16/07/04

Financial Results of the Würth Group 1st Half of 2004

  • Trading group increases sales by 12.6 percent
  • Operating result grows disproportionately to sales
  • Number of employees grows to 45,299

Künzelsau/Hohenlohe Region. The Würth Group made a great leap forward in terms of sales in the first half of 2004 and is now growing by double-digit figures again. Total sales of the worldwide largest trading company for fasteners and assembly technology based in the Baden-Württemberg town of Künzelsau went up 12.6 percent to EUR 3.087 billion in the first six months of the business year 2004. "Our major investment in the sales force in the past two years is paying off now", Dr. Walter Jaeger Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Würth Group commented the success course of the company.
After a growth of 7.3 percent in the first quarter of 2004, the company pushed the sales growth to nearly 18 percent in the second quarter. Adjusted for the companies acquired the organic growth amounted to 8.4 percent in the first half of the year. It was thus significantly higher than in the past years.

In Germany, the Würth Group generated a double-digit sales growth of 11.8 percent compared to the same period under review in the previous year, despite the ongoing crisis in the construction industry. External sales went up to 1.22 billion euro. The international companies achieved a growth rate of 13.1 percent in the first six months. The sales of the Würth Group outside Germany went up to EUR 1.87 billion.

Three Companies Acquired

In the first quarter of 2004, the Würth Group made more significant acquisitions after years of consolidation. Taking over LICHT Zentrale Thurner GmbH in Nuremberg, the Austrian fittings producer Grass and the supplier to DIY stores DIY World GmbH the trading company integrated three businesses with a sales volume totaling 350 million euro per business year. With these acquisitions, the trading company strengthened the business units electrical wholesale, trade with DIY stores as well as the production of furniture fittings.

Operating Result Grows Disproportionately

In the first half of 2004, the operating result grew disproportionately to the sales growth by 25 percent. Reaching a level of 215 million euro it has exceeded last year's value (172 million euro) by 43 million euro. At the end of the 2004 financial year the company therefore expects a substantial improvement of the operating result compared to the value of 330 million euro in the preceding year. So the 2004 business year will probably be closed with new records in both sales and operating result.

Würth Group Employs over 45,000 Individuals

As of 30th June 2004, the Würth Group had 45,299 employees on its payroll all over the world. That is 4,189 more than last year, equaling a growth rate of 10.2 percent. The number of sales representatives went up 9.3 percent (2,111 sales people) to 24,859 The number of in-house employees in the Würth Group rose by 2,074 individuals to 20,440. In the context of acquisitions, 1,349 internal employees were integrated in the Würth Group.

The Würth Group now comprises over 300 sales companies operating in 80 countries.