Schindler Holding AG Bearer Participation Certificates (OTCPK:SHLAF) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call July 24, 2020 4:00 AM ET

Company Participants

Nicole Wesch – Head of Global Communication

Thomas Oetterli – Chief Executive Officer

Urs Scheidegger – Chief Financial Officer

Conference Call Participants

Fabian Hacki – UBS

Martin Husler – Zurcher Kantonalbank

Lucie Carrier – Morgan Stanley

Daniela Costa – Goldman Sachs

Andre Kukhnin – Credit Suisse

Martin Fluckiger – Kepler Cheuvreux

James Moore – Redburn

Christian Obst – Baader Bank

Bernd Pomrehn – Vontobel

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Schindler Conference Call on Half Year Results 2020. I am Myra, the Chorus Call operator. [Operator Instructions]

At this time, it’s my pleasure to hand over to Schindler. Please go ahead.

Nicole Wesch

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to our first half 2020 results conference call. My name is Nicole Wesch. I’m the Head of Global Communication here at Schindler. I’m here today with our CEO, Thomas Oetterli and Urs Scheidegger, our CFO. Thomas will give a short introduction and guide you through our results. Urs will then take you through our financials. After this presentation, we are happy to take your questions. I would like to ask you to limit your questions to two questions per person only.

With that, I hand over to Thomas. Please Thomas go ahead.

Thomas Oetterli

Thank you, Nicole. Good morning ladies and gentleman also from my side. You may have seen our statement from this morning in which we announced the launch of a cost optimization program. As an industry leader with 146 years of heritage, our focus has always been the long-term health of our company. Our ambition is to grow faster than the market and shape our industry by customer excellence, quality and by driving acknowledging change and innovation.

However, we find ourselves in a changing and challenging market environment. As a Swiss company with a global footprint the accelerated appreciation of the Swiss franc continues to impact us, damaging our cost competitiveness. Just consider the following. Over the last decade, the continuous appreciation of the Swiss franc has hit our revenue by a staggering CHF2.5 billion and I our EBIT by CHF364 million. At the same time, we increased our global footprint. Our workforce increased by 24,000 employees to now more than 65,000 employees worldwide despite these challenges.

The foreign currency headwinds are here to stay. The Swiss franc is regarded as safe haven and symbol of economic resilience. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 crisis has accelerated a global recession and we see a high level of uncertainty regarding all economic developments. We expect markets to further contract and we expect pricing pressure to rise. Therefore, we need to act now.

Firstly, we will align or realign our capacities and resources, which means launching a cost optimization program. We will also reduce some 2,000 jobs globally over the next two years. Although, where possible, we will use natural attrition, early retirements and voluntary redundancies. Secondly, we will continue to pursue our long-term strategy of driving digitization and innovation. We keep investing in strategic projects to shape the future of our industry and that of our cities with smart urban mobility. This means on the one hand, transforming our business digitally.

We believe digitization is a catalyst and key change agent for our industry, enhancing customer experience and the safety of our products, transforming our whole value chain, opening up new opportunities to create value for our customers, our users and our employees. All of this is happening faster than ever, changing the way we work. In addition, we will continue to accelerate innovation. As you know, we have launched our new modular elevator generation, which helps not only reduce the complexity and variety of components in our global product offering, but also gives customers a better user experience and more convenience during elevator journeys.

And you will have seen that in recent months we have launched CleanMobility solutions, encompassing touchless and on hygiene and sanitation focused solutions for elevators, escalators and moving walks. A time of crisis therefore also means a time of change. The last few months have once again shown us what we are capable of. With incredible agility team Schindler has brought about tremendous innovation in a very short time. I’ve said it before and I will say it again. I’m really proud to be at the helm of such a company.

With that, I’d like to draw your attention now to our results presentation. And I would like to draw your attention to Slide number 2, which gives you a market overview. Many countries came out of lockdown and have gradually reopened in late Q2. However, every country displays a different recovery curve with some countries even taking steps towards lockdowns again. We will provide details about individual markets on the Slides 6 to 8. But just to give you a short overview, China came back very strongly in new installations in Q2. EMEA displays a very mixed picture by country and by business line.

The situation in the Americas remains very challenging, which translates into a continued difficult market situation. The service business remains resilient and we still see uncertainties in the market and project delays. Moreover, pricing has intensified. In addition, some customers face liquidity issues even though our teams continued doing a great job, especially in networking capital. On top of this, the appreciation of the Swiss franc has again accelerated in Q2, negatively impacting the translation of our results into Swiss franc.

Let me now turn to Slide number 3. You see what the strong Swiss franc did to our revenue and our EBIT in the last 10 years. As I already mentioned, accumulated translation impacts amounted to more than CHF2.5 billion for the top line, which represents more than 22% of our full year 2019 revenue. The negative impact on EBIT is also staggering, amounting to over CHF360 million. Despite having implemented various measures in the recent years, the exposure from corporate functions in Switzerland still leads to a negative impact on EBIT and on EBIT margin, when translating consolidated results into Swiss francs.

I now move to Slide number 4, the safety and the well-being of our employees, the family members of our customers and the passengers who use Schindler elevators and escalators throughout the world every day continues to have our highest priority. This absolutely remains unchanged. I am very proud how Schindler, as a global team, has executed on measures during this crisis. The focus always was on our four priorities, our employees, our customers, the supply chain and on protecting our financials.

All plants are up and running again, while office staff is still working from home in many places with high levels of motivation. As a highlight in Q2, net liquidity and operating cash flow came in very, very strong despite the difficulties we encountered. Moreover, we have quickly rolled out new CleanMobility solutions, promoting touchless, sanitization and physical distancing innovations to boost hygiene and safety in elevators, on escalators and on moving walks.

Let me turn to Slide number 5 for some further details. Schindler already offers a growing range of future ready highly scalable services for the digitally enabled world. However, health and well-being now require a new service offering, clean and touchless operation as well as a passenger safe solution are now also part of our growing range of services. Touchless elevator calls are possible with our Schindler CleanCall with non-contact sensor solutions. With the Schindler ElevateMe app and of course with the already long-term well established myPORT solutions now as a public app solution.

