The first six months of 2012:
The globally operating Würth Group - world market leader in its core business, the trade in assembly and fastening material - closed the first half of 2012 with overall sales of EUR 5.0 billion.
"We are well on the way to attaining our sales target of EUR 10 billion this year as well as setting a new sales record", Robert Friedmann, Chairman of the Central Managing Board of the Würth Group, comments on the current business development. Mr. Friedmann attributes the slower sales growth than in the same period under review last year to the poor economic framework conditions in many European countries. "Especially Spain and Italy contributed much to the sales volume and operating result in the past. Of course, we clearly notice the slump in their economic activities."
Compared to the first half of 2011, the German companies increased their sales volume by 4.5 percent to EUR 2.2 billion. (2011: EUR 2.1 billion). The companies outside Germany grew by 5.9 percent and generated sales of EUR 2.8 billion (2011: EUR 2.7 billion).
The American companies of the Würth Group developed well. The South American region stepped up sales by 7.6 percent; the companies in North America grew above average by 22.9 percent to EUR 480 million in the first six months of the year 2012.
The Würth Group's operating result is shaping up well. As of the end of the first half year it comes to EUR 205 million (first half year 2011: EUR 184 million). Robert Friedmann is optimistic, expecting decent operating result growth in 2012: "Würth has always reacted well to volatile economic situations. However, it would be wrong to say that times were easy. We are lacking the economic tailwind to make such a statement."
Würth makes targeted investments in business fields complementing the trade in assembly and fastening materials. In June, the Würth Group acquired the two chemical companies Dinol GmbH based in Lügde, Germany, and Diffutherm B.V. based in Bergeijk, Netherlands. The companies have 150 employees on their payroll and generated sales of EUR 60 million in 2011. Dinol and Diffutherm develop, produce and distribute adhesives, corrosion protection, underbody protection as well as insulation materials and sealants mainly for the automotive and the construction industry.
To facilitate further growth, the Würth Group also increased the number of staff members in the first half of 2012, always taking into account the economic conditions in the respective regions: Compared to the same period last year, the Group hired an additional 501 employees (+0.8 percent). Currently, the Würth Group has a total of 65,945 employees on the payroll (as of 30 June 2012); 32,061 of them work in the sales force. In Germany, the Würth Group has a total of 19,424 employees, while the Würth companies abroad report 46,521 employees.