11/07/13

Würth Group plans to cross EUR 10 billion mark

The first six months of 2013:

  • Sales decline due to weak first quarter
  • Operating result at last year's level
  • Restructuring of the Group management
  • 64,064 employees worldwide (as of 30 June 2013)

The Würth Group closed the first half of 2013 with total sales of EUR 4.9 billion. This corresponds to a year-over-year decrease of 3.0 percent, which can be attributed to the difficult economic environment in key markets such as Germany, especially in the first quarter of the year 2013. The long winter, for example, hindered sales growth in the strategically important construction sector. The unstable economic situation in Southern Europe is adding to this development, putting a drag on Würth's business for several years now. After adjusting for the Group's solar activities, which have been abandoned in the meantime, the overall decline in sales comes to 0.8 percent. The operating result was stabilized on the level of the previous year at EUR 205 million.

Robert Friedmann, Chairman of the Central Managing Board of the Würth Group, regards the situation as challenging, but is nonetheless optimistic for the second half of the year. "It cannot be denied that the general economic situation is working against us at the moment. Often this can be felt in lower total order values. However, the second quarter of 2013 is already pointing towards a recovery. Other leading indicators such as incoming orders in our electronics group or the development of our automotive businesses give us reason to expect stronger sales growth in the Würth Group over the next six months."

Examples of profitable business operations in the first half of the year include the Wood Group in North America, Würth Group China, the electronics company eiSos as well as a number of South American subsidiaries. In times of economic crisis, Würth's regional diversity as well as its great variety of different business segments has again proven its worth.

Restructuring of the Group management

On 1 July 2013, changes to streamline the management structure of the Würth Group came into effect. Shorter reporting lines and consolidated responsibilities increase the Group's agility and performance. The body was reduced from seven to four members. Robert Friedmann remains Chairman of the Central Managing Board with Peter Zürn as Deputy Chairman, while Joachim Kaltmaier will continue in the role of financial manager. Uwe Hohlfeld was newly appointed to the Central Managing Board to take charge of strategic planning and controlling. Mr. Hohlfeld has been a member of the management of Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG since 2003.

Employees

The number of employees dropped to 64,064 in the first half of 2013 (December 2012: 65,169). The negative sales development forced the Group to further reduce its workforce. In Germany, the Würth Group has a total of 19,413 employees, while the Würth companies abroad account for 44,651 of the Group's employees.

Outlook

Würth is focusing on the development of new business segments such as e-business and targeted investments in growth markets to cross the €10 billion mark in the current business year. "We are still expecting to see low single-digit sales growth and a satisfactory development of the operating result in 2013." (Friedmann)

About the Würth Group

The Würth Group is the world's market leader in its core business, the trade in assembly and fastening materials. It currently consists of more than 400 companies in over 80 countries with more than 64,000 employees on its payroll. Approximately 30,000 of them are permanently employed sales representatives. In the business year 2012, the Würth Group attained a worldwide sales volume of EUR 9.98 billion.

In the core business, the Würth Line, the product range for trades and industry comprises over 100,000 products: from screws, screw accessories and anchors to tools, chemical-technical products and personal protective equipment.

The Allied Companies of the Würth Group, which either operate in business areas adjacent to the core business or in diversified business areas, round off the range by offering products for DIY stores, material for electrical installations, electronic components such as circuit boards as well as financial services. They generate approximately 40 percent of the Würth Group's sales volume.