaling existing capabilities in related and new applications. Comet is working on innovative solutions with partners such as Tetra Pak, Bühler and Skan, and made significant progress in this area in 2018. Thus, Bühler presented its first system for the inactivation of bacteria on granular foods. Field tests of the corresponding application for hatching eggs yielded positive results. For 2019 the ebeam business is projected to post sales of approximately CHF 15 million with an EBITDA loss of not more than CHF 5 million.
Development and production of compact ebeam components and modules for the resource-efficient, chemical-free treatment of surfaces and materials.
– Compact, sealed ebeam components and modules with a long service life
– EBLabs (flexible lab equipment for testing of ebeam applications at universities and research institutions)
Innovative, efficient and eco-friendly technology for sterilizing food packaging and pharmaceutical packaging and for bacterial inactivation on food and on hatching eggs.
Systems manufacturers in the packaging, food and pharmaceutical industries, producers of hatching eggs, and universities and research institutions.