07/05/08

Würth Group: Stable business development in the first tertial 2008

  • Consolidated sales increase by 8.6 percent to EUR 3.04 billion
  • Stable operating result of EUR 240 million
  • More than 65,000 employees

Künzelsau/Stuttgart. In the first four months of the new business year the Würth Group has shown further positive development.

In comparison to the same period under review of last year, sales increased by 8.6 percent to EUR 3.04 billion. Adjusted for currency exchange rates, the sales increase even came up to 10.2 percent.

Mainly responsible for the positive development in the first tertial was the sales increase within the German group by 11.1 percent to EUR 1.23 billion. The increase in sales by 6.9 percent to EUR 1.81 billion in the international business played just as important a role.

Stable development of the operating result

As regards the operating result, the Würth Group shows a stable development. With an increase of 1.3 percent compared to the previous year, the operating result comes to EUR 240 million after this year’s first four months. This growth rate was attained despite a basis effect of the strong last year and the weak economic development in the United States.

More than 65,000 employees

As of 30 April 2008, 65,096 people are employed within the Würth Group. This corresponds to a plus of 7.8 percent compared with the same period of the previous year. 31,351 employees work in the sales force (+5.4 percent compared to last year). In Germany, Würth has 17,268 employees on its payroll (+5.6 percent compared to last year). Over the last four years, the Würth Group has hired a total number of over 20,000 new employees.

Capital expenditure still high

In the business year 2008, the Würth Group will invest around EUR 500 million in the extension of its core competences, mainly in the fields of sales and logistics. Approximately EUR 230 million are to be used in Germany. In the time between 2005 and 2007, the company invested EUR 1.2 billion, EUR 490 million of which were spent in Germany.

Würth Group welcomes 3,000,000th customer

The Würth Group is guided strongly by its customers’ wishes in the individual markets and thus constantly increases its customer base. In April 2008, the Würth Group welcomed its 3,000,000th customer. For several years, the company has been increasingly complementing the classical sales force with branch offices which are first ports of call for craft customers – especially from the field of construction – who wish to cover their immediate demand. “Thanks to absolute sales orientation our customer base increases continuously which is an expression of the satisfaction of our customers and thus of our good performance”, states Robert Friedmann, Chairman of the Central Managing Board of the Würth Group.

Outlook

By the end of 2008, the Würth Group aims for a sales growth of 8.4 percent to EUR 9.2 billion. The operating result is to come up to last year’s level. Similar to the business development, the company intends to step up the number of employees in Germany and abroad. “We are optimistic as regards the further business development in 2008. However, as the global economic development can hardly be foreseen at the moment we are prudent in our planning”, says Mr. Friedmann.