12/05/05

2. Business Year 2004 of the Würth Group (abridged version)

  • Würth Group increases sales by 13.8 percent
  • Operating result goes up by 19.7 percent
  • An additional 5,021 employees hired worldwide

Künzelsau/Hohenlohe Region. The Würth Group closed the financial year 2004 with new record sales. The growth dynamism significantly increased compared to the preceding years.

The worldwide largest trading company in the field of fastening and assembly technology presented the annual financial statement of the business year 2004 in the framework of the annual press conference at its headquarters in Künzelsau-Gaisbach on Thursday, 12th May 2005.

The Würth Group stepped up its consolidated sales by 13.8 percent to EUR 6.203 billion (previous year: EUR 5.45 billion).With EUR 395 million (preceding year: EUR 330 million), the 314 companies of the Würth Group also generated a new record in terms of profit before tax and thus exceeded its old record of EUR 330 million of the financial year 2003 by 19.7 percent. Compared to the preceding year, the net income for the year went up by EUR 39 million to EUR 258 million.

“With these figures, we surpassed our own objectives. The fact that the profit grew clearly faster than the sales, underlines the sound growth course of our 60-year-old business", Dr. Walter Jaeger, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Würth Group, commented on the Group balance sheet of the business year 2004.

On account of acquisitions, higher growth rate in Germany than abroad

In contrast to the previous years, sales in Germany went up faster than abroad in financial year 2004. The German companies generated 14.6 percent higher sales reaching the level of EUR 2.5 billion (previous year: EUR 2.2 billion). This growth can partly be put down to acquisitions, which in all make up annual sales of EUR 161 million. Adjusted for acquisitions, sales in Germany rose by 6.8 percent despite the continuously difficult economic conditions.

Outside Germany, the sales volume increased by 13.2 percent to EUR 3.7 billion (previous year: EUR 3.3 billion). Adjusted for the effects of exchange-rate fluctuations and acquisitions the growth rate of the international Group amounted to 12.1 percent.

Cash flow, equity and capital expenditure go up

The equity of the Würth Group went up to EUR 1.734 billion. The Würth Group thus still has an impressive equity ratio of 48 percent (preceding year: 48 percent) with which the company is far above the average of European trading companies. The gross cash flow rose from EUR 431 to 487 million, capital expenditure in tangible assets, intangible assets and financial assets grew by EUR 20 million to EUR 237 million.

5,021 additional employees

As of 31 December 2004, the number of employees increased by 5,021 from 41,952 (in 2003) to 46,973. This corresponds to an increase of 12 percent. “With over 5,000 new employees, sales, logistics and internal departments have the necessary resources to convince more customers of the quality of our products. So the foundations for the further success course of Würth have been laid“, Group Chairman Dr. Walter Jaeger stated. 1,395 of the 5,021 new jobs have been related to the companies acquired.