12/01/10

Preliminary Annual Financial Statement of the Würth Group for the Year 2009: Positive Operating Result Generated

  • Annual sales went down by 14.9 percent to EUR 7.5 billion
  • Pre-tax operating result of over EUR 200 million expected
  • About 58,000 employees worldwide
  • Changes in Top Management

Künzelsau/Rorschach. According to the preliminary annual financial statement the Würth Group reports a sales volume of EUR 7.5 billion in 2009 which corresponds to a sales decline of 14.9 percent. In a difficult global economic environment the Group managed an operating result of over EUR 200 million before tax (2008: EUR 545 million).

The sales of the German Würth companies declined by 10.0 percent compared to the year 2008. Outside of Germany, the sales volume generated by the companies of the Würth Group went down by 18.3 percent in 2009.

Robert Friedmann, Chairman of the Central Managing Board: “Our sales development in 2009 was, as expected, strongly marked by the difficult economic situation that hit our customers above all in the automobile industry, but also in machine construction. In the second half of the year, however, we noticed a sort of bottoming out. Incoming orders stabilized and even showed a trend back to growth.”

The fact that the parent company of the Würth Group, Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG, generated record sales in September and October 2009 was a good example of this development.

With this result, Würth is among the companies that manage to operate successfully and profitably in spite of the crisis. Friedmann explains: “It was good to react at an early point in time. We strongly concentrated on sales, and this has paid off. On top of this we took precautions in highly profitable years – e.g. by building up an excellent liquidity level as well as a high equity ratio. This is what we benefit from now.”

Besides an economic recovery will the opportunities for growth in 2010 be provided by an extension of the customer base. “Therefore, we will continue focusing on intensive sales with the aim to not only satisfy our customers in 2010, but to inspire and fill them with enthusiasm.”

In 2009, the number of employees in the Würth Group continued going down by 7.8 percent to a total of 57,882 worldwide compared to the previous year. Würth has a decentralized structure also as far as personnel questions are concerned. The decisions concerning the reduction or the increase of staff are taken by the persons in charge in the various countries. In some companies, drastic measures had to be taken, e.g. in Spain and the USA. Friedmann said: “Whenever we have to separate from employees we always strive for social compatibility”. All in all, we proceeded in a very purposeful and individual manner: In the field of sales, Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG even recruited additional staff.

The company is going to publish the definite annual statement of the Würth Group for the financial year 2009 at its annual press conference that will take place in Zurich on 19 May 2010.

Changes in the Top Management of the Würth Group

Taking effect on 1 January 2010, the Supervisory Board of the Würth Group’s Family Trusts and the Advisory Board of the Würth Group appointed Michel Kern (51), Jürg Michel (58) and Wolfgang Rampmaier (57) members of the Central Managing Board of the Würth Group. They are going to reinforce the supreme decision-making body of the Würth Group. The change had already been announced last year.

The Central Managing Board of the Würth Group thus consists of the following members:

  • Robert Friedmann, Chairman of the Central Managing Board
  • Peter Zürn, Deputy Chairman of the Central Managing Board
  • Joachim Kaltmaier
  • Michel Kern
  • Jürg Michel
  • Wolfgang Rampmaier
  • Dr. Reiner Specht

On the Würth Group

The Würth Group is the world’s market leader in its core business, the trade in assembly and fastening material. It currently consists of approximately 400 companies in 84 countries and has about 58,000 employees on its payroll. More than 28,000 of them are permanently employed sales representatives.

In the core business, the Würth Line, the sales range for trades and industry comprises over 100,000 products: From screws, screw accessories and anchors all the way to tools, chemical technical products and personal protection equipment.

269 companies operate under their own name. These so-called Allied Companies operate in diversified business fields and markets adjacent to the core business. They, for example, sell products for DIY stores, material for electrical installations, electronic components (e.g. circuit boards), financial services and solar modules.

The Würth Group as optimistic, dynamic and self-confident organization does not only want to satisfy its customers, but inspire and fill them with enthusiasm. Demanding and promoting performance is an integral element of Würth’s corporate culture.