Picanol revenues fell three per cent compared to the previous year. Gross profit percentage decreased from 23 to 22 per cent. Following an absolute record year in 2017, the weaving machines division again experienced an excellent year. Based on the well-filled order book at the end of 2017, it achieved a strong first half-year, with high demand for quality and technology resulting in strong sales. In the second half of the year, increasing geopolitical uncertainty in the markets caused a slowdown in the demand for weaving machines. The industries division also had another strong year, which was driven by weaving machines and this was mainly thanks to the strong growth in new projects. The industries division thus continues to contribute to the growing diversification of the group by fully focusing on castings and mechanical finishing, controller capacities and precision parts.
For 2019, Picanol is taking into account a slowdown in the global weaving machine market. This is due to the current macroeconomic and geopolitical climate, in which customers are more cautious and investment decisions might either be delayed or postponed. For the first half of 2019, Picanol expects a decrease in revenue of 25 per cent compared to the first half of 2018.