Austrian powder metallurgy parts producer Miba AG has posted positive figures for the first half-year 2011-2012, stating that it continues to profit from consistently strong demand in its core markets. Consolidated sales in the first half of 2011-2012 (February 1 to July 31) soared by 38.5% over the same period in the previous year to €281.3 million. By contrast, earnings before taxes (EBT) of €28.6 million are only slightly higher than the previous year. The increase is only slight, yet it is attributed to special circumstances and, states Miba, are therefore satisfactory.
The positive development in Miba’s target markets continued during the first six months of the business year. “This business development validates our strategy of concentrating on challenging niches, both in our core segments as well as in our new division, the New Technologies Group. We are well on our way,” stated Peter Mitterbauer, CEO of Miba.
The growth in sales originates in equal measure from organic growth and from last year’s acquisitions. Miba Sinter Group accounted for the largest proportion of Group sales, at almost 37%, followed by Miba Bearing Group at 33% and Miba Friction Group at 20%. Nine percent was attributed to the New Technologies Group.
Earnings were noticeably impaired by the impact of capacity bottlenecks, by the high start-up costs from the integration of the friction business acquired last year into Miba Friction Group, and by the persistent tension between cost and supply in the international market for raw materials.
In the first half-year, Miba invested €22.4 million in fixed assets in order to increase production capacities in all divisions (previous year €18.3 million), so that over the long term, it could satisfy consistently strong demand. In addition to this, by the end of the business year Miba will have expanded production areas at all Austrian sites. “We expect that in the coming months, we will definitely feel the effects of the capacity expansions in our earnings,” stated Mitterbauer.
841 new employees
As of the July 31, 2011, reporting date, Miba engaged 3,715 employees throughout the world, with more than half of this workforce at its Austrian sites. Compared to the prior year, this corresponds to an addition of 841 employees. This increase in job posts took place primarily at Miba’s Austrian and Slovakian sites. In Austria, the number of employees rose by 356; of these, 154 employees came from the Styria-based companies acquired last year. In Slovakia, 319 new job positions were created.
To meet the growing need for highly qualified employees, Miba secured the majority of the new staff from its own ranks. Customised continuing education plans for all employees and a comprehensive apprentice training contributed to this effort. On September 1, 2011, 31 young people started their training at the Miba sites in Upper Austria, which corresponds to a peak level of 124 apprentices in training. At the Slovakian locations, Miba is currently training 21 apprentices; in autumn, an additional 15 young people will start their training at Vráble und Dolný Kubín.
Outlook: Focus on successful integration
“In the coming months, our focus will be placed squarely on the successfully integration of last year’s acquisitions, and on optimizing the use of our capacity expansions in the core business,” says Mitterbauer about the key areas in the second half of the year.