VAT weathers down cycle and continues to build leading market share
VAT Group reported lower net sales, EBITDA and net income in 2019, in line with the company’s expectations communicated early in the year. The decrease resulted from the cyclical market downturn that started in the second half of 2018 when customers, mainly in the semiconductor-related businesses, reduced investments in new capacity after two years of strong growth. Despite the challenging market conditions, VAT continued to focus on technology innovation, investing more than CHF 30 million, or 6% of net sales, into research and development. VAT also expanded ist market share across all industries to 50%, the sixth year in a row of market share growth. At the same time, VAT focused on internal measures to improve its operational efficiency and costs, allowing it to post an EBITDA margin well above historical trough levels and to generate record free cash flow, despite the lower top line results.