The growth strategy of the Comet Group led to another set of record results in 2017. All segments and regions contributed to the powerful sales growth of CHF 106 million, especially the strong semiconductor business in the USA, boosting Group sales to an unprecedented CHF 438.4 million.
Operating earnings improved by 39.5% to CHF 50.9 million (2016: CHF 36.5 million). The EBITDA margin of 14.5% was within the forecast range. Net income increased to CHF 35.5 million (2016: CHF 27.3 million). The return on capital employed (ROCE) was 16.2%; the Comet Group thus continued to add value for shareholders.
The audited 2017 consolidated financial statements of the Comet Group will be published on March 15, 2018 and presented in detail on the same day at the media and analyst conference in Zurich.
Hans Hess, who has been a member of the Board of Directors of Comet Holding AG since 2005 and its chairman since 2007, has informed the Board for its medium-term succession planning that at next year's Annual Shareholder Meeting in April 2019 he will no longer stand for re-election. After twelve years as chairman, he wishes to pass the chairmanship to a younger successor and gradually scale back his professional responsibilities. Until the 2019 Annual Shareholder Meeting, he remains available to the Board and shareholders as chairman. The Board of Directors intends to conduct the search for a successor to Hans Hess on an open basis and has initiated this process.