FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, GERMANY (Oct. 21, 1:15 p.m. ET) — Austrian injection molding machine maker Engel is forecasting record sales of 740 million euros for this financial year, ending March 2012.
Its previous record was 622 million euros in 2007/08, and sales in 2010/11 was 616 million euros.
Speaking at the Fakuma fair in Friedrichshafen, Peter Neumann, Engel's president and CEO, said the company's commitment to innovation helped its product sales to recover strongly from the recession of 2009.
It has experienced good sales in Asia, mainly due to the successful marketing of the Engel duo machines, which are manufactured by Engel in China.
China's total injection molding machine demand was 59,500 in 2010, but Engel forecasts this to drop to an annual total of 40,000 machines in 2015. There is a growing trend for Chinese molders to buy better quality machines with a longer life than before. This means the total sales value of machines sold in China is likely to continue growing (as reflected in Euromap's data released last week), even though the number of machines sold each year is coming down.
Staff numbers have also increased this year, from 3,200 to 3,700 in response to strong customer demand. Engel has also invested 50 million euros in the current financial year, including 37 million euros invested in an expansion of its Schwertberg facility in Austria.
Even so, delivery times are still as long as eight to nine months for large machines, and six months for small machines, said Georg Steinbichler, vice president of research and development technologies.