Security Printing Division

The Security Printing Division posted net revenue of CHF 129.8 million in 2017, an increase of 7% compared to the previous year (CHF 121.2 million). Operating earnings (EBIT) increased by 16% to CHF 20.1 million compared to CHF 17.4 million in 2016. As in the previous year, operating earnings were unaffected by special items. The increased volume achieved while at the same time improving productivity more than compensated for higher personnel expenses due to expansion of the sales organisation and increased costs incurred to improve machine availability.


In 2017 the Security Printing Division was again able to produce on schedule with high capacity utilisation and higher output than in 2016. This resulted in a new record net revenue outcome. As well as orders for new series of banknotes for two key customers, Orell Füssli was able to secure and deliver initial additional orders for international customers. Experience acquired in recent years in connection with high-quality production of new series of banknotes featuring faultless security technology has been successfully incorporated in the production of further denominations. The launch of the new 20-Swiss franc note in spring and the 10-Swiss franc note in autumn represented further milestones for Orell Füssli. All denominations of the Swiss National Bank’s new series of banknotes issued to date have fulfilled the customer’s high qualitative standards. Despite this positive development, the efficient production of the new banknotes at a reproducibly high level of quality and security continues to be challenging for the issue of the remaining denominations. Two new denominations were also produced for another key customer and successfully brought into circulation in 2017 to conclude the relevant new issue.

In spring the world’s two most prestigious industry awards for design and functional features, including the “Banknote of the Year Award 2016” of the International Bank Note Society, were presented for the Swiss National Bank’s new 50-Swiss franc note. On the basis of the positive market response to the new series of banknotes produced, Orell Füssli has intensified its efforts to acquire new customers. The development of an international sales organisation has continued, thus further enhancing the company’s market presence. As a result, initial orders from new customers were acquired in 2017 and the customer portfolio was expanded after years of focusing exclusively on two anchor customers. Greater presence at trade conferences has significantly improved market awareness. Orell Füssli aims in this way to further develop its positioning as a strong and trustworthy partner for challenging banknote projects as well as a pioneer for innovative technologies. Accreditation as a member of the Banknote Ethics Initiative provides confirmation by an independent body of its conformity to high ethical standards.

Work on the optimisation of process technologies continued successfully. Organisation, procedures and processes are governed systematically by the Lean philosophy. The continuous improvement of quality enables considerable optimisation potential to be exploited also in future. A further process was raised to the latest state of the technological art with the investment in a new system for packaging and quality control of finished banknotes. Further investments in infrastructure and building services complement Orell Füssli’s technological claim to be a leading supplier in the security printing industry. In the context of cultural change, work undertaken in 2017 focused on management culture. Securing and communicating experience and know-how as well as training and coaching personnel continue to be a high-priority objective of personnel development..