16/07/15

Würth Group steps up sales by 8.7 percent in the first half of 2015

First half of 2015:

• Sales increased by 8.7 percent to EUR 5,459 million

• Number of employees increased to 67,779

• Significant acquisition in North America

Künzelsau. In the first half of 2015, the Würth Group generated total sales of EUR 5,459 million. This corresponds to year-over-year growth of 8.7 percent. Growth in local currency amounts to 5.5 percent. "Würth's development is positive, which is not only due to the good economic development in relevant fields of our business activities. We also focused on expanding forward-looking business units such as e-business," says Robert Friedmann, Chairman of the Central Managing Board of the Würth Group. After six months, the operating result has reached the same level as in the previous year. This stagnation is attributable to exchange losses in connection with the appreciation of the Swiss franc as well as investments in the sales force. The Würth Group employs 30,686 sales representatives, which corresponds to an increase by approximately 1,000 compared to the previous year.

Employees

Taking into account all acquisitions, the number of employees increased by 2.6 percent to 67,779 in the first half of 2015 (December 2014: 66,044).

Acquisition in North America

On 8 July 2015, Würth acquired 100 percent of the shares in Northern Safety Co., Inc. based in Frankfort, New York, USA. The acquisition is subject to review by the US antitrust agency. The company generated sales of USD 190 million in 2014 and has 472 employees on the payroll. Northern Safety specializes in the sale of personal protective equipment and mainly supplies industrial businesses. It is thus a perfect addition rounding off the Würth Group's industrial activities in the US.

Interest in Paravan

Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG has acquired 51 percent of Paravan GmbH based in Pfronstetten-Aichelau, Germany. The company specializes in the customization of vehicles for people with a physical disability and the drive-by-wire concept. For Würth, the future cooperation and the technology of Paravan offer great potential on the global market for fully autonomous driving systems. The companies want to jointly boost the international marketing activities of the first drive-by-wire system with a permit for road traffic, "Space Drive". In 2014, Paravan generated sales of approximately EUR 20 million with 140 employees.

Outlook

The Würth Group expects sales growth in the medium single-digit range as well as a moderate development of the operating result in the second half of 2015.

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 67,000 employees on its payroll. Approximately 30,000 of them are permanently employed sales representatives. In the business year 2014, the Würth Group attained a worldwide sales volume of EUR 10.13 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 related 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 more than 40 percent of the Würth Group's sales volume.