Sustainanble growth

Witzenmann records sustained growth and sets the course for the future

10.04.2014

- International market position further strengthened -

The Witzenmann Group is the world's leading manufacturer of metal hoses, expansion joints, metal bellows and vehicle parts. Around 3600 employees in 23 companies in 18 countries develop and produce custom solutions for customers in all sectors of industry. Witzenmann is a technology leader in its field and alongside a comprehensive product range can also lay claim to broad engineering expertise in the field of flexible metallic conduit elements.

"We have reached another milestone in the development of the Witzenmann Group." These words from Hans-Eberhard Koch, Chairman of the Board, describe the past year during which Witzenmann was able to further expand on its market position and achieve a measurable level of growth. In 2013 the company group increased its turnover by €24.2 million to €497.1 million. Compared to the previous year, this represents a sales increase of 5.1%.
 Witzenmann benefits from its international locations. Two-thirds (66.5%) of sales were realised overseas in 2013. Sales in Germany continue at a stable level, and sales in other European countries have experienced slight increases. Key areas of growth remain the companies in America and Asia (USA and China). The sales share of the non-European companies rose to 33.4%.
 This development is characterised by the automotive sector (cars, HGVs) that continues to prosper, and dynamic sales in the industrial sector. Stricter environmental standards, increased quality requirements and the need for efficient drive concepts offer broad applications for Witzenmann solutions. Future markets are opening up in traditional industrial markets such as plant construction for the chemical and the petrochemical industries. In 2013, various pioneering large-scale projects were successfully implemented that required innovative solutions.

"Employment levels have also benefited from this sales growth. The end of 2013 saw more than 3600 people employed at the Witzenmann Group,"said Gerhard Flöck, Managing Director for HR, Finance, Controlling and Materials. In line with the sales growth, the number of employees outside Europe is also increasing rapidly. In 2013 there were 645 persons working for Witzenmann in America and Asia. At the end of 2012 it was just 561. In Germany, the number of employees rose from 1895 in 2012 to 1946. As part of this development, the Pforzheim-based headquarters is increasingly taking on coordination and management tasks for its international subsidiaries.

The Management Board is also pleased with developments this year. "It's going better than planned," is how Hans-Eberhard Koch describes the current business situation. It is expected that the Group's sales will rise to almost €520 million this year. This growth will also be realised primarily outside Europe in 2014.
 The course for the future has been set. Witzenmann is investing around €39 million in 2014 (in 2013 it was €31 million). €16 million will go to the company's headquarters in Pforzheim. "Our investment rate of more than 7% is far above the industry average," explains Gerhard Flöck. Significant investment will be focussed on expanding capacities and advancing Witzenmann's technological competitive advantages.

Andreas Kämpfe, Director of Technology and Quality, is certain: "We will only achieve our growth targets with high quality products, optimised processes and innovative solutions to problems. Witzenmann customers value our engineering expertise." He sees a multitude of opportunities: for complex expansion joints for large-scale plants, with conduits for vehicle air conditioning systems and products for recovering energy from the waste heat of combustion engines. "We have some really interesting projects in our development pipeline," said Andreas Kämpfe.
 Despite the current political situation in Russia, increasing price pressure from customers, an increasing tax burden and dealing with trade barriers, the sales target of €800 million in 2020 is firmly in the company's sights.

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