Financial turmoil that roiled global currency trading hit home this year at injection press maker Netstal-Maschinen AG of Näfels, Switzerland.
The Swiss currency surged as investors loaded up on francs, which they considered a shelter during the debt crises in the eurozone and the U.S.
“This is really a challenge for the exporting industry, as you can imagine, because at the end, this makes our products more expensive for our customers abroad,” said Bernhard Merki, Netstal's president and CEO.
When a currency rises quickly, firms can raise prices, take less profit, or a combination of both.
Merki said Netstal sources many parts from eurozone countries. “We buy about 60 percent of what we're buying in euros, so this helps to balance our situation a little bit,” Merki said in October at Fakuma in Friedrichshafen.
In September, Swiss National Bank capped the franc, saying it would buy euros in “unlimited qualities” if it falls below 1.20 francs. Merki said the move has helped stabilize the franc, which helps Netstal determine costs and set pricing, but the franc is still stronger than usual.