Arburg GmbH + Co. KG achieved record sales in 2007, and officials expect the figure to exceed 400 million euros ($629.3 million), Chairman Michael Hehl announced at the company's annual Technical Days open house, held April 3-5 in Lossburg.
Hehl said 49 percent of incoming orders have been from Germany.
Sales director Helmuth Heinson stressed ``this has not been due to price increase, but to development in various markets.'' Heinson indicated that the Asian market in 2007 was the most successful one ever for Arburg, despite Japanese competitors profiting from favorable yen exchange rates. ``We are meeting this through service and customer support, although it means a large effort, and Asia remains a difficult market,'' Heinson said.
The U.S. market has been sinking for the past five years and is only a fraction of what it was five years ago, but Arburg still was been able to increase its market share there in 2007, profiting in particular from the 40-50 percent share of all-electric injection molding machines in that market. ``It is the most important market for our electric machines,'' Heinson said.
Back in Europe, it has been mainly central Europe that has been providing growth for Arburg, at a higher rate than in Western Europe. While the share of electric machines sold by Arburg has grown from 10 percent of incoming orders to 12 percent in 2007, the share of multicomponent machines has ``achieved a certain degree of saturation'' in terms of the number of machines remaining constant at 9 percent. Heinson explained that as a shift toward larger machines.
Introduction of larger machines has resulted in the upper-tonnage 250- to 500-tonne Allrounder models (630S to 920S) taking 27 percent of incoming orders in 2007, up from 25 percent in 2006, Hehl said, adding that the figure includes the large Golden Edition versions.
Project business, rather than just machine sales also has increased from 8 percent in 2006 to 12 percent in 2007.
Looking ahead to 2008 results, Heinson said there are ``movements in the market affecting larger machines, but not electric machines.'' Raising a glass bowl, Heinson said he cannot, however, predict how 2008 will turn out for Arburg at this stage: ``I cannot see it in my crystal bowl.''