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Successfully defending our profitability despite a challenging beauty market

Applicator Systems’ operational profitability (opROSA) remained robust at 21.0% despite a challenging beauty market. Order intake, sales and operational EBITA decreased in 2019. Whilst the beauty segment is adapting to market shifts, the adhesives, dental and healthcare segment performed well. Sulzer appointed Girts Cimermans as the new Division President Applicator Systems and member of the Executive Committee.

New Division President Girts Cimermans

As of October 21, 2019, Sulzer appointed Girts Cimermans as President of the Applicator Systems division and member of the Executive Committee. He succeeded Amaury de Menthière, who retired. Joining from HOYA Vision Care’s USD 2 billion optical business where he served as CEO, Girts Cimermans brings a wealth of experience in dental and medical devices that makes him uniquely suited to lead Sulzer’s APS division.

I’m very excited to lead APS with brands that are well-known and respected as key players in the markets they serve. Building on this great base, we will execute our plan to return APS to a solid growth path.

Girts Cimermans, Division President Applicator Systems

Key figures Applicator Systems

millions of CHF



Change in +/–%

+/–% adjusted 1)

+/–% organic 2)

Order intake






Order intake gross margin






Order backlog as of December 31






























Employees (number of full-time equivalents) as of December 31






1) Adjusted for currency effects.

2) Adjusted for acquisition and currency effects.

Serving the needs of new market participants

While Applicator Systems (APS) continues to be the market leader, the division’s beauty segment is in transition to adapt industrial assets to a fast evolving market. In order to add further decoration capabilities and shorten lead times, the division will expand its factory in Bechhofen. The company will transition production from the Bamberg factory to Bechhofen, leading to the closure of the Bamberg factory.

Order intake and sales decreased

In 2019, Applicator Systems reported a decrease in orders and sales compared with 2018. Order intake growth in the adhesives, dental and healthcare segment of 2.8% did not fully offset the order decrease of 14.3% in beauty. The adhesives growth was secured despite a soft market in automotive, electronics and construction.

Order intake by segment
Order intake by region

Stable profitability

Operational ROSA remained at a stable 21.0% due to strong operational performance of the adhesives, dental and healthcare segment. Operational EBITA decreased on the drop in beauty volumes as the division transitions its German factories.

Safety performance in 2019

In 2019, the division reported an accident frequency rate (AFR) of 7.4 cases per million working hours (2018: 8.1). The decrease was driven by the beauty business unit, especially Bechhofen, which focused on driving safety ownership for line managers in 2019. You can read more about the company’s health and safety efforts in the chapter “Safety”.

If not otherwise indicated, changes from the previous year are based on currency-adjusted figures.


EBIT: Earnings before interest and taxes

opEBITA: Operational earnings before interest, taxes and amortization

opROSA: Operational return on sales adjusted

For the definition of the alternative performance measures, please refer to “Supplementary information”.