GUANGZHOU, CHINA — Injection press maker Engel Austria GmbH said sales in Asia topped the Americas for the first time ever in its most recent fiscal year, reaching a record for the region at 145 million euros and accounting for 18 percent of its 950 million euros in global revenue.
The Schwertberg, Austria-based company said the Americas, including North and South America, accounted for 17 percent of sales in its 2012/2013 fiscal year. Engel's figures define Asia broadly, including India, Southeast Asia, China, South Korea and Australia.
Speaking at an April 19 news conference one day ahead of the Chinaplas trade fair in Guangzhou, Engel executives said they believe Asia will account for 20 percent of sales in 2015 and pointed to growth throughout the region, including in China, South Korea and Southeast Asia.
“China is the world's largest market for injection molding machines and will remain that way in future,” said Engel CEO Peter Neumann.
The company said sales in China grew 10 percent last year, even as the overall plastics machinery market there shrunk 3.5 percent, with executives saying the higher-end machinery segment in China, where Engel focuses its attention, continues to grow.
It said China's overall IMM market, measured by number of units, is projected to shrink from 45,000 machines in 2012 to 35,000 machines in 2020, as the country upgrades to more expensive, automated machinery in integrated production cells.
“You see China going down in numbers, but the higher segment is growing, that's why we are still growing in China,” said Gero Willmeroth, president of sales and service at Engel Machinery (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.
The company invested 20 million euros in doubling capacity at its factories in South Korea and China in the last year, and added a sales and service branch in Thailand in April. It said business in Thailand and Indonesia has also been solid lately.