Additionally, Schindler CleanCover provides an antibacterial protective film to cover elevator surfaces. New offerings also cover sanitization solutions and the Schindler Ultraviolet CleanAir air purification system and Schindler Ultraviolet CleanCar system that cleans the cabin surfaces without using harmful chemicals and Schindler Ultraviolet solutions for escalators and moving walk handrails providing reliable and automatic disinfection. Our new solutions has been very, very well received by our customers.

Now let me move to the different markets. And I will start on Slide number 6 with Asia Pacific. China, China recovered in Q2 showing strong growth in new installations. The speed of recovery was supported by government spending for infrastructure projects. The strong Q2 order intake brought the year-to-date order intake of China back to 2019 levels. Markets in Southeast Asia contracted significantly particularly in the commercial sector. We still see limited recovery in India.

The market activity is still severely impacted by the lockdown. Order intakes remain remains well below 2019 levels. We also note increased price pressure throughout the whole region. On a positive note, we have successfully launched our modular product range in a number of markets in Asia. And we still see modernization opportunities now with the new CleanMobility solutions. Last but not least, all factories are up and running again.

Let me now move to Slide number 7, the Americas. In the Americas, the uncertainty remains high. The Americas were not only late in the pandemic cycle, but also many countries now show signs of a second pandemic wave. New installation activity in North America has slowed down tremendously. And we also see severe impacts on service and repairs and modernization in the non-residential segments. Latin America new installation markets experienced a severe decline. Also here, we see increased price pressure, not only new installations, but also in the service business. Nevertheless, I’m happy to state that everywhere all our factories are up and running again.

So I move to the last market EMEA, with the re-opening of markets, particularly in the Northern Europe, displayed a solid development with stable new installations and service businesses. Southern Europe markets returned slower than in Northern Europe, but with intensified price pressure. New installations order intake came in at 2019 levels, maintenance markets remained resilient. Our modular product range has been successfully launched in several markets. Product introductions will continue in quarter three. Also here, I’m happy to say that all factories are up and running.

Now, with this I would like to hand over to Urs for an update on the financial results and the outlook for 2020. Urs, please.

Urs Scheidegger

Thank you very much, Thomas. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome on my behalf to today’s conference call. So let’s take a look on our financial performance in more detail. I start with the key figures of the second quarter of 2020 on Slide number 10. In the second quarter of 2020, order intake was clearly impacted by COVID-19 and decreased by minus 15.6% to CHF2.6 billion corresponding to a decline of 9.9% in local currencies.

Please remember, order intake includes all product lines, new installations, modernization, service and repairs. Order intake declined in all three regions, with EMEA being only slightly negative, followed by Asia Pacific and the Americas. The results in EMEA were driven by a resilient maintenance business and good order intake in Northern Europe.

Asia Pacific saw a fast recovery of the business in China with double digit growth. However, this did not offset the significant drop in Southeast Asia and in the Americas new installations and discretionary spending on repairs and modernization contracted severely, only partly offset by the relatively resilient maintenance business.

Revenue was CHF2.5 billion in the second quarter of 2020, a decline of 11.8% compared to last year’s quarter and equivalent to minus 5.8% in local currencies. All key currencies against Swiss franc depreciated strongly. Foreign exchange translation effects have been CHF172 million.

The deterioration of revenue was most severe in the America region followed by EMEA. Asia Pacific was slightly positive in Q2, but showing a mixed picture. China reported strong double-digit growth figures, whereas the rest of Asia was negatively impacted.

Operating profit was significantly impacted by extraordinary impact and decreased by 20.8% to CHF255 million, equivalent to a drop of 12.7% in local currency. Foreign Exchange translation effect had a negative impact of CHF27 million.

Restructuring costs of 26 million, expenses for BuildingMinds of CHF5 million, protective measures related to COVID-19 pandemic had further negative impact on EBIT. EBIT, adjusted before restructuring costs in BuildingMinds amounted to CHF286 million, equivalent to a decrease of 14.4% against previous year’s CHF334 million.

This led to an adjusted EBIT margin of 11.4%, down by 30 basis points compared to previous year. However, it is a remarkable increase of 240 basis points compared to the first quarter of 2020 mainly due to the realization of cost measures and strong performance in China.

Net profit in the second quarter totaled to CHF188 million, a decrease of 21.8% caused by the operational performance. Cash flow from operating activities reached CHF313 million versus CHF85 million in previous years, impacted positively by a strong performance in networking capital, which I’m really happy about it.

Now, I would like to draw your attention to the performance of the six months on Slide number 11. In the first half of 2020, order intake decreased by 12.1% to CHF5.4 billion, corresponding to a reduction of 6.6% in local currencies. Apart from group performance in maintenance all business lines contracted, mainly impacted by reduced overall business activities due to the COVID-19 related lockdown measures.

EMEA region was the only region to slightly grow its order intake compared to previous year. The Asia Pacific and the America region showed severe reductions in order intake. Revenue fell by 8.7% to CHF5 billion, equivalent to a negative growth rate of minus 3.1% in local currencies. Negative foreign exchange translation effects of CHF302 million were accounted.

We can take a quick look on Slide number 16 for an overview on the order backlog and the revenue development by region in local currencies. Despite the positive contribution from China, the Asia Pacific region decreased most followed by the Americas and EMEA region. And to the right you can see the distribution of backlog by region.

Please now, return back to Slide number 11. Operating profit in the first half of 2020 totaled CHF424 million, 29.4% less than in the previous year. In local currencies, it is negative 22.7%. EBIT was severely impacted by lower revenue generation due to the global recession, therefore, the EBIT margin dropped significantly by 250 basis points to 8.5%.

Before restructuring costs of CHF77 million, and the expenses for BuildingMinds of CHF9 million, EBIT adjusted dropped to 10.7% and in local currencies to CHF507 million, equivalent to a margin of 10.2% versus 11.3% in the previous year. The restructuring cost of CHF77 million were recognized for the closure of the factory in Spain, and efficiency initiatives in the countries.

Net profit reached CHF330 million compared to 436 million in the previous year, reflecting a deterioration of 28.2%. Cash flow from operating activities totaled to CHF636 million. This shows a significant increase, compared to the first half of 2019, which was CHF348 million. Remember, the half year closing 2019 included the settlement of pension obligations in a country in Europe, adjusted by that cash flow in previous year amounted to CHF505 million.

