Herstal Group Plateaus in 2017 after five years continuous growth

The slowdown can be traced back to a fall in the US civilian arms market and a year in which the industrial climate has been notably strained. Nevertheless, Herstal Group is pushing ahead with its policy to expand its business portfolio and global stature.

Herstal, Wednesday 6th June 2018. The general shareholders’ meeting of Herstal S.A., holding company of the Herstal Group, approved the 2017 accounts on this day the 5th June.

After five consecutive years of growth, the 2017 financial year ended with turnover down 5% on 2016, a situation that can be attributed to two main drivers: firstly, a drop in the US civilian market following the presidential elections; secondly, industrial relations within the Group’s Belgian companies and their significant effect on end-of-year production and deliveries.

Despite these factors, Herstal Group maintained its consolidated turnover at 800.5 million euros in 2017.

The Group also finished the year with a net income of 25 million euros, down from 60 million in 2016. This performance is directly related to the industrial and economic backdrop that defined 2017, and to certain non-recurring charges.

Philippe Claessens, Chief Executive Officer of Herstal Group, states that: "We need to be more vigilant than ever in order to align 2018 with a positive trend. We have to do everything we can so that the 2017 financial year remains no more than a lull in the Group’s growth, one driven by the economic environment. We have to do this by pursuing the policy to expand our business portfolio and extend our global profile."

The Group is maintaining its strategic focus on investment, upgrading its manufacturing facilities, new product development, underpinning complementary fields and pushing towards technological change to support its growth policy and consolidate its position as a world leader in its two business sectors: Defence and Security via the FN Herstal brand and Hunting and Sports Shooting via Browning and Winchester, which account for 62% and 38% of turnover respectively. Investments totalled over 60 million euros in 2017 alone, an increase of almost 10% on 2016.

The Group is also continuing its transition as it rises to the challenges brought by its growth and the increasingly diverse business portfolio needed to ensure further expansion.

The General Shareholders’ Meeting decided to pay a 25 million euro dividend on the net profits for 2017.

The Herstal Group has its policy centre in Herstal and employs nearly 3,000 personnel worldwide in the USA, UK, Portugal, Finland, Dubai, Singapore and Japan. The company has continued to increase job numbers over recent years in Belgium, where it currently employs almost 1,500 personnel.
e 1.500 personnes.