Patron Peter Spuhler (61) sets the tone again. Immediately. In a double mandate. CEO Thomas Ahlburg (50), who has managed Stadler Rail’s operational business for the past two years, has already vacated the office.
The change is surprising – and causes little enthusiasm on the stock exchange: Stadler Rail shares are falling. In the first few minutes of trading it lost around five percent and sank to under CHF 38 per paper. This was followed by a slight recovery. However, the all-time low of mid-March is no longer far away.
Spuhler enjoys an excellent reputation among rail vehicle manufacturers. The IPO of his Stadler Rail was a complete success. He was still very satisfied at the annual press conference in March. Ahlburg and Spuhler toasted each other. They drank white wine, talked about further growth, about thousands of new jobs.
Problems in the US and Spain
Now the break. Now the crash. Now cashing in on financial goals. Stadler Rail has to admit that the targeted sales of CHF 3.5 billion for 2020 may not be achieved. The profit margin of at least six percent has moved far away. One of the reasons for this is the corona crisis.
The company emphasizes that there was no actual drop in demand. In the short term, there were interruptions in the supply chain. To complications. In addition, the travel restrictions for customers and employees and the thinning of the timetables were not very helpful.
In Spain and the USA there were also problems in the factories. «In Valencia, we had to temporarily shut down our production facility on government orders. In Salt Lake City we had to cut the workforce by two thirds, ”Spuhler told BLICK a few weeks ago.
Multimillionaire thanks to the IPO
All in all, this led to delayed approvals, approvals and invoicing. Stadler expects a temporary decline in sales. The financial targets are suspended, the alliance between Ahlburg and Spuhler is broken.
The two have spent years together. Ahlburg headed the main office in Bussnang TG, was Spuhlers deputy and finally the crown prince who inherited the patron. Ahlburg was at the top for a little over two years. Ahlburg is a business economist and engineer. Spirited. Enthusiastic about the industry. United in entrepreneurship with Peter Spuhler. Stadler Rail’s IPO made him a co-owner. According to the annual report, he has 500,000 shares. The current equivalent: CHF 19 to 20 million.