Schindler was able to significantly strengthen its cash flow and net liquidity, thanks to improving net working capital and based on solid cash flows in maintenance, our net liquidity amounts to CHF1.9 billion. As of June 30, the order backlog was stable at CHF8.9 billion coming in 1.2% lower than in the previous year. In local currencies, it is an increase of 2.4%. As Thomas has already mentioned in his opening remarks, enhancing our cost structure is essential to remain competitive.

Please turn to Slide 12 for an overview of our cost optimization program, which we announced today. We see three forces providing headwind, it’s the strongest flank, Thomas was already referring to, then there’s significant pricing pressure in the market particularly in new installations, and finally contracting markets due to the global recession. In order to stay competitive in the market, allowing us to generate sufficient profit to deliver on our growth agenda and invest into the future, we need to reduce 2,000 jobs globally. These cost optimization measures are estimated to cost up to CHF150 million for the duration of the program.

With that, I like to conclude my part by giving you our outlook for the full year 2020 on Slide 13. Uncertainty regarding economic developments remains high and we expect no market recovery to 2019 level before 2022. Foreign exchange, translation effects continue to impact our business negatively. We also expect increasing price pressure across our business with the service business being more resilient than new installation and modernization.

Based on no further shocks or unexpected events in the key markets, revenue growth for the full year 2020 is expected to reach between 0% and minus 6% in local currencies. We expect around 130 million restructuring costs, 30 million higher compared to previous announcements. About 100 million are related to today’s announced cost optimization program. Net profit for the year should be expected to reach between CHF680 million to CHF720 million.

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This outlook also includes the first-time consolidation of Volkslift-Schindler Elevator in China. Schindler holds a 49% participation in this company then we will consolidate it starting in July as contractual rights to increase its stake to 51% will become exercisable. Volkslift-Schindler is a local Chinese elevator and escalator company and is expected to generate approximately CHF130 million of revenue for the full financial year 2020.

Nicole Wesch

Thank you, Urs. We are now happy to take your questions.

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

The first question is from Fabian Hacki from UBS. Please go ahead.

Fabian Hacki

Yes, good morning. And you will stick to two questions here. The first one is that when I read your release, I had the feeling there’s a bit of a gap or disconnect between how conservatively you describe the markets and the global new installation outlook and how you describe your business performance by region in Q2. So basically you say China is back to 2019 level, had quite a significant recovery. But also in Europe, you say that your business performance is back to 2019 level. When we take – I mean, if you take – and at the same time you say, global new installation market is unlikely to recover before 2022. But if we take China and EMEA together, this is about 80% of the global new installation base. So is this – I mean, this is a very conservative description of the market and you’re expecting to continue to outperform how you did or how should we exactly read your balance here [ph]? This is my first question.

Thomas Oetterli

Thank you very much for this good question. It is true that if you look globally, it is true that in China we had a real V shape. So we had the fast growth in quarter one, but we also had a fast recovery of the market in quarter two. And we are expecting that this market continues to be plus minus on the level of the previous year for the second half of the year. Our performance was very strong I have to say in China. We were suffering a lot in quarter one like many, many others have done as well. But I have to say the team has really done a very strong job in the second quarter and was catching up what we lost in Q1, so that at the end, by the middle of the year we were on previous year’s level.

And I talked about order intake. I think that’s very important. When we look on Europe, we have a very mixed picture. We have a very, very mixed picture. Some of the countries have done very well especially Northern Europe, some of the countries have been hit less than others, but we do see that in Southern European countries, this was a really tough, tough impact. So when I look on Spain, on Italy, when I look on Turkey, when I looked on France, it was a really severe impact. Now, we are expecting that somehow those markets will start to recover and because we have seen that lockdowns have been removed to a certain degree, but we also see that the markets who had a big hit, they are coming back a little bit slower in Europe.

Then when I look on Asia Pacific, and I think this is very important, there is still a big, big market in Asia Pacific outside of China. There the picture looks different. The second biggest market in the world is India in terms of units, and as you know, we also have a very strong position in Southeast Asia and we have a very strong position in Australia. So the Asia Pacific market is an important market for us. And there I have to say the impact was very severe. And we do not see that those key markets are coming back very rapidly again. So yes, we had a very strong performance in some parts of Europe. We were happy with this. And we were extremely strong also in China.

And then of course, there is the last in the row who was hit by the pandemic was Americas and we all are following up what is happening in the US, what is happening in Mexico, what is happening in Brazil and I have to say that we do not see that those markets will come back on previous year level, so 2019 level towards the end of this year. We believe this will take much longer, especially certain sub segments are hit much more. When you think about the retail segment in the US, when you think about the commercial segment in the US, there we believe we will not be back overall on 2019 levels before 2022. So Asia Pacific and Americas are those two key markets where we see a longer time until markets are coming back plus certain countries in Southern Europe.

Fabian Hacki

Okay, that is clear. Thank you very much. Then to my second question is on the service business. So first of all, you said it’s been resilient, if I have it on top of my correctly, I think you expected initially also to grow services throughout the year. Is the still the case? And have you been even growing in services during Q2. And then also to services, you’ve talked about pricing pressure, is this related mostly to new installation? Or do you also see some pressure on service contract? Or is this more protected given the duration of the contracts? And maybe can also separate here, what has been the impact of COVID-19 on some temporary adoption outside China? Has this been a big topic at all? This will be my second question. Thank you.

Thomas Oetterli

Okay, thank you very much. So yes, we have grown in local currencies, our service business also in Q2 and throughout the whole period of the first half 2020. So yes, our service business was growing. However, when you then look into the service business in variable rates, so actual rates there of course, we also have this negative impact of the translation loss. Now, coming to the second session or a little bit more in detail, how the resilience has been. Yes, it has been resilient definitely we can say we have a very strong installed base. And I think also thanks to our technology and well-trained people. Customers in such a very difficult environment value high that we do deliver a premium service. So I think that was good for us.

