” Global markets secure success“
- In 2015, turnover increased by 3.5 % to 696 million euros, although growth is still considerably below expectations
- Strong internationalisation balances out slow growth in individual regions
- Continued focus on investment into future viability
- Progress in development into a solution provider thanks to tailored applications
- Prospects for 2016 positive: sustainable future strategy, innovative products and early focus on Industry 4.0 and digitalisation are paying off
In the 2015 financial year, the Detmold-based Weidmüller Group recorded a turnover of 696 million euros, representing 3.5 % growth over the previous year (2014: 673 million euros). It is the sixth year of growth in succession for the company, but still below its own expectations.
Turnover increase mainly from abroad
“2015 was a very varied year for us and we achieved 3.5 percent growth in turnover. Our success in business is primarily down to global growth markets. We aim to continue on this route by means of consistent investment into innovation and are therefore optimistic about the future for our products, solutions and applications”, reported Chief Executive Officer Dr Peter Köhler at the annual press conference held at the Hannover Messe.
The foreign component of the turnover increased to over 78 percent, up from a round 75 percent in the previous years. From the global perspective, there is real diversity in the markets: while there is only moderate growth in business in Central Europe, both Southern Europe (+6 %) and Northern and Eastern Europe reported positive developments. Because of the economic crisis in Brazil, the Americas region reported a decline in turnover. By contrast, growth in the India and Middle East region was into double figures. Turnover in the Asia region increased considerably (+7 %), but turned out a little more modest than in previous years. In terms of the focus industries, there was turnover growth to report across all areas. Weidmüller improved particularly strongly among customers in machine construction (+6 %) and the process industry (+3 %). The number of permanent employees fell slightly to 4153 (2014: 4199), with a total of around 4500 employees working for Weidmüller as at the end of 2015.
Around the world, in 2015 the company invested around 80 million euros into products, systems and buildings. This is a new record and at the same time an indicator that the company is not sitting back and resting on its success thus far, instead it is taking a proactive approach to shaping its own future. This is also reflected in the investment into research and development, which has increased from its 2011 figure of 29 million euros to 40 million euros. This allows the company to play a role in setting the new technological trends for the industry.
Securing future viability through innovation and investment
Weidmüller is securing the future viability of the company by taking the logical step towards being a solution provider. In 2015, the electrical engineering specialist increased its innovation level from 14.9 % to 15.6 %. The focus is on products and solutions which both provide a customer benefit and also meet increasing requirements for customer-specific solutions. A good example is the application strategies for the new Klippon Connect range of modular terminal blocks, as presented at the Hannover Messe. They enable tailored connectivity for automation and reduce the space required in the control cabinet by up to 50 percent. The company is also consistently capitalising on the opportunities represented by Industry 4.0 and digitalisation in order to allow more efficient process designs in production. Examples include the new remote maintenance solution u-link and new applications relating to predictive maintenance and industrial analytics. Weidmüller has also reinforced its cooperation with partners in the industrial IT sector and signed a technology cooperation with ads-tec on remote maintenance during the Hannover Messe.
Overview of potential of digitalisation
The company has set itself ambitious targets until the year 2020, aiming to exhaust the potential for digitalisation to increase customer benefit based on the key ideas of industrial analytics and predictive maintenance. At this years Hannover Messe, Weidmüller is showcasing the “Industry 4.0 Cockpit” to demonstrate what can already be achieved in the ‘smart factory’. The focus is also on development of application-specific solutions for automation and other product innovations in order to provide the customer with even a wider range of perfect-fit solutions.
There are new Executive Board members in the shape of Jörg Timmermann, who took over as CFO on 1 January 2016, and José Carlos Álvarez Tobar, who has been working in management roles at Weidmüller for 30 years, including roles as managing director in Spain and Regional Manager for Southern Europe and South America. On March 1st. he took on responsibility for global sales and marketing activities at the Weidmüller Group.
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This post was updated by Lesley Young from Weidmüller UK.