Engel reports sales growth
Engel Holding GmbH, an Austrian maker of injection presses and robots, reported fiscal 2004-05 sales grew 9 percent, to 586.3 million euros ($738 million).
Engel said sales would have been even higher, but were affected by a combination of the strong euro and weak U.S. dollar.
Engel's fiscal year ended March 31.
The Schwertberg, Austria-based company said it sold about 3,000 machines in fiscal 2004-05, up from 2,700 the year before. That result mirrors the 13 percent increase in new orders. Europe accounted for two-thirds of sales.
Engel continues its long-term investment strategy. A plant in Shanghai, China, should begin production in mid-2006. Engel also is building a new sales and service operation in Warsaw, Poland.
Engel attributed the sales gain last year from strong sales of small and midsize injection presses, the all-electric E-Motion, PET preform machines and Elast presses for liquid silicone rubber. Engel also reported increases in equipment sold for multicolor and multicomponent molding, including the large-tonnage Duo line of presses.
Georg Tinschert, president of the firm's largest unit, Engel Austria, said the company's decision to extend E-Motion's range to 300 tons of clamping force also generated sales.
Tinschert said business picked up last year in Germany, Austria and Italy, and Russia and the other newer European Union countries. Growth in Asia was slightly below expectations, because of measures by the Chinese government to control growth.
Engel reported a ``slight recovery'' in North America, especially in large-tonnage injection molding machines.
The North American operation, Engel Machinery Inc., sold more than 570 machines and robots. The company did not break out numbers for the two segments.
Engel North America, with plants in Guelph, Ontario, and York, Pa., said the new year began strong. Orders for the first quarter are up more than 18 percent from the first quarter last year, said Walter Jungwirth, president and chief executive officer.
Strong North American markets include automotive, medical and technical molding. Jungwirth also reported ``strong demand for robotics and complex automation cells.''
This fall, Engel plans to open a technical center at its large-machine factory in York. Engel also will make its first North American-assembled all-electric press, the E-Motion.
Engel Holding also is moving back into presses for high-speed packaging.