And Schindler Ahead has also helped us in that that we were able to support our customers also in moments where maybe we had difficulties to reach an installed unit. We also had to do rebates, we had to do rebates and we discussed that in Q1. We are willing to do that because we believe it is very important also to show loyalty to the customers because customers will pay that back as a loyalty for the future. And this is different from market-to-market. Probably the most severe impact we had in the US was the US has reacted from a customer point of view very fast. And in the US, when you look on the installed base, it’s a little bit different to other markets where we have much, much more residential units installed.

In the US you have a lot of commercial units installed, including retail and there I have to say, we had to act very fast to support our customers and we had some substantial rebates we had to give or to grant to our customers, which of course has not only hit our top line, but it also has hit our bottom line. In the other areas of the globe, we see that there is an intense evasion of pricing. So customers have become more price sensitive, especially when you want to renew a contract or when you have a new installation and you want to convert it now into a paid maintenance. There as some of the buildings have not been occupied for a long time, there was some delay in this NI conversion. Thank you.

Fabian Hacki

Okay, thank you very much for answering my questions.

Operator

The next question is from Martin Husler from Zurcher Kantonalbank. Please go ahead.

Martin Husler

Yes, good morning and thank you for taking my questions. Just first question for understanding reason, so you say of the 150 million restructuring costs that will occur in the next two years, 100 is already reflected in the program for this year, which means then for next year, only about 50 million incremental restructuring costs should incur. And is this all for next year? Or do you have usual restructuring costs in the range of 20 million to 30 million on top of that? That’s the first question.

Thomas Oetterli

Maybe Urs.

Urs Scheidegger

Yeah. Thank you very much for the question. Yes, we have announced cost optimization program of 150 million. It’s correct. Your understanding 100 million will be charged to this year. So that to do for this year of about 50 million is related to it and also, already some charges are in the half year closing. Additional 50 million are planned for next year on this program. But it’s also fair to say that there will be some small local efficiency programs possible next year. We will have to confirm it later.

Martin Husler

Okay, thank you for that. And the second question is about Slide number 5 I guess, the new CleanMobility solutions. I was just wondering whether each of those products is retrofittable for existing installations. And if yes, I mean, it must be a huge market actually to retrofit basically all of the existing installations.

Thomas Oetterli

Yes, maybe I can answer that. Of course, when you look on this Slide number 5, when you have the ultraviolet cleaning of the handrails in escalators, you can do that for all escalators definitely. When you do have certain – the CleanCall Of course you can do that only with a newer elevator where let’s say these fixtures also fit into the existing elevator system. But overall when you then move more to the right side, these are elements when you have PORT. Of course, you can use that wherever you have PORT installation today, you can use this public, myPORT app and sanitization or the hygienic tools for the air and for the car, you can use everywhere.

It’s independent from your elevator system you have. So some of those solutions are available for everything, some of those solutions are a little bit specific for certain type of elevators. For that we have eight different solutions. You find for every type of installation Schindler CleanMobility solution. And I can say, and I can confirm that the appreciation of our customers has been huge. We were very, very satisfied by the feedback of the markets. In fact, honestly, some of the subcomponents are difficult to find in the market when you have to ultraviolet light lamps at the moment, this is the rumor in the market. So you really have to set up a very good supply chain for this.

Martin Husler

Okay, thanks a lot.

Thomas Oetterli

Thank you, maybe the next person?

Operator

Next question is from Lucie Carrier from Morgan Stanley. Please go ahead.

Lucie Carrier

Good morning, gentlemen. Thanks for taking my question. The first one would be on your cost saving program. So I understand we have 1 50 million in terms of restructuring costs related to that, but could you help us a little bit to quantify the actual savings you are expecting out of these initiatives and how they should be phased from the second half of 2020 and into the future please.

Urs Scheidegger

Thank you very much for the question Lucie. This cost optimization program has a global scale and across the world and we have just announced it and now we are finalizing the plans to realize it. It’s a program over the next two years. And hence, savings will depend on timing of realization very much though.

Thomas Oetterli

And I think we also have to add on this maybe a little bit the big pictures just to put it into perspective. So if you assume that you have some contracting markets or markets are not coming back as quick as we all would wish, the consequence out of it is increasing price pressure. So this will have a pressure on the margins of us, because we don’t want to deviate from our overall ambition. We have said at many times we would like to grow faster than the market. Now, this is not only an ambition for a single quarter, this is a long-term ambition. Now, with our assessment of the future that some major markets only come back until or not before 2022 and considering that we do have a disadvantage now with the currencies because we do have these translation losses.

Also with a heavier structure here in the Swiss franc and these costs are some basic points we have to say. This can be up to 30 basis points we are losing because of just this is our home country here in Switzerland. Those savings are mainly to compensate those negative impacts we’re facing. And so it’s not that we have the view that now we will dramatically overshoot or increase due to the cost optimization program our EBIT margin, but it’s more to compensate all those negative impacts we are facing as a Swiss based company.

Lucie Carrier

Thank you very much for the color. That’s very helpful. My second question was around kind of your services slash maintenance business. So first of all, just to clarify completely because one of your competitors defined services, including maintenance and modernization sounds like for you it’s mostly maintenance. So my question is, if you think about yourselves in maintenance, how much of your maintenance revenues globally are coming from commercial installation rather than residential.

Thomas Oetterli

So you can say – well, it depends. Maybe first prioritization, yes, when we talk about the service business, we talk about the maintenance business this is correct. We do separate – separately we have a modernization business and we do have a service business and the repair business. So yes, when we talk about service, we talk about maintenance, correct. Now, the split into residential and commercial, we do not provide on a global scale, but what I can say is that it is very different from country to country. So in the European markets, you can definitely say that the residential business is much bigger than for example, in the US market. So there are a lot of markets where you have a very strong residential baseline. This is mainly Europe. This is also Latin America and also some countries in Asia.

And then you have markets where we have a stronger commercial segment. This is especially in the US why? It’s very easy to say, because the country is very big, the density of people in the living areas is quite low. And also the buildings are not so high in the US. Many multifamily houses only have two or three floors. But they have a lot of big commercial buildings and retail building. So the installed base in the US is much more dominated by commercial buildings than for example in Europe where the market is mainly a residential market. So it’s not one size fits all. It’s really different from country to country.

