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Editorial

Dear Shareholders

The Orell Füssli Group made a solid start to 2021 and demonstrated resilience and adaptability in the first six months. Despite challenging underlying conditions, restrictions on travel and the closure of retail outlets in January and February, the group achieved results for the first half of 2021 that were slightly above its own forecasts.

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Thanks to a robust, broad-based business model and sound markets, the Orell Füssli Group generated new orders in line with expectations in the first half of 2021. Net sales at the Orell Füssli Group in the first six months were 6.5% lower than in the previous year and decreased to CHF 97.3 million (CHF 104.1 million in the previous year). Operating earnings (EBIT) amounted to CHF 6.4 million (CHF 6.7 million in the previous year). The solid financial position ensures that Orell Füssli can develop according to plan. This continued without interruption in the first six months of the year.

As expected, the Security Printing Division in the first half of 2021 was down on the same period last year. However, the market environment remains healthy. The division continued to expand the share of international orders in banknote printing and won a new project order for identity documents. Thanks to the modern printing machine put into operation in the first half of the year, Orell Füssli is in a position to continue strengthening its role as a leading and innovative high-quality supplier in the security printing sector.

Zeiser recorded a consistently high backlog of orders in the first six months of the current year. With the acquisition of innovative track & trace technologies from Inspectron in July, the division is developing its offering along the value chain and further broadening its portfolio in the area of security document traceability. Consequently, Zeiser is strengthening its leading position as a provider of serialisation solutions and services for the security printing industry.

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The Book Retailing Division had a very good first half of 2021 and successfully dealt with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, as it did in 2020. In particular, the division’s broad-based omnichannel strategy is proving its worth. The expansion based on retail outlets in high-frequency locations will continue and the opening of various new outlets is planned for 2021 and 2022.

The publishing house achieved a result in line with expectations in the first half-year. 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 after the successful sale of Atlantis Verlag at the end of 2020. The focus is particularly on linking the current publishing offering with innovative digital solutions. The new Globi book, “Globi and Roger” with Roger Federer, was also a success in the first six months, selling very well as expected and already on the bestseller list in Switzerland.

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The development of digital solutions in the area of e-government, identities and identification systems was further accelerated in the first half of 2021. The discussion surrounding the vote in March 2021 on the e-ID Act in Switzerland has made it clear that there is a great need to expand digital government services. With the Procivis technology, Orell Füssli has 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 also examining the use of the technology by private sector companies in addition to government partners.

Finally, we would like to express our sincere thanks to all our employees for their commitment, to our customers and partners for their continued loyalty, and to you, dear shareholders, for your trust in our company.

Zurich, August 2021

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DR Martin Folini

Chairman of the Board of Directors

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DANIEL LINK

CEO