Ziehl-Abegg boosted by exports: Sales rise by 9 percent
Ziehl-Abegg, the manufacturer of fans and motors, can look back over a very good 2014: global sales increased by 9 percent to 423 million Euro.
“We reaped the fruits of our professional approach to the internationalisation of our business” said CEO Peter Fenkl, as with only a few exceptions the foreign companies posted double figure growth rates. The Russian crisis is clearly having an impact: the companies in the Ukraine and Russia have seen sales fall sharply. “Since this crisis has affected many clients worldwide we have also suffered lost business in other countries“, explains Fenkl. The bottom line however is that the very good growth achieved on the international level by Ziehl-Abegg has clearly enabled it to compensate for these falls. The company traditionally does not give out information on profits.
The good growth is also reflected in the size of the workforce. Chief Financial Officer Achim Curd Rägle is pleased: “For the first time we now employ more than 3400 people worldwide.” The more personnel a company employs worldwide the greater the need for improved integration and training. “That’s why we have reorganised our tried and tested programme of further training to create the Ziehl-Abegg-Academy”, said Rägle. Employees throughout the world can use this Academy for booking seminars covering topics such as public speaking, self-management, employe leadership or, for example, inter-cultural expertise.
The success on the sales front goes hand in hand with the work of the developers. “The new products introduced over the past two or three years are now well-established in the market so this is also having a noticeable impact in the production area”, stressed Chief Technology Officer Norbert Schuster. He simultaneously announced further new products for the current year which will open up new markets for Ziehl-Abegg. Not only has a major plant in Baden-Württemberg been added to the global production network but also a production facility established in Thailand for the local market. “We must be closer to our customers” explained Schuster.
The production facility for drive technology/automotive in the new building in the Hohenlohe Business Park (investment of 30 million euro) has been commissioned into operation as planned. “This building on the main transport axis in Southern Germany is clear proof of our commitment to Germany as a business location” emphasised CEO Fenkl.
There are several negatives that will shape the prospects for the current year: the Russian crisis will continue to leave its mark on many countries in 2015, the low oil price will provide a tough test of the willingness to invest in the Arab states and the low commodity process will impact on the economies of Brazil and Australia. The obvious sound economic growth in the USA provides the one sure ray of hope.