Lucie Carrier

Can you maybe provide the same qualitative comments around your APAC business ex China and China, specifically?

Thomas Oetterli

Yes. So you do have – let’s say if you look on Asia Pacific, again, similar drivers for it. When you look for example, in a country like Australia, very big country, 25 million people, people have to space to have a single-family house. But when you look into the cities and you look downtown on the business districts, you have a lot of skyscrapers and you have a lot of high quality, highly sophisticated buildings. And so there you do have a big share of commercial buildings and commercial elevators. Similar for example, in cities like Hong Kong, similar like places like Singapore and then you have all the Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines and India where you do have a substantial share also of residential buildings and we also have seen that there was a certain slowdown of the commercial market. So again, also within Asia Pacific, you have a different picture from country to country.

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Lucie Carrier

Thank you. And I guess my last question, if I may, would be on the modernization side considering you not including it in your services. I know there was lots of hope for this market considering the age of the installed base in many countries. But considering it’s quite discretionary, how do you think about this part of your business at the moment?

Thomas Oetterli

Well, there is a difference between at the moment and long-term. Long-term modernization business is a key growth driver because all the mega drivers also in the crisis, you always have to look at the mega drivers of our business are still intact. So what we have shared in the past with you that the ageing of buildings is slowing on, let’s say the appetite or the demand of new technology is increasing. I do not worry about the long-term. Short-term the picture looks different because modernization is something you can decide whether you want to do it or not. And our clients, our customers, of course, also are now analyzing their own financial situation.

And if there is a certain uncertainty, you probably decide at the moment to say, you know what, wait a minute, I think let’s not rush too fast. Let’s wait how we are doing in the next couple of months. And then we can discuss whether we want to modernize. So the modernization business definitely has a very high negative impact in the first six months, maybe almost the biggest impact negatively in the business for us. But long-term this will come back. I have no doubt. But short-term, modernization, which was a very strong business for us, has been highest negative impact. Thank you.

Lucie Carrier

Thank you very much.

Operator

The next question is from Daniela Costa from Goldman Sachs. Please go ahead.

Daniela Costa

Hi, good morning. I want to ask three things, if possible. The first one is a clarification on the net income guidance. It sounds like the midpoint implies a year-on-year, which is pretty similar to what you had before in 1Q, but you talk about higher restructuring, higher FX headwinds and in general you sound a little bit more cautious. So I was wondering sort of what’s the offset that drives it to be more or less where it was.

Urs Scheidegger

Good morning, Daniela and here is Urs. Last year, we had a net profit of 929 million and after the first quarter, we have announced that our net profit will drop by approximately 20% and about CHF740 million. In the meantime, today we are announcing a cost optimization program of up to 130 million cost charges to this year. So 30 million more than what we previously announced. And that brings down our net profit guidance to now about 25% compared to last year. I hope this is clarifying your question.

Daniela Costa

Yes, thanks more like the midpoint is not so distant, but that’s fine. The second point I wanted to ask was regarding balance sheet and capital allocation. I know you’re doing now this increased stake in China. But overall, how do you think about the balance sheet positioning and the leverage, do you think you’re at an optimal point or you see further opportunities from using it as a continuation of more consolidation or buybacks?

Urs Scheidegger

Yeah, first of all, I must tell you that I feel very comfortable that we achieved the current liquidity situation in our balance sheet for the Schindler Group in these very uncertain and very difficult times of COVID-19 with strong performances of our networking capital management. And going forward, we have to protect ourselves. It’s uncertain, the times can also be worse. And therefore, it’s really important that Schindler Group has this very healthy and strong balance sheet in order to independently invest into the future strategically into projects or when it arises also touch M&A opportunities.

Daniela Costa

And my final question is a follow up regarding some of the points you’ve been mentioning on service in your sort of 2022 outlook as well. But do you see clients with lower building utilization in any sense trying to revisit more longer term in terms of the contracts or building utilization doesn’t really matter here, particularly non-resi – on the non-resi side.

Thomas Oetterli

Well, of course it matters and we all are experiencing the time of home office and office buildings are empty or even 70% or 80% empty. This is definitely a trend that we have to see okay, post COVID, what will be maybe a change on the customer side. It can be that customers will open up much more home office policies. And so this would mean that you have less people in the building. On the other side, those who are in the building also will face that now social distancing becomes more important, so according to our analysis, there are like two trends which might compensate each other in the long-term. Now, short term of course, it is true that the occupancy is severely reduced. And therefore, for big customers, but also of course, the one or the other request maybe to review the actual pricing.

So we do not renegotiate long-term a new service price contract level or a new service contract price level, but we had the one or the other case where we had to do an individual temporary rebate and this is definitely one mega trend. And the other mega trend of course, is that we are very well prepared also in such environments with our digitization program. So Schindler Ahead, internet of things, but also our destination control systems allow people to travel safe. So we also can manage that an elevator only takes a certain number of people into an elevator. And you don’t have to talk to any more often. So this also gives confidence to our customer strategy is safe and healthy to work in a building where you have a Schindler elevator. So we do not see at the moment, long-term negative impact for that.

Daniela Costa

Very clear, thank you very much.

Thomas Oetterli

Thanks a lot.

Operator

The next question is from Andre Kukhnin from Credit Suisse. Please go ahead.

Andre Kukhnin

Good morning. Thanks so much for taking my questions. I want to start with pricing. Clearly, that’s the new piece of communication and this is a lot to what we heard from you before. And especially on China, could you maybe start with funding out how your business deals in China in Q2, maybe in terms of all the units versus value and how pricing developed there.

Thomas Oetterli

So as I have mentioned before quarter two was a rebound in the Chinese market, definitely the Chinese market has grown compared to the previous year in quarter two. Some of it might be also a catch up of quarter one. Now, we believe that we have outgrown the market in the second quarter. We had a very strong performance in China, the team did really well, it was definitely a double-digit growth in the second quarter, a good double-digit growth in the second quarter above let’s say even our own expectation. Now, when you look at where the market comes from, I can say that we had quite resilient or promising residential business segment. I have to say this was strong and also there the pricing was not that bad and it was not tanking too much, it was maybe a little bit under pressure depends on the city, but more or less it was quite stable.

