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Financial Performance

Strong Recovery with Double-Digit Growth

With a net sales increase of 12.1 percent in Swiss francs and a turnover of nearly CHF 6 billion, the Hilti Group closed 2021 with disproportionate operating result growth (+16.3%) amounting to CHF 847 million. The double-digit sales increase is the result of the continued focus on the implementation of the Champion 2020 strategy and brings the Group back to the pre-COVID-19 sales level.


5978Net Sales in CHF mill.

The double-digit sales increase of 12.1% brings the Group back to the pre-COVID-19 sales level

377Free Cash Flow in CHF mill.

Despite the higher net income, the rebound of the main net working capital positions, combined with higher capital expenditure, led to lower free cash flow compared to 2020

675Net Income in CHF mill.

The net profit increased disproportionately by 27.1% and reached an all-time high of CHF 675 mill.

The recovery was pronounced in the first six months, with growth of 16.2 percent in Swiss francs compared to reduced sales in the first half of 2020 and reflects a full catch-up to the pre-crisis net sales level of June 2019. For the full year, net sales were approximately 1 percent above the pre-crisis level of 2019 in Swiss francs and 7 percent in local currencies.

All regions contributed to the recovery in local currencies: Growth rates between 10 and 25 percent were achieved in the European regions, and 36 percent in Latin America, whereas North America and Asia each contributed growth of 9 percent. All these regions also grew compared to 2019. The Middle East/Africa region did not fully recover to the pre-crisis level with growth of 4 percent in 2021. Currencies were overall fairly stable in 2021 and hence the currency impact on Group sales was negligible compared to 2020.

In 2021, the Hilti Group once again launched an impressive number of 66 new products and services on the market. Expenditure for research and development reached CHF 373 million, equal to 6.2 percent of net sales. This investment is double the amount spent at the beginning of the Champion 2020 strategy back in 2013 (CHF 189 million) and highlights the Group’s strong focus on differentiation in its offering.

With the additional expansion of integrated solutions combining products, software and services, Hilti continues to provide leading innovations to help customers design better buildings, work more productively, increase the health protection and safety of their employees, and thereby enjoy greater success. An important step in this direction was the successful acquisition of Fieldwire Inc. (USA), a San Francisco-based construction software company focusing on real-time information sharing for more effective jobsite management.

Regarding the number of employees, the temporary hiring slowdown in 2020 was followed by a significant expansion of the team to a total of 31,115 employees (+5.3%) per end of 2021.

Both the operating result and the net profit increased disproportionately, by 16.3 and 27.1 percent, respectively, and reached an all-time high of CHF 847 million (2020: CHF 728 million) and CHF 675 million (2020: CHF 531 million). Despite the cost rebound and the increase in raw material and transport prices, the relative profitability (ROS) grew slightly and reached 14.2 percent (2020: 13.7%). Consequently, the return on capital employed (ROCE) recovered by 0.7 percentage points to 17.1 percent (2020: 16.4%). Both ROS and ROCE continued to reside in or above the upper end of the strategic target corridors of 10-12 and 15-20 percent, respectively.

Free cash flow reached CHF 377 million (2020: CHF 463 million) leading to a cash flow conversion close to 56 percent. Despite the higher net income, the rebound of the main net working capital positions, combined with higher capital expenditure, led to lower free cash flow compared to 2020.

The fairly stable currencies – on a sales weighted average basis – had a moderately negative impact of CHF 11 million on the operating result (2020: CHF -61 million).

The equity ratio was 4 percentage points above the previous year and reached a level of 57 percent. Despite the purchase price payment for the Fieldwire acquisition, the total cash position has increased to CHF 1.3 billion (2020: CHF 1.1 billion). It should be highlighted that the shareholder waived the 2020 dividend (usually paid out in April 2021) despite the very solid balance sheet and liquidity situation of the Group. This action emphasizes the shareholder's commitment to the successful long-term development of the company.

As part of the Group’s refinancing strategy, Hilti entered into a five-year syndicated stand-by facility of CHF 600 million in December 2021 with its core banks.

Based on the business result, the Board of Directors proposes an ordinary dividend payout of CHF 337 million for the 2021 financial year.

The worldwide construction industry forecasts point towards a favorable business environment in 2022. There are, however, significant uncertainties due to the escalation in Ukraine, ongoing cost increases and challenges in the sourcing and logistic markets, the substantial appreciation of the Swiss franc and the uncertain progress of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, the Group remains dedicated to its strategic targets and will take advantage of its very solid financial position to continue to invest significantly into innovative, integrated solutions and the digitalization of company processes. In particular, it will also strongly invest into expanding its construction software business. In 2022, the Hilti Group anticipates double-digit sales growth and a profitability of 2-3 percentage points below the 2021 level.

