For the sixth year in a row the Schwarzmüller Group has ended its business year with a growth in turnover. In 2018 turnover increased by 7.4 per cent from 350 million euros in the previous year to 376 million euros. Cumulatively since 2012, which marks the start of the current growth phase, earnings have grown organically by 64 per cent from 229 Million euros. In 2019 the company plans to exceed the 400 million euro mark. Roland Hartwig, CEO of the Schwarzmüller Group, made the announcement today, Thursday, 14 February 2019, at the company headquarters in Freinberg, Austria.
Supported by stability in the international construction sector, during the past year construction vehicles were once again the driver of growth. In 2018 the Schwarzmüller Group manufactured a total of 9,306 vehicles for 21 markets, which is an increase of 426 vehicles or 4.8 per cent compared to the previous year (8,880 vehicles). 45 per cent of total output or 4,188 vehicles were manufactured for the construction, raw materials and recycling segment. This includes tippers, low-loaders, walking-floor vehicles and other vehicles for the construction industry. In total, the company produces 50 different vehicle types. Consequently, this sector has come very close in size to the major long-distance vehicles segment which currently accounts for 48 per cent of production or 4,467 vehicles. During the current growth phase the construction vehicles segment is the most dynamic: accounting for only 1,767 vehicles in 2012, production was 137 per cent higher at 4,188 vehicles in the previous year. Seven per cent of the product portfolio consists of vehicles for the petroleum and lumber industries, and agriculture.
Production: timely delivery exceeds 90 per cent
The construction vehicles segment profited most from the conversion of production to computer-controlled sequencing which was completed in 2018. This complex production control and the conversion to flow manufacturing involved redefining and organising all the processes in each of the three plants, for which a total of 25 million euros was invested over a period of three years. “This has given us the capacities we need to reach our goal of manufacturing more than 10,000 vehicles annually. While the number of employees in production remains at the 2016 level, output has gone up by 19 per cent”, says a clearly pleased CEO. It is also gratifying for Hartwig that the goal of achieving a timely delivery rate of more than 90 per cent has also been met at all three plants, despite the fact that two thirds of the vehicles manufactured by Schwarzmüller are equipped to non-Standard specifications.
Markets: market leader in Hungary for the first time
The Hungarian market produced a notable success in 2018: according to vehicle licensing numbers, Schwarzmüller became the market leader in Hungary for the first time. That makes Hungary the third country after Austria and Switzerland in which the Schwarzmüller Group is the number one. The most dynamic growth markets remain Germany and Poland. After only five years, by 2018 the market share in our neighbouring country to the north had doubled. Germany has become considerably more valuable as a market with the opening of a Schwarzmüller site in Eltmann, in Middle Franconia. It serves as a hub for new vehicles as well as a service centre. Turnover rose by more than half in Poland over the past three years, although market share remains in single figures.
Forecast for 2019: production of 9,900 vehicles
CEO Roland Hartwig plans to produce 9,900 vehicles and generate a turnover of 400 million euros in the current business year. According to Hartwig, bauma, the international trade fair for construction vehicles in Munich, will again boost construction vehicle sales. “We have established an outstanding position in this segment and created more sales opportunities”, Hartwig explains. One highlight for the CEO, who himself began his career as an apprentice, will be the opening of the Group’s own apprentice workshop at the company headquarters in Freinberg, Austria: “We’re the biggest and most important employer in the Schärding district. As we want to train even more youngsters, we need to be able to offer them an especially attractive workplace. The apprentice workshop, something dear to my heart, is one element in achieving this goal.”
Hartwig continues to regard the target turnover of 450 million euros in 2020 as achievable, assuming the economic environment remains stable. According to him, there are also parameters within the company which require further optimisation: an additional subsidiary is to be opened in Northern Germany; service turnover is to keep up with increases in vehicle sales. The Schwarzmüller Group has already begun discussing the strategy for the next stage of its business development. “We are increasingly seeing a division in our product portfolio, with sophisticated construction vehicles which need to operate in extreme conditions and different regions on the one hand, and advancing standardisation in long-distance vehicles whose strategic environment will be revolutionised by autonomous driving on the other. We are confident that we shall be able to develop the right solutions to these challenges”, says Hartwig.
For further information:
Mag. Michael Prock, Prock und Prock Marktkommunikation GmbH, Press Officer
Rochusgasse 4, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
E-Mail: mpprock-prockat, Tel.: +43.662.821155.0
The Schwarzmüller Group is one of Europe’s largest full-service providers for towed commercial vehicles. Alongside its three production locations in Austria (Freinberg/Hanzing), the Czech Republic (Žebrák) and Hungary (Dunaharaszti, near Budapest), the company operates in 21 countries, predominantly in Central, South-Eastern and Eastern Europe. With its focus on the premium sector the company sets industry benchmarks, and with more than 140 years of experience is the specialist for individual transport solutions in demanding industries. These include the construction, petroleum, raw materials and recycling industries, as well as long-distance transport. In 2018 the Schwarzmüller Group manufactured 9,306 commercial vehicles, employed 2,290 people and generated 376 million euros.