Plastics machinery producer Wittmann Group increased its sales 19.5 percent to 359.4 million euros ($398.8 million) in 2015, based on good growth in Europe, combined with particularly strong growth in Asia, Mexico and the U.S.
The company management announced the results at a press briefing during the company's 40-year anniversary event, held in an entire hall hired at the Vienna fairgrounds and attracting 1,500 visitors. The company opened in 1976 with seven employees, and now has 2,050 employees, of which 820 are in Austria.
CEO Michael Wittmann showed how sales accelerated in both 2014 and 2015. It had previously increased from 247 million euros ($274 million) in 2011 — “the first stable year for everyone since the 2009 recession” — by 5.5 and 5.16 percent in 2012 and 2013, followed by 9.6 percent growth in 2014.
Chairman Werner Wittmann said research and development investment accounts for around 6 percent of Wittmann Group annual sales. He told Plastics News Europe that injection molding machinery, the former Battenfeld business acquired in 2008, accounts for around 40-45 percent of sales while auxiliary equipment and robots for 55-60 percent.
“We thought injection molding machines would have stronger growth, but both sectors had around the same growth,” he said.
In March 2016, staff in Wittmann Battenfeld's Kottingbrunn molding machine plant were informed of 2016 targets of 132 million euros ($146.5 million) on both incoming orders and injection molding machine business alone.
Michael Wittmann said that order intake in the first half of 2016 was at a high level, with strong demand for SmartPower and MacroPower machines.
Werner Wittmann talked about overall sales of 370 million euros ($410.6 million) as the target for 2016 for all business areas together, admitting the 3 percent growth forecast for 2016 is conservative. This is clear from the 2017 target of 400 million euros ($444 million), implying 8 percent growth from 2016 to 2017 based on the 2016 forecast.