Financial Information

Key Figures

financial amounts in CHF million
Net sales5,3325,978
Depreciation and amortization395412
Operating result728847
Net income before tax652805
Net income531675
Return on capital employed (RoCE) in % (operating result)116.417.1
Return on equity (RoE) in % (net income)15.717.4
Return on sales (RoS) in %13.714.2
Free cash flow2463377
Balance sheet
Total equity3,4724,294
Total equity in % of total equity and liabilities5357
Total non-current liabilities1,6731,470
Total current liabilities1,4011,705
Capital expenditures on intangible assets and on property, plant and equipment345401
Intangible assets and property, plant and equipment1,9022,250
Other non-current assets1,3741,486
Total current assets3,2703,733
Total assets6,5467,469
Employees (as at December 31)29,54931,115
1 Capital employed is defined as the average of the total equity and interest-bearing liabilities of the last two years.
2 Free cash flow definition changed in 2021 and prior period figures were restated.
3 As proposed by the Board of Directors.

Consolidated Income Statement

in CHF million
Net sales5,3325,978
Other operating income150170
Total operating income5,4826,148
Material costs(1,445)(1,570)
Personnel expenses(2,282)(2,602)
Depreciation and amortization(395)(412)
Losses on trade and other receivables(53)(30)
Other operating expenses1(757)(884)
Capitalized costs1178197
Total operating expenses(4,754)(5,301)
Operating result728847
Other income and expenses (net)(29)3
Finance costs(47)(45)
Net income before income tax expenses652805
Income tax expenses(121)(130)
Net income531675
Attributable to:  
Equity holders of the parent530673
Non-controlling interests12
1 Prior period figures were restated.

Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income

in CHF million
Net income531675
Net movement on cash flow hedges (incl. deferred tax)(2)3
Foreign currency translation differences (incl. deferred tax)(57)(40)
Items that may be subsequently reclassified to the income statement(59)(37)
Remeasurements on employee benefits (incl. deferred tax)17184
Items that will never be reclassified to the income statement17184
Other comprehensive income (OCI)(42)147
Total comprehensive income489822
Attributable to:  
Equity holders of the parent489820
Non-controlling interests2

Consolidated Balance Sheet

in CHF million
Property, plant and equipment960995
Right of use assets423432
Intangible assets9421,255
Deferred income tax assets134162
Other financial assets2323
Other assets45
Trade and other receivables790864
Total non-current assets3,2763,736
Trade and other receivables1,2551,370
Accrued income and prepaid expenses6497
Other financial assets1310246
Cash and cash equivalents11,0531,264
Total current assets3,2703,733
Total assets6,5467,469
Equity and liabilities
in CHF million
Non-controlling interests810
Equity attributable to equity holders of the parent3,4644,284
Total equity3,4724,294
Employee benefits614358
Deferred income tax liabilities124165
Trade and other payables1828
Other financial liabilities824821
Other liabilities9398
Total non-current liabilities1,6731,470
Employee benefits869
Trade and other payables576680
Accrued liabilities and deferred income438570
Other financial liabilities263260
Other liabilities116126
Total current liabilities1,4011,705
Total liabilities3,0743,175
Total equity and liabilities6,5467,469
1 Prior period figures were restated.

Consolidated Cash Flow Statement

in CHF million
Operating result728847
Depreciation and amortization395412
Interest received33
Interest paid(48)(45)
Income tax paid(122)(131)
(Increase)/decrease in inventories29(170)
(Increase)/decrease in trade receivables32(63)
(Increase)/decrease in finance lease receivables(81)(154)
Increase/(decrease) in trade payables(6)74
Increase/(decrease) in contract liabilities5
Change in non-cash items(28)34
Change in other net operating assets3284
Cash flow from operating activities934896
Capital expenditure on intangible assets(194)(211)
Capital expenditure on property, plant and equipment(151)(190)
Acquisition of subsidiaries(227)
(Increase)/decrease in financial investments1(284)71
Disposal of intangible assets1
Disposal of property, plant and equipment624
Cash flow from investing activities1(623)(532)
Proceeds from long-term borrowings346
Repayment of long-term borrowings(46)
Payment of lease liabilities(132)(143)
Proceeds from (repayment of) short-term borrowings(76)(3)
Proceeds from issuance of bonds150
Increase/(decrease) in liability to shareholder(1)
Dividend paid(294)
Cash flow from financing activities(364)(141)
Exchange differences(8)(12)
Total increase/(decrease) in cash and cash equivalents1(61)211
Cash and cash equivalents at January 11,1141,053
Cash and cash equivalents at December 3111,0531,264
1 Prior period figures were restated.

2021 Sales Growth

Sales Growth 
financial amounts in CHF million 
 20202021Change in CHF (%)Change in local currencies (%) 
Europe excl. Eastern Europe2,7183,12815.1%13.8% 
Eastern Europe/Middle East/Africa5395929.8%12.3% 
Hilti Group5,3325,97812.1%12.2%