Orell Füssli Ltd Half-Year 2021: Solid start to the business year - outlook unchanged

Ad hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 LR

Zurich, August 6, 2021 - Orell Füssli reported new orders in line with expectations in the first half of 2021. Net sales in the first six months amounted to CHF 97.3 million (previous year: 104.1 million), a decrease of 6.5% compared with the same period of the previous year. Lower business volume in the Security Printing Division was the main reason for the reduction. The operating result (EBIT) amounted to CHF 6.4 million in the first half of 2021 (previous year: CHF 6.7 million). Thanks to the Orell Füssli Group's solid financial position, the conditions are ensured for the group to develop according to plan. This continued without interruption in the first six months of the year.

In the first half of 2021, the performance of the Security Printing Division remained below the same period last year, as expected, but the market environment is still healthy. Net revenue decreased by 19.6% to CHF 39.2 million (previous year CHF 48.7 million) due to a change in the product mix with a high proportion of less complex banknotes. This resulted in an operating profit (EBIT) of CHF 4.2 million (previous year CHF 5.9 million). The ID business developed positively, winning a new project order from Africa for identity documents. Thanks to the modern printing machine commissioned in the first half of the year, Orell Füssli is in a position to continue consolidating its role as a leading and innovative high-quality supplier in the security printing sector in the future.

The Zeiser Division recorded net sales of CHF 13.2 million in the first six months of 2021 (previous year CHF 12.4 million). The operating result (EBIT) increased strongly to CHF 3.3 million (previous year CHF 2.8 million). In the reporting period, Zeiser acquired several new orders and further expanded its portfolio in the area of security document traceability with the acquisition of innovative track & trace technologies from Inspectron on 1 July 2021. With the acquisition, Zeiser is also  developing its offering specifically along the value chain and strengthening its leading position as a provider of serialisation solutions and services for the security printing industry. The completion of the new building in Emmingen (Germany) is progressing well, so that occupancy can begin as planned in the fourth quarter. Thanks to healthy market demand, the Zeiser Division anticipates a good capacity utilisation rate for 2021.

Net sales in the Book Retailing Division rose by 8.5% in the first half of 2021 to CHF 41.4 million (previous year CHF 38.2 million). The operating result (EBIT) amounted to CHF 0.6 million (previous year's period CHF -0.6 million). As in 2020, the division was able to successfully overcome the effects of the coronavirus crisis and had a very good first half-year despite the closure of all branches between 18 January and 28 February 2021. This is thanks to the broad-based omnichannel strategy, the market-leading position in the online business and stringent cost management. The expansion based on shops in high-frequency locations will continue and the opening of various new retail outlets is planned for 2021 and 2022.

Orell Füssli Publishing achieved earnings of CHF 3.4 million in the first half of 2021 (CHF 4.7 million in the previous year), in line with expectations. Net revenues are not comparable with the same period of the previous year, as Atlantis children's book publishing was sold in December 2020 and no new works will be published in the non-fiction segment and the OF children's book series from 2021. A great success in the first six months was the new Globi book "Globi and Roger" with Roger Federer, which met the high expectations and is already on the bestseller list in Switzerland. The concentration on learning and educational media as well as the well-known children's book brands, Globi and Carigiet, has paved the way for the further development of the publishing house. The focus is on linking the current publishing offering with innovative digital solutions.

The development of digital solutions in the field of e-government, identities and identification systems was stepped up further in the first half of 2021. With the Procivis technology, Orell Füssli can rely on a proven, technologically and politically accepted solution for the digitisation of services in the public sector. However, the legislative processes and technical implementation in the field of e-ID need time before realisation, which is why Orell Füssli is examining the use of the technology by private sector companies in addition to government partners.

Outlook for 2021
Provided the coronavirus pandemic does not necessitate any further drastic restrictions, Orell Füssli continues to expect net sales slightly below 2020 and an EBIT margin in the mid-single-digit percentage range for the 2021 financial year.

Key figures Orell Füssli in CHF million

in CHF million

Jan – Jun 21

 Jan-Jun 20


Net revenues from sales to customers




Total operating income




Operating earnings (EBIT)




in % Net revenue (rounded)




Special items




Cost for restructuring




Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) and before special items




Net income for the period




Total equity




Full time equivalents FTE (of reporting date)




Half Year Report 2021
The Half Year Report 2021 is available on the internet or can be requested in printed form via email

Publication Annual Report 2021 - 11 March 2022
Annual General Meeting 2022 - 11 May 2022

Orell Füssli Ltd
Tel. +41 44 466 72 73,

Orell Füssli is a pioneer in the fields of security and education. With its expertise in security solutions for governments and citizens and as a leading Swiss book retailer, Orell Füssli supports its customers with a unique and customer-specific offering.

As a leading systems supplier for security technologies and identification systems and a long-standing partner of government, Orell Füssli sets technological standards. In the fields of security printing and serialisation, Orell Füssli provides innovative printing processes, systems and services for the production and successful protection of banknotes, securities and identity documents.

With its attractive large-format and specialist bookstores, Orell Füssli offers a wide-ranging book-related shopping experience. In book retailing, Orell Füssli has a 50% interest in Orell Füssli Thalia AG, which provides an extensive offering through 36 branches in German-speaking Switzerland and diverse e-commerce services. Orell Füssli provides logistical and service facilities for libraries and companies.

Orell Füssli was founded more than 500 years ago and generates revenues of some CHF 220 million with around 600 employees at locations in five countries. Orell Füssli shares are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange.