Every downswing is followed by an upswing, said Michael Wittmann, president of Wittmann Technology GmbH: "That's how economic cycles work."
Wittmann's exceptionally high backlog going into 2023 cushioned the company against feeling the effects of the economic downturn this year in terms of sales revenue. In fact, the figure for this year is expected to show an increase of 9 percent over last year, both because of the order backlog but also because a number of supply issues have also been resolved.
As a result, deliveries have picked up significantly. The impact of the economic slowdown will not be felt by Vienna-based Wittmann until 2024.
"We will only notice the economic slowdown in our overall sales revenue with a delay, specifically next year in 2024," Wittmann said.
The downturn in economic activity has persisted since mid-2022, which is a relatively long period by historical standards, he noted.
"This may also be explained by the fact that the investment boom in 2021 and early 2022 was exuberant and resulted in investments being brought forward — and these now have to be compensated for," he said.
Although there are currently no indicators pointing to a significant economic recovery, he is optimistic that market activity will start to pick up next year.
"We'll be looking at an improvement in order bookings compared with 2023 and a temporary slowdown in revenue in 2024," Wittmann predicted.
He added that, generally speaking, the different regions in which the company operates have been affected to varying degrees by the economic crisis.
"Central Europe, Germany and Austria in particular, are suffering the most. In Western and Eastern Europe, we can already see slight signs of improvement. Asia will also recover more quickly, while North America continues to show pleasing market activity."