23. November 2007

HARTING achieves double-digit growth once again

EUR 345 million in sales – 425 new jobs in Germany and abroad – new production plants inaugurated

At the close of its 2006 / 2007 financial year the HARTING Technology Group based in Espelkamp in Eastern Westphalia once again reports double-digit growth for the period from October 1, 2006 to September 30, 2007. With worldwide sales valued at EUR 345 million, HARTING has continued the positive trend in its business, increasing turnover by more than 10 %. In its previous year the Technology Group achieved a total of EUR 313 million. The continuing weakness of the US dollar and Japanese yen had a noticeable effect: Had exchange rates remained unchanged since last year, the increase in sales would have been approaching 12 %.
“The past financial year was a very successful one for HARTING. We have expanded our position in the market and achieved some substantial increases in key target regions,” commented Dietmar Harting, general partner and proprietor of the HARTING Technology Group.

Highly positive development in worldwide sales – New production plants commissioned in China and Romania

Sales in the markets targeted by the HARTING Technology Group increased substantially as planned in the past financial year. Sales in Europe came in at EUR 259 million, up by 10 % over the year before. In Germany and the other countries of Europe, HARTING continued to expand its market position, particularly in the field of connectors, system components and solutions such as cabling and circuit board systems. In an increasingly competitive environment, HARTING’s practice of cooperating closely with its customers even at the project planning stage brought substantial positive benefits. Customer demand for HARTING’s services as a system supplier confirm the success of the company’s chosen orientation.

The development in the Asian market has been particularly gratifying. With sales up 16 % HARTING is consistently enhancing its market penetration in this region. In order to respond proportionately to rising demand for industrial connectors and components for the telecommunications market in Asia, in October 2007 HARTING commissioned a new production plant in Zhuhai (China). In the first stage of development some EUR 12 million has been invested in the new facility in the Zhuhai Hi-tech Innovation Coast industrial park. Products for the mechanical engineering, energy, robotics + automation, transport and telecommunications segments are being manufactured in a plant which currently has around 20,000 m² floor space. The plant also serves as a logistics hub for the Asia region. “For the HARTING Technology Group, Asia is a particularly important market in which we can see huge potential. HARTING has established itself in the region and our clear aim is to become the market leader in Asia,” explained Dietmar Harting.

Also in financial year 2006 / 2007, HARTING opened a new plant in the Romanian town of Sibiu. Building on the skills of the local workforce, the company is developing its capacity for labor-intensive assembly work in Romania. This in turn will also help to safeguard jobs in Germany. The Technology Group has subsidiaries in Sibiu manufacturing industrial connectors and preformed cables for medical, telecoms and industrial applications. In addition, magnet systems for the automotive industry as well as tool molds are produced in Sibiu.

HARTING has for years been strategically developing its international markets and consistently exploiting new sales opportunities. In financial year 2006 / 2007 independent subsidiaries were established in Poland and Hungary, with the result that HARTING now has business undertakings and representative offices in 40 countries.

 

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New plants in Zhuhai (China, left) und Sibiu (Romania, right)


HARTING creates 425 jobs in Germany and abroad

In the past financial year HARTING employed a total of 425 new staff. By the end of the period the number of employees worldwide had risen by 17.5 % from 2,434 to 2,859. The average workforce in the course of the year rose 11.2 % to 2,601 (previous year: 2,382). The expansion of production in Sibiu, Romania and Zhuhai, China was largely responsible for these increases, along with increased employment at plants in Germany. In Romania a total of 260 workers who had previously been employed on temporary contracts were given permanent employment, while in Asia 28 staff were employed. In Espelkamp and Minden alone, 106 new jobs were created in a demonstration of HARTING’s commitment to manufacturing in Germany.

HARTING is investing intensively in employee training. Since 2006 the company has offered students from the local region the chance to earn a dual qualification at the end of a twin-track course of study. In addition to a practically oriented course in engineering, students also undergo vocational training in mechatronics. To further expand the training available in Espelkamp, a new training center is currently being developed. Over EUR 2 million is being invested in integrating all areas of training with the object of further increasing the level of qualification open to HARTING’s junior employees. HARTING has also initiated a company-wide Potential Development Programme designed to support and enhance management staff. So successful has this initiative been that the programme will be continued in financial year 2007 / 2008.

Third generation now all aboard

Maresa W.M. Harting, daughter of Margrit and Dietmar Harting, assumed responsibility as Director of Finance, Controlling and Taxes at the HARTING Technology Group in April 2007. The third generation of the Harting family are now all aboard the company that bears their name. Philip F.W. Harting has headed the Technology Group’s Asian business since 2005, and has increased sales in the region to EUR 51 million.

HARTING innovation honored

The Group consistently demonstrates its ability to innovate. For example at the automotive awards ceremony held by the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE Central Europe), Swiss subsidiary HARTING Mitronics AG was presented with the Grand Innovation Award (Electrical and Optical Components). HARTING received the award for a micro-circuit board designed for use in automobile thermomanagement systems which helps to substantially reduce the energy consumed by air conditioning.

Outlook: HARTING plans further double-digit growth – R&D and investment to rise by 57 %

The positive development recorded by the Technology Group is expected to continue in the current financial year. HARTING again plans to achieve double-digit sales growth this year. To achieve this goal, the Group is continuing the targeted expansion of its expertise and technology. Strategic core elements in this process include a continuously refined product range and new services which will bring the company even closer to its customers. In financial year 2007/2008 HARTING will be increasing its investments of 67% over last year to EUR 57 million, and its research and development expenditure of 33% over last year to EUR 20 million.
Dietmar Harting commented, “As a technology company our business depends on the benefits that accrue from the use of our products. We intend to continuously improve these in order to be the ideal partner our customers need. The results achieved in the past financial year will enable us to intensify our effort to safeguard the future potential of the Group. It is already clear from the first few weeks of the new financial year that we are not aiming too high.”

 

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