– Group turnover leaps past the 500 million mark –
"Under somewhat difficult economic conditions, we managed to stay on track and were once again able to improve our performance." These are the words used by Hans-Eberhard Koch, Chairman of the Executive Board, to sum up the previous year – one in which Witzenmann successfully expanded its solid market position while also posting stronger growth.
In 2014 the Witzenmann Group once again increased its turnover, which grew by 28.3 million euros to a total of 525.4 million euros. This was equal to a 5.7% increase in turnover over the previous year.
Witzenmann continues to benefit from its broad market position as a global company. More than two-thirds of its turnover were generated abroad in 2014.
Turnover in Germany grew by 5.6% in 2014, while business in European countries outside of Germany is only showing slight signs of recovery. Growth continues to be fuelled by the companies in the Americas (+13.7%) and Asia (+8.5%). The share of turnover accounted for by the overseas companies once again increased, with 35.2% of the Group's total turnover coming from the Americas and Asia.
The biggest contributors to the Group's positive performance in 2014 were the automotive markets. Over half of all turnover (56.7%) was generated in the passenger car, lorry and commercial vehicle segments, which saw turnover increase by 11% over the previous year. Stricter environmental standards, enhanced demands on quality and the need for efficient drive concepts mean that a wide range of applications is available for Witzenmann solutions.
"With our new location in Mexico, we're setting a new milestone. It represents the addition of a state-of-the-art production site in direct proximity to our automotive customers", notes Koch.
The Pforzheim-based family-owned company is also looking to develop future opportunities in traditional industrial markets, as well as in plant engineering and construction for the chemical industry and the petrochemistry field.
"The positive trend in our turnover figures is reflected in the increased number of Witzenmann employees. At the close of 2014, there were a total of 3,756 employees working throughout the Witzenmann Group", says Gerhard Flöck, Director for Human Resources, Finance, Controlling, IT and Material.
The number of employees outside Europe is also increasing in line with the growth in turnover. At the end of the previous year, there were 726 employees working for Witzenmann in the Americas and Asia. The number of workers in Germany remained essentially unchanged at 1,927. An increasing share of the coordination and management activities related to the international subsidiaries is being handled at company headquarters in Pforzheim.
Witzenmann's growth course is bolstered by the organisation's extensive investments.
The Group invested more than 41 million euros in 2014, and investments on the same order of magnitude are planned for 2015. "Significant portions of our investments go towards securing and expanding our technological competitive advantages", says Flöck.
"Employee training and development measures are also extremely important to us. In addition to providing young people with vocational training in the fields of business and industry, we also offer our employees all around the world an extensive programme for their continued personal and professional development", remarks Flöck in describing the activities of the Witzenmann Academy.
Andreas Kämpfe, Director for Technology and Quality, highlights Witzenmann's outstanding engineering competence, noting that "technology and innovation are the cornerstones of our market success." This will continue to hold true as the Group moves into the future. Philip Paschen, the new Director for Business Process Management, Logistics and Sustainability, emphasises that "the only way we can meet future challenges is by consistently improving our processes and enhancing our business model."
The Executive Board is optimistic about the Group's performance for the current year. In describing the present business situation, Hans-Eberhard Koch says that "things are proceeding better than planned." Group turnover is expected to increase to roughly 550 million euros this year.
The successful family-owned company remains firmly focused on meeting its ambitious turnover target of 800 million euros by the year 2020.