Endress+Hauser has stood its ground in the market in an uncertain economic environment. The Swiss Group increased net sales in 2014 by 11.0 percent to 2.013 billion euros and achieved a net income of 192 million euros. The company invested over 126 million euros worldwide and employed 12,435 staff by the end of the year. However, prospects for 2015 are clouded by economic risks and currency movements.
In his first year as CEO of the Endress+Hauser Group, Matthias Altendorf presented good figures – “despite all the unpredictable external influences that hadn’t been considered in our budgets,” as he stressed. Endress+Hauser has doubled turnover within eight years. “For the first time in our history, over half of our net sales were generated outside Europe.”
Broad-based growth in sales:
Above all, business was good on the American continent, reported COO Michael Ziesemer, as seen in the US. Germany, the country with the highest sales volume, also improved significantly – as did Europe in general. Development in Asia was inconsistent. Growth slowed in China, whilst in Southeast Asia sales grew dynamically. In Africa and the Middle East, political instability in individual countries was noticeable.
Increased employment, higher capital expenditure:
At the end of 2014 Endress+Hauser employed 12,435 people worldwide – 516 more than the year before. The company invested 126 million euros and increased the production of flow measurement technology in Reinach, Switzerland, amongst others. 259 initial applications at patent offices around the world give evidence of the Group’s innovative powers.
Profitable and financially strong:
Operating profit (EBIT) decreased by 3.2 percent to 268 million euros. Thanks to the effects of favorable exchange rates and rewarding financial investments, the financial results were positive. As a result, profit before taxes (EBT) increased by 1.7 percent to 274 million euros. A slightly decreasing tax rate of 30.2 percent raised the net income by 2.3 percent to 192 million euros. CFO Dr Luc Schultheiss emphasized the Group’s robust financing. Equity ratio grew by 0.5 points to 68.3 percent.
Current year clouded by strength of Swiss franc:
The influence of foreign exchange rates was small in 2014. The consequences of the abolition of the minimum euro exchange rate by the Swiss National Bank in the current year are far harder to predict. “The Endress+Hauser Group as a whole can cope with the strengthening of the franc,” emphasized Luc Schultheiss. A large part of the added value is independent of the Swiss currency. However, the CFO anticipates lower profits due to the pressure on the Swiss companies in the Group.
Investments in more sustainability:
For the first time, Endress+Hauser presented a sustainability report together with the annual report. The report is intended to make developments visible and measurable. For example, cogeneration plants reduced carbon dioxide emissions at production sites in Maulburg and Gerlingen, Germany. A new plant to treat the surface of metal parts that uses metal beads instead of glass beads has significantly reduced the amount of special waste in Reinach, Switzerland.