“Joe Biden wants to put $ 1.9 trillion into the infrastructure. An unbelievable number! », Said Spuhler in the interview published online on Friday evening. According to Spuhler, new orders are also necessary – despite an order backlog of 16 to 17 billion Swiss francs. “The order backlog looks bigger than it is,” said the Stadler Rail Chairman and CEO.
A quarter is maintenance and service. Some of these contracts ran for 30 years. In addition, in the industry, from the moment an order is signed, it certainly takes one to one and a half years to start production. “If we were to have less than two annual sales in the order backlog, it would be very critical,” says Spuhler. “This year one or the other larger order has to come in so that we can also have good capacity utilization in 2024 and 2025.”
“The next shot has to be right”
In addition, Spuhler commented on succession planning: almost a year ago he took over the position of chief again and parted ways with Thomas Ahlburg, whom he had appointed as his successor in 2018. “My successor as CEO was not able to provide the track record that we had expected from him,” said Spuhler.
That’s why he now wants to take his time. It is not decisive whether he will do another year or not, he said. “The next shot has to be right.” His goal is to be able to hand over the company again debt-free, with a record order backlog and an EBIT margin of 8 percent.
“Better to conclude than communicated”
In the current financial year, the company expects an EBIT margin of over 6 percent. Stadler was hit relatively hard by the pandemic. Against this background, like many industrial companies, a rather defensive forecast was made. “The goal is certainly to finish better than communicated.”
Spuhler was rather covered with his involvement with the Aryzta baked goods group. The FuW reported in mid-March that Spuhler should have taken over a stake of almost 3 percent. “I just bought a few shares privately,” he said now. “This should not result in a major commitment.” (pbe / SDA)
Published: 03/26/2021, 7:54 p.m.