In the last fiscal year, which ended on February 29 2008, the Plansee Group has announced an 11% increase in sales €1.079 billion. All three Group divisions – Plansee HPM, Ceratizit and PMG contributed to this growth.
Michael Schwarzkopf, chairman of the Plansee Group’s executive board, stated: “Despite the strength of the euro and rising raw-material and energy costs, we increased our market share in all business areas and geographical regions. We achieved even better growth in the USA than in the successful European export markets.”
The Plansee Group also recorded excellent sales growth in emerging markets such as Eastern Europe, China and Taiwan. “Sales in key markets such as mechanical engineering, automotive and electronics contributed significantly to the growth,” says Schwarzkopf.
By acquiring the US companies Electro-Graph and Newcomer Products, and by setting up six new sales offices in Mexico, Spain, Italy and China, the Group increased its international presence to 70 companies worldwide. The number of sites in North America went down by two due to production areas being consolidated.
The number of people employed by the Group increased by 350 to 5,900. Schwarzkopf describes the Group’s profits as “satisfactory and in line with long-term objectives”. The investment of €116million was financed from operating cash flow. The equity-to-assets ratio amounted to 60 percent of the total balance sheet.
Schwarzkopf comments: “Plansee made investments of 400 million euros over the last three fiscal years, half of which went into our companies in Austria. Key investments were made in expanding the production plant in Breitenwang/Reutte, in building a new hot rolling mill for flat products and a new recycling facility for hard metals. We also invested in developing our factories which focus on particular product areas, for example PMG Polmetasa in Spain.”