What we also have seen is that there was not a full rebound in the commercial segment. That has not come back totally. And there, we also have a lot of large projects, large commercial projects and there we clearly see the area of large projects like in the past that the pricing is still, still, still very demanding and we have seen price drops in the market substantially. So the commercial segment was definitely price wise a lot under pressure. And then the last topic, maybe also was public transport. Public transport, of course is a strong domain of us. It is a lot driven by escalators and we do have a very strong footprint in escalators in China and we’re benefiting from that and we saw after almost zero activity in two months, February and March.

The market was really coming back and we were appreciating good awards, but we have not yet been able to book that as order intake because we only book it as an order intake when we receive the down payment. And let’s say the administrative speed is not yet back to pre-COVID level in some of those governmental functions and departments. But we are happy with the award pipeline we have and this should also bring us some strong order intake in the coming months in the public transport area. However, we see that there the pricing also has been intensified. So residential volume business rather stable, rather good, commercial business more under pressure, price wise and volume wise and public transport stable back to previous levels in terms of units, but pricing has become more demanding.

Andre Kukhnin

Thank you very much with the color Thomas. And just if we sum it up on China in Q2 pricing overall sequentially, I guess moved down from what you indicated, I’m just trying to think about relative sizes and applying some numbers to it or –

Thomas Oetterli

Of course we do have – historically, we are strong in commercial and public transport. So we have to take that’s our grape in the enterprising, although, we still achieve sometimes a premium because we have a very strong reputation due to the quality and performance in the past. So yes, overall pricing went slightly down. That’s correct.

Andre Kukhnin

Thank you and just my second part of the question on this and really the key thing for many of us is that what does this feel like? I mean, does it feel like end of 2015 sort of early or 2016 situation where you had some clear moves by [indiscernible] from the price list and another following and then the whole thing sparked off?

Thomas Oetterli

You mean that the market?

Andre Kukhnin

Yeah, the market pricing situation in China or is this more kind of we’ve had the volume volatility. We’re coming out of lockdowns, eager to book business, there’s a bit of raw materials maybe tailwind there that gives us a bit of room to maneuver. How would you assess that without kind of trying to figure down any numbers, but just more to kind of really touch feel whether this is the beginning of something bigger or more transitory?

Thomas Oetterli

We do have confidence into the Chinese market. This I clearly want to say. We still believe, first it’s by far the biggest market. We believe it also stays and remains strong in the future. This is definitely the case. I also have experienced that the Chinese government always was supporting the market development, especially now in a downturn environment. Real estate business infrastructure is something you can push as a government and I think the Chinese government has shown a lot of agility also in the past to support and to act very fast. Now, definitely I can say short-term, one driver of the of the pricing pressure is that people stayed at home for two months and it’s like in a horse race, everybody’s behind the barrier and the barrier goes up and then everybody starts to run and wants to catch up what they lost in the first quarter.

So I think there is definitely a temporary pricing pressure coming because of the lockdown in Q1 and now maybe everybody wants to catch up in Q2. It’s difficult to say whether this will continue also in the future quarters. It will depend how other markets will develop because if other markets are not so well on track, maybe you try to compensate with more volume in China, which then could bring some additional pressure into the Chinese market. But I also have to say that China is not only new installation, I mean, this was 10 years ago, now, we do have and we see much, much more also opportunities in the installed base. So increasing our installed base, having a good service business, having a lot and increasing organizational opportunities will help us in the long-term, that China stays attractive for us.

Andre Kukhnin

Thank you and if I may just –

Thomas Oetterli

Thank you, Andre

Andre Kukhnin

I’ll get back in the queue. Thank you.

Thomas Oetterli

Thank you.

Operator

The next question is from Martin Fluckiger from Kepler Cheuvreux. Please go ahead.

Martin Fluckiger

Hi, thanks gentlemen for taking my question. Actually, I’d like to get back to the pricing issue since it is I guess the most incremental news today. Just to clarify because on the one hand the picture, particularly when you look at the H1 and Q2 earnings, particularly adjusted EBIT, it’s difficult to see the pricing pressure impact, to be honest and at the same time you emphasize so strongly. So it would be very nice if you could put a ballpark number to the group overall as a price tag. How much price – how much was pricing down in Q2 on order intake and on revenue growth, what was the impact there? That would be my first question.

Thomas Oetterli

Okay. So, pricing you do not see in the P&L immediately. Pricing especially, in the project business or when we talk about new installation projects and modernization projects, you get them on board, you’re happy about the order intake, but then you have to execute the modernization maybe within six to 12 months or in the new installation maybe within 12 to 24 months, then you see the impact on your P&L. So the margin will be impacted next year by the pricing. And this is exactly one of the reasons why we have to act now to adjust our structure and we have to make this cost optimization program. That’s very important. You don’t see that now until you feel maybe still comfortable.

Let’s be honest that quarter two was not that bad from the margin, but we know and we also expect how the market will further develop and impacting our results in the future. Now, in certain markets we have seen that prices went down between 5% to 10%. That’s not always everywhere and also every segment, but we have seen severe pricing deterioration in the project business, especially in the new equipment business in some markets and we do not see that this will come back in the next 12 to 18 months, especially in those markets where you don’t have a V shaped, but you do have a slow recovery of the market. Pricing will remain very challenging. So some markets really had an impact of 5% to 10%.

Now, in China we discussed before this is one part of the market only in China more in the commercial area. But I would not exclude that this could also happen in the residential area in the next couple of months, but there I am a little bit more confident. In other markets, I clearly have to say when you have a huge longer lasting impact of COVID, prices are coming down and it will continue also – the pressure will continue into the service and into the repair business. I have no doubt at all because what happens is that due to the cost competitiveness of the big OEMs, smaller players into different markets will have problems to execute or to gain more new equipment in modernization business and will try to escape to maybe gain more share in the service and the repair business. So we are more prudent or more conservative on the overall pricing especially outside of China.

Martin Fluckiger

Okay, thanks for the clarification. So now I understand the difference between revenue and an order intake pricing, but just to clarify, how much did rebates and particularly in Q2 cut your revenue growth and how much is the order intake gross margin down going forward, just to clarify my question on the pricing globally.

