Schunk Group, headquartered in Heuchelheim, Germany, has reported a 6.6% increase in sales for their 2016 financial year to over €1.1 billion, marking another record year for the technology group. High sales growth was accompanied by a significant increase in profits, which was also said to have reached a record level.
“This highlights the great financial strength and stability of the Schunk Group,” stated Dr Arno Roth, Chairman of Schunk Group’s Management Board. “Our strong growth is rooted in both the positive development of our key markets, and our successful market cultivation. Every division of Schunk has contributed to this growth, and each one has achieved new sales records.” Growth was also bolstered by the group’s acquisition of Automotive Testing Solutions at the end of 2015.
Schunk experienced higher overall growth than the wider automotive market (4.8%), in which the company makes around 40% of its sales. High sales growth was also reportedly accompanied by a significant increase in profits, raising the equity ratio for the group to around 64%. Particularly high growth of nearly 8% was seen in Asia, primarily in China. Sales in North America also showed a positive trend, while Schunk lost revenue in South America, particularly in Brazil where an economic recession is ongoing.
Schunk is reportedly planning investments of around €113 million for 2017. If these targets are met, the group will see investment reach a record high. Major individual investments include planned construction of a new Helmond site in the Netherlands, as well as completion of a new goods dispatch building at the Heuchelheim site and a production building in Balingen. Schunk is also investing in the expansion and modernisation of machinery and equipment at its sites.
While profits saw an overall increase, the number of Schunk Group employees fell slightly to 8,038 in 2016 compared 8,079 in the previous year. According to Schunk, this was due to personnel adjustments at individual companies, including in Brazil.
“Our employees remain the foundation of Schunk’s success,” stated Roth. “Therefore, due to the Schunk Group’s good annual results and high degree of financial stability, staff will be given a share of the profits for the 2016 financial year. Overall, around €26.5 million will be distributed to employees in 2017. Depending on location and length of service, profit shares will be up to €5,000 per person.”
Schunk added that it foresees greater challenges ahead for 2017, when predicted growth rates for it’s two core markets, the automotive and rail industries, are significantly lower than those for 2016. However, the group reported that it is still adhering to its medium-term goals for now.
“The objective of the strategy established in 2014 is clear: in 2020, sales should be at €1.5 billion,” added Roth. “Two years have passed since then, and it seems natural to make an initial assessment: we are well on the way of reaching our goal.”