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Higher US sales buoy Arburg results

By: Bill Bregar

March 19, 2014

LOSSBURG, GERMANY — Arburg GmbH + Co. KG expects 2013 sales of about 470 million euros (US$650 million), about 3.5 percent below the 2012 record of 488 million euros.

Helmut Heinson, managing director of sales, said the sales decline last year came because several large customer projects were scheduled for 2014, and so orders came too late to be included in 2013 numbers.

Michael Hehl, Arburg’s managing partner, said incoming machinery orders, measured in euros, are more than 20 percent above the 2012 figure. He said turnkey projects continue to grow for the machinery company, now making up 14 percent of sales.

Arburg executives announced the sales numbers in a news conference March 19, to kick off Technology Days 2014, was expected to draw 6,800 visitors from around the world to the small Black Forest town of Lossburg over four days.

Heinson said the United States continues to be Arburg’s biggest export market. Arburg is building a new headquarters for its U.S. headquarters in Rocky Hill, Conn., a few miles from its longtime site in Newington, Conn. The company has added employees.

“The U.S. market has developed to be the most important foreign market for us. We are seeing very good figures of increase — in two digits — and that’s a consequence of the investments that we did there,” Heinson said.

He said U.S. molders are winning work back from low-cost countries in Asia.

“You see clear improvements in the plastics industry in the U.S., he said.

In 2013, electric machines, the Alldrive and Edrive, generated 24 percent of sales. Hybrid Hidrive presses were 13 percent of business. Allrounders with electric drives were responsible for 37 percent of sales. The hydraulic Golden Edition machine generated about 16 percent of total sales.

Hehl said the product mix has remained consistent. The one big gainer, are large-tonnage Arburgs with clamping force up to 500 metric tons, he said.

Arburg employed 2,256 people around the world at the end of 2013, about 3.5 percent above the year before.

Heinz Gaub, Arburg’s new managing director of technology and engineering, said the company is investing in making more large-tonnage machines and making smaller batches of more-specialized presses.