Thomas Oetterli

So rebates have an immediate impact on your P&L, that’s true. Rebates in service have an immediate impact on your P&L and we definitely had double digit number of rebates given in the service business just for the second quarter, this is clearly the case, mainly driven by some Asian markets, but especially also driven by the US market and we had to do that. If you have installation in Los Vegas then there is no service happening and you have to make almost 80% to 90% rebate on the certain months. So this was definitely impacting us quite severely in the US market in the second quarter. And this has an immediate P&L impact, definitely, not the Office part, the service and repair business we have seen an immediate impact. Does that answer?

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Martin Fluckiger

Yeah, on the order intake margin how much are we talking about 50, 100 Bps down in Q2?

Thomas Oetterli

No, it was slightly down, yes. It was slightly down. This is clearly the case, especially in order intake. Yes, it was going down maybe in that magnitude I can say. But of course, on the order backlog, it was still a minor impact. But over time, if this would continue then it has more substantial impact on the order backlog. One quarter does not destroy your whole due to business model. If you look on our order backlog, it’s very big. We just had a look on this page number or Slide number 16. If you are having 9 billion order backlog then one quarter does not destroy your overall margin, but the single quarter definitely, it was going down in the magnitude you mentioned.

Martin Fluckiger

That’s great, thanks very much for the clarification.

Thomas Oetterli

Thank you.

Martin Fluckiger

And the second question I have is on – putting the whole puzzle together, I understand that you’re still in the process of doing a budget on the restructuring programs and the targeted cost savings. But just to help us out here a little bit and to clarify some of the confusions around the whole COVID-19 mess and all the impacts related to it. What is your best guess I would think at this stage with regards to the EBIT margin progression for H2 and 2021 at this stage, considering that there are no further lockdowns beyond what we’re currently seeing in the market?

Thomas Oetterli

So maybe I split the answer and I’ll start maybe in terms of what we expect from the cost optimization program. As I mentioned, this should compensate, especially headwinds we will have in the margin and in the volume 2021, 2022 because even if the markets are back in 2022, the P&L impact that is 2023. So we will suffer from some headwinds in 2021 and 2022 and this cost optimization program should help us to compensate those negative impacts. Now, we’re seeing the margin development for the rest of the year, I mean, we are not giving you an exact number, but maybe an indication box under certain conditions you could expect. So the group reached 11.4% EBIT, adjusted margin in the second quarter. This second quarter was quite an extra ordinary one. We all know the situation. There were headwinds, of course, due to COVID-19 with really a negative operational leverage, heavy drop through.

Actually, as a result of that is that we lost 1.1% on the full EBIT, but also the 30 basis points in the second quarter in EBIT adjusted. You also need to consider that actually, the second quarter margin was a bit supported by a favorable business mix since new installation was severely impacted compared to the maintenance business that helped a bit on the margin. But on the other hand, we also had very strong protective financial measures in place with a lot of cost saving measures in place on personal costs and OpEx and that was supporting the margin. Going forward, we certainly want to be at the level of second quarter. We will do our best to slightly improve it with increasing volume in the second half of the year and continue to protect the financial strong cost measures in place

Martin Fluckiger

At least 11.4% for H2, that’s your key message?

Thomas Oetterli

The key message is we will work hard and try best to further improve compared to the Q2, this is what we would like to do. We have many, many measures in place and so this will have a positive impact probably the mix change will have a little bit of negative impact in the second half of the year because as markets are coming back we should expect some more project business which might slightly lower overall margin, but we would like to further improve every single quarter.

Martin Fluckiger

Okay, thank you so much.

Thomas Oetterli

Thank you.

Operator

The next question is from James Moore from Redburn. Please go ahead.

James Moore

Yes. Hi, everyone. It’s James from Redburn. Good morning, Thomas, Urs. Thanks for taking the questions. My questions really surround around profitability and thank you for all the color and I’m sorry to ask again on the savings quantification of the new program. But I’m just trying to think about how I model this compared to the previous savings program of over 100 million. I presume it’s incremental to that. And I understand the headwinds that are now present that you’re trying to offset particularly in ’21 and ’22. Would it be fair to assume one for one and spread it over ’21 and ’22? Or is the savings number less than the charge?

Thomas Oetterli

Yeah, good morning, James and as I mentioned at the beginning, that this whole program is now in the full making and the timing is not yet perfectly confirmed. But after the two years, your assumption of one to one is about rights.

James Moore

And that’s incremental to the existing savings which are partly led by modularization and are those existing savings largely unchanged or they’ve been pushed upwards due to COVID and would that be possible?

Thomas Oetterli

Now, you have to be careful now, right. There are so many moving parts in the model. One math, of course is related to this cost optimization program, which we just now talked and obviously, will have a cost saving benefit. But the other moving parts are really the markets or the pricing pressures in the market and our strong growth ambitions. We also will continue to increase our costs on strategic projects related to our Ahead IOE platform, related to corporate R&D innovations, which are a must win for us, and those topics likely will offset the cost savings we achieve.

James Moore

That’s very helpful. Thanks. And if I just think about your full year ’20 implied adjusted EBIT margin behind your new net income guidance and you’ve been relatively clear on that. I’m a bit lost on some of the moving parts given the situation with COVID. I wondered if you might be able to help us with some of the other bridge items. For instance, the currency, I’m thinking around 85 for the year, but if you think it’s different picture there I’d be interested, but also, how do you see raw material and wage inflation now for this year compared to what you might have seen previously?

Thomas Oetterli

I think your currency assumptions are pretty okay, above 80 million for the total year and probably roughly 600 million on the top line. So this is the currency impact. If currency is more or less we’ll stay where they are today. I mean, that’s the assumption behind it. And I think when you look on our overall EBIT margin, you also have to – yes, you have to consider that we do have wage inflation on some of it. Of course, we tried to mitigate in the first couple of months, we were postponing some of the salary increases, which then will come now in the second half of the year. We’re very cautious in terms of operating expenses. We try to be super prudent there like everybody – you anyway could not travel. So you have no travel cost. And there is not too much to come back. Partially we may be – some costs are coming back.

