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Strong Growth in a Challenging Environment

With sales growth of 9.0 percent in local currencies (2.7 percent in Swiss francs), the Hilti Group closed 2023 with turnover of more than CHF 6.5 billion. With this result, Hilti outperformed the market. Once more, the appreciation of the Swiss franc led to a significantly negative currency impact of 6.3 percentage points on sales. Nevertheless, the operating result grew at a considerably stronger rate, by 5.3 percent, and reached CHF 770 million. Despite economic and geopolitical uncertainties, Hilti significantly invested in its sales capacity, innovation and long-term projects within the corporate strategy Lead 2030. 

Photo: Hilti: Felix Hess

Despite economic and geopolitical uncertainties, Hilti significantly invested into its sales capacity, innovation and long-term projects of the corporate strategy Lead 2030.

Felix Hess, Member of the Executive Board


Net sales in CHF mill.

Net sales in CHF mill.

With sales growth of 9.0 percent in local currencies (2.7 percent in Swiss francs), the Hilti Group closed 2023 with turnover of more than CHF 6.5 billion.

Free cash flow in CHF mill.

359Free cash flow in CHF mill.

Free cash flow bounced back to CHF 359 million from negative CHF 147 million in 2022.

Net income in CHF mill.

560Net income in CHF mill.

Net income decreased by 0.9 percent to CHF 560 million, due to the significantly negative currency impact and a normalization of the Group tax rate.

At a regional level, Europe managed to close the year with sales growth of 8.7 percent in local currencies, primarily driven by the strong contribution from Southern Europe. The Americas region grew by 9.1 percent, while Asia/Pacific was at 13.8 percent. China recovered slowly from COVID-19 lockdowns, while the rest of the region achieved solid growth rates. The ongoing war in Ukraine had an impact on the entire Eastern Europe / Middle East / Africa region, resulting in growth of 3.1 percent.

In 2023, the Hilti Group completed the global rollout of Nuron, its new cordless power tools platform. In addition to the more than 70 tools launched in 2022, an additional 30 new tools were brought to the market in 2023. Expenditures for research and development reached CHF 454 million (+3.9%), equal to 7.0 percent of the Group’s sales. This underlines Hilti’s strong focus on innovation and differentiation.

Hilti continued to invest in productivity, safety and sustainability to drive the transformation of the construction industry. Following the acquisition of Fieldwire Inc. (USA) in 2021, Hilti acquired the 4PS Group in 2023, a Netherlands-based local market leader in developing and providing business management solutions to the construction industry.

As of the end of the year, the Hilti Group had 34,111 team members, an addition of 1624 (+5.0%) compared to the previous year.

The operating result increased by 5.3 percent to CHF 770 million while net income decreased by 0.9 percent to CHF 560 million, due to the significantly negative currency impact and a higher tax burden compared to 2022. Despite the inflation-induced cost increases combined with high investments in innovation and software, as well as the appreciation of the Swiss franc, the return on sales (ROS) improved by 0.3 percentage points, reaching 11.8 percent (2022: 11.5%). 

The Group’s capital employed grew by CHF 234 million to CHF 5.8 billion. The return on capital employed (ROCE) increased by 0.1 percentage points to 13.3 percent (2022: 13.2%).

Free cash flow bounced back to CHF 359 million from negative CHF 147 million in 2022. Also, the cash flow conversion (64.1%) recovered to Lead 2030’s long-term average target of 60 percent. Inventory normalization was the biggest contributor to the solid cash generation. 

The pronounced appreciation of the Swiss franc against all major currencies again led to a significantly negative currency impact of CHF 51 million on the operating result (2022: CHF -81 million).

The equity ratio of 59 percent (2022: 62%) continues to be considerably above the target level of 50 percent. Cash and cash equivalents were at CHF 0.9 billion (2022: CHF 1 billion). Reasons for the decline include the purchase price for the 4PS acquisition, the repayment of a corporate bond tranche and the successful placement of a new dual tranche Swiss-franc-based corporate bond. Additionally, the syndicated revolving stand-by credit facility of CHF 600 million was extended to 2027 and two sustainability key performance indexes were added. Given the Group’s solid results and overall healthy financial situation, the Board of Directors proposes the payout of an ordinary dividend of CHF 279 million for the 2023 financial year (2022: 281 million). 

