UZWIL, SWITZERLAND — While overall orders edged upward at Buhler Group in 2013, the Grain Processing segment experienced a 3% drop for the year, the company said. Net profit for Buhler during the year was 123 million Swiss francs ($136 million), down 21% from 155 million Swiss francs in 2012.

Total orders intake in 2013 were 2,363 Swiss francs ($2,620 million), up 0.8% from 2,345 million in 2012. Revenues during the year were 2,322 million Swiss francs ($2,575 million), down 3.6% from 2,409 million in 2012. Buhler noted that the earlier year was an especially strong one with a 13% improvement from 2011.

Even with sales and earnings under some pressure, Buhler said it “deliberately maintained its high level of spending on research and development” of over 100 million Swiss francs ($111 million).

Reviewing order intake on a regional basis, Buhler said North American orders fell 17% in 2013 from the year before. Areas of strength were South America, up 23% to a record high; Europe, up 11%; and Asia, up 12%.

Buhler described its order backlog for 2014 as “solid,” totaling 1.3 billion Swiss francs ($1,444 million) at the start of the year.

While dependent on a strong pace of capital spending, Buhler said it is hopeful about the outlook for the new year, particularly so given the company’s favorable position with regard to “strong social trends.”

“These trends include in particular growing demand for safe, healthy, and affordable foods (Food Processing and Grain Processing divisions) and people’s increasing wish for intelligent mobility (Advanced Materials division),” the company said. “Buhler will also strive to steadily improve its operating excellence in order to further increase its productivity and flexibility.”