And then last but not least, yes, modularity, I think we can more or less stay what we also have discussed in Q1, it’s maybe slightly lower because due to COVID the rollout of the products had a certain shift because it was just difficult. How do you want to launch a product if there’s no market and people are staying at home? So we have a certain shift of this of these savings, not the run rate, but the impact on P&L this year. And the inflation let’s say, material cost you can keep the assumptions you add in the – already before I would say.

Urs Scheidegger

Material cost there was certainly a bit drop in the sec – between the first and the second quarter prices were repeat dropping, but in the meantime they have recovered. And I would suggest that going forward prices are similar to last year’s level. So not much changed versus last year overall, for the full year.

James Moore

Thank you so much for the color. Thank you.

Thomas Oetterli

Thanks. Maybe the two last lost persons I would propose and then I would propose that we won’t be able to. Afterwards you still have of course the time also to talk to Nicole and Eric [indiscernible] one on one, I would propose, so maybe two more persons for questions.

Operator

The next question is from Christian Obst from Baader Bank. Please go ahead.

Christian Obst

Yeah, thank you. First, I have a question concerning the commercial area. So the big projects are some kind of a targeted growth area for you also going forward. And you talked about the short-term impact of course on COVID-19, but going forward in the longer term strategic, so airport business, shopping centers, there might be a severe change in structural growth, what do you expect here? Maybe you have to adjust a little bit your strategy, is that the right point to look at is the first question. And second one is over the last year or so, you build up of course high-quality IT personnel, increased the personnel costs from 73% in 2014, ’15 to about 40% now in the first half of 2020. So where do you like to adjust your staff? So personnel where do you reduce the personnel going forward because I assume that you will keep of course your high-quality personnel, IT people are in the group. Thank you.

Thomas Oetterli

So, maybe I start with question number two. So development or activities we now do with this cost optimization program. We are targeting mainly administrative people. So at headquarters, here centrally in Switzerland, but also headquarter functions in our country organizations. And of course, we are doing that in the most meaningful way on two sides. One side is, we always treat people fair, transparent and honest and we are supporting our people also have to find new jobs. So we always are very, very careful with this stakeholder entity. The second topic is what is very important that you mentioned this is know how retention. So yes, it is true, of course, we are not planning that high skilled people with a lot of know how should leave the company. But I also have to say this is a long journey. We have started many years ago all ready to transfer certain capabilities outside of Switzerland into other places in the world, not only because of cost, but we want to have our skilled support functions where the markets are.

So today, if you take a corporate R&D, our R&D organizations outside of Switzerland, in terms of headcount are already today much bigger than our R&D we have in Switzerland. So yes, we play – we are very, very careful about know how retention and whether this is in the business processes, whether this is in R&D or also in IT. We don’t intend to sacrifice our capabilities and also for a good reason, because what has been mentioned by URs and also by myself, we continue to execute our strategic initiative agenda. So we continue with the modularity program. We continued with the digital team with Schindler Ahead. We have quality programs. We have our innovation programs. And for this, we need highly skilled people. And we started we prepared the company to be even better in five or 10 years.

Second topic, commercial area, a very good question, it’s a little bit early to say whether they will be a shift or not. I believe midterm, you might be right that there is a certain pressure on some commercial areas or also public transport areas, that’s true. And less people are flying around and this might last for not only a couple of months, but maybe at least two, three, four years. Now interesting enough, those investments are investments you do for decades. And if you believe that it comes back, it’s the right time to do the investment now. So there are like two different trends that is round against each other.

What is now the net outcome? I have to admit this is difficult to judge at the moment, we are just in the middle and it’s difficult to judge, but it’s definitely something you have to observe as we have a good position in this public transport and commercial area. But we also have of course, a very strong position in the residential area which is much more resilient and where we are very cost competitive and where we, by the way also have launched the first part of our modularity program was in fact now in the residential area. So we believe that may be the one or the other hiccup we have in the commercial area, we will compensate in the residential area.

Christian Obst

Of course, thank you very much, but in the end of course this is the main growth driver going forward should be in the end commercial public transport and if there is some kind of a strategic shift, maybe you have to increase your adjustment of cost and structurals within your group, but this remains to be seen, of course.

Thomas Oetterli

That’s true. Thank you.

Christian Obst

Okay, thank you very much.

Thomas Oetterli

Thank you, maybe the last person.

Operator

The last question is from Bernd Pomrehn from Vontobel. Please go ahead.

Bernd Pomrehn

Yes, thank you, gentlemen for taking my question. Firstly, you’re investing cash flow in H1 shows that you again have become more active over the acquisitions. Are they again more M&A opportunities out there? Or have you been encouraged to do more M&A in an environment of lower growth? And then secondly, CapEx came down quite significantly in the first half. Are you able to provide a CapEx guidance for the full year? Thank you.

Thomas Oetterli

Yeah, thank you very much. You have seen in our consolidated cash flow statements that the group was active in M&A, you see down the business combinations is CHF99 million. So that’s already closed transactions, actually, one in Switzerland and two in the United States, which will add to our service portfolio nicely. We will certainly continue to identify very attractive targets, particularly attractive service portfolios. And that will certainly be an important strategic pillar for us. In terms of investments to property, plant and equipment, it’s indeed clearly lower than last year, 66 million versus 117. Two parts of it, one is related to large investments last year on our Ebikon campus. Those we have built state of the art. It’s a fantastic visit center to welcome customers. We also invested into our Berlin campus and into our India campus. So this is not the recurring. But the second part was related to protect financial measures this year to reduce non-necessary investments. Full year guidance, maybe about CHF200 million, probably a bit less.

Bernd Pomrehn

Okay, excellent. Thank you very much. That was very helpful.

Thomas Oetterli

You’re welcome.

Nicole Wesch

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. And with that we like to close today’s call. Thank you very much for attending. And as we discussed, if you have additional questions, please get in touch with our Investor Relations team for one on one discussion. On that note, I’d like to remind you that our third quarter call is on October 23. And with that, I wish you a beautiful day and happy summer and looking forward to talking to you very soon. Thank you and bye, bye.

Thomas Oetterli

Thank you. Bye, bye.

Urs Scheidegger

Bye, bye.

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, the conference is now over. Thank you for choosing Chorus Call and thank you for participating in the conference. You may now disconnect your lines. Goodbye.



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