Hilti has accelerated its efforts to create a positive impact towards the environment, people and society and voluntarily reports on an annual basis in line with the Global Reporting Initiative standards. By doing so, Hilti demonstrates the governance structure and the integration of sustainability into the corporate strategy and discloses the sustainability performance in the mentioned areas. 

The auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers AG, has provided limited assurance on the non-financial metrics of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), energy consumption and lost time incident rate since the reporting period 2021. In 2023, Hilti initiated a project to prepare for the mandatory qualitative and quantitative sustainability reporting required by the European Union’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) for the 2025 financial year report. In addition, a second project has been initiated in response to the European Union’s Taxonomy Regulation, as taxonomy disclosures will be part of the sustainability reporting. The focus of this project is to identify and quantify taxonomy-eligible and taxonomy-aligned economic activities of the Hilti Group. 

To complement the understanding of value creation and embrace a broader perspective that includes all stakeholders, a new metric called Value to Society will be introduced. This metric comprehensively assesses the contribution to the environment, people and society, all quantified in monetary terms. It will become a pivotal component in the value creation framework of the Hilti Group and will also be integrated into the performance management system in the future. This monetized impact valuation also provides valuable inputs in defining the material topics for the double materiality assessment under the CSRD. 

In 2023, Hilti achieved carbon neutrality in its own operations (Scope 1, 2 and business travel GHG emissions). This step marks an important milestone in the company’s efforts to combat climate change. Nonetheless, the Group recognizes the importance of addressing emissions beyond its own operations and has thus committed to establishing targets in accordance with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) during the last reporting period. The interim target is to reduce Scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions by approximately 30 percent by 2032, with the goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest.

Hilti 2023 Sustainability Report

Construction market forecasts point to a further softening with negative real growth in several geographic areas. The ongoing geopolitical tensions and the volatility in the financial markets will likely lead to a further appreciation of the Swiss franc and hence another year of significantly negative currency impacts. 

To live up to the Group’s purpose of “Making Construction Better”, Hilti will continuously invest in driving innovation in both hardware and software solutions and in building up its market reach resources.

In 2024, the Hilti Group expects mid-single-digit sales growth in local currencies and a similar ROS level in Swiss francs compared to 2023.

Financial Information

Key Figures

financial amounts in CHF million
Net sales6,3476,520
Depreciation and amortization(440)(476)
Operating result731770
Net income before tax668700
Net income565560
Return on capital employed (ROCE) in % (operating result)113.213.3
Return on equity (ROE) in % (net income)12.712.2
Return on sales (ROS) in %11.511.8
Free cash flow2(147)359
Balance sheet
Total equity4,5794,576
Total equity in % of total equity and liabilities6259
Total non-current liabilities1,1301,484
Total current liabilities1,7171,644
Capital expenditures on intangible assets and on property, plant and equipment445451
Intangible assets and property, plant and equipment2,3502,728
Other non-current assets1,5511,751
Total current assets3,5253,225
Total assets7,4267,704
Employees (as at December 31)32,48734,111
1 Capital employed is defined as the average of the total equity and interest-bearing liabilities of the last two years
2 In 2021, the Group decided to change the definition of free cash flow, excluding the cash flow from financial investments and disclosing it as a separate line item. Prior period figures were restated accordingly
3 As proposed by the Board of Directors

Consolidated Income Statement

in CHF million
Net sales6,3476,520
Other operating income184207
Total operating income6,5316,727
Material costs(1,767)(1,720)
Personnel expenses(2,710)(2,852)
Depreciation and amortization(440)(476)
Losses on trade and other receivables(39)(47)
Other operating expenses(1,052)(1,083)
Capitalized costs208221
Total operating expenses(5,800)(5,957)
Operating result731770
Other income and expenses (net)(12)(32)
Finance costs(51)(38)
Net income before income tax expenses668700
Income tax expenses(103)(140)
Net income565560
Attributable to:  
Equity holders of the parent561557
Non-controlling interests43

Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income

in CHF million
Net income565560
Net movement on cash flow hedges, net of taxes(4)(1)
Foreign currency translation differences, net of taxes(91)(201)
Items that may be subsequently reclassified to the income statement(95)(202)
Remeasurements on employee benefits, net of taxes152(80)
Items that will never be reclassified to the income statement152(80)
Other comprehensive income (OCI)57(282)
Total comprehensive income622278
Attributable to:  
Equity holders of the parent618277
Non-controlling interests41

Consolidated Balance Sheet

in CHF million
Property, plant and equipment1,0661,115
Right of use assets418438
Intangible assets1,2841,613
Deferred income tax assets185175
Other financial assets2228
Other assets55
Trade and other receivables9211,105
Total non-current assets3,9014,479
Trade and other receivables1,3711,408
Accrued income and prepaid expenses117107
Other financial assets8746
Cash and cash equivalents991886
Total current assets3,5253,225
Total assets7,4267,704
Equity and liabilities
in CHF million
Non-controlling interests1415
Equity attributable to equity holders of the parent4,5654,561
Total equity4,5794,576
Employee benefits162238
Deferred income tax liabilities198245
Trade and other payables2722
Other financial liabilities704930
Other liabilities3949
Total non-current liabilities1,1301,484
Employee benefits1628
Trade and other payables661630
Accrued expenses536561
Other financial liabilities436339
Other liabilities6886
Total current liabilities1,7171,644
Total liabilities2,8473,128
Total equity and liabilities7,4267,704

Consolidated Statement of Changes in Equity

in CHF million
to equity holders of
the parent
Total equity
Equity at January 1, 202312717(669)25,0884,565144,579
Net income recognized in income statement5575573560
Other comprehensive income        
Cash flow hedges(1)(1)(1)
Remeasurements on employee benefits(80)(80)(80)
Foreign currency translation differences(199)(199)(2)(201)
Total other comprehensive income(199)(1)(80)(280)(2)(282)
Total comprehensive income(199)(1)4772771278
Dividend paid(281)(281)(281)
Equity at December 31, 202312717(868)15,2844,561154,576
Equity at January 1, 202212717(578)64,7124,284104,294
Net income recognized in income statement5615614565
Other comprehensive income        
Cash flow hedges(4)(4)(4)
Remeasurements on employee benefits152152152
Foreign currency translation differences(91)(91)(91)
Total other comprehensive income(91)(4)1525757
Total comprehensive income(91)(4)7136184622
Dividend paid(337)(337)(337)
Equity at December 31, 202212717(669)25,0884,565144,579

Consolidated Cash Flow Statement

in CHF million
Operating result731770
Depreciation and amortization440476
Interest received512
Interest paid(51)(39)
Income tax paid(145)(131)
(Increase)/decrease in inventories(221)142
(Increase)/decrease in trade receivables(52)(46)
(Increase)/decrease in finance lease receivables(211)(303)
Increase/(decrease) in trade payables(2)(19)
Increase/(decrease) in contract liabilities7(2)
Non-cash items(50)25
Change in other net operating assets(22)49
Cash flow from operating activities429934
Capital expenditure on intangible assets(222)(227)
Capital expenditure on property, plant and equipment(223)(224)
Acquisition of subsidiaries(300)
(Increase)/decrease in financial investments15944
Disposal of intangible assets1
Disposal of property, plant and equipment79
Cash flow from investing activities(279)(697)
Proceeds from long-term borrowings359
Repayment of long-term borrowings(4)(4)
Payment of lease liabilities(138)(134)
Proceeds from (repayment of) short-term borrowings71(89)
Proceeds from issuance of bonds249
Repayment of bonds(100)
Increase/(decrease) in liability to shareholder1
Dividend paid(337)(281)
Cash flow from financing activities(405)(299)
Exchange differences(18)(43)
Total increase/(decrease) in cash and cash equivalents(273)(105)
Cash and cash equivalents at January 11,264991
Cash and cash equivalents at December 31991886

2023 Sales Growth

Sales Growth
financial amounts in CHF million
 20222023Change in CHF (%)Change in local currencies (%)
Europe excl. Eastern Europe3,2013,3514.78.7
Asia / Pacific7637913.713.8
Eastern Europe / Middle East / Africa542504(7.0)3.1
Total Group6,3476,5202.79.0