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Engel expects another record year after reaching €1.25bn in sales

Photo by Engel Holding GmbH Engel Holding GmbH says its sales topped €1.25bn last year. It is investing almost €100m in facilities and capacity.

Engel Holding, the Austria-based machinery maker, has said it saw total sales of €1.25bn, a rise of around 25% in the 2015–2016 financial year.

As a result, in the 2016–2017 financial year, the firm has pledged almost €100m in the further expansion of facilities and capacities.

"In the 2015–2016 financial year, we were able to consolidate our excellent market position in Europe and have expanded our market shares in Asia and America even further," said Christoph Steger, chief sales officer of Engel, in a statement.

"The European markets, in particular Germany, are still the motors for innovation," he added. "And even in America and Asia we are delivering more and more tailor-made solutions for sophisticated applications which include not just the injection moulding machine, but also automation, process technology or mould technology."

The group is expecting another record year in 2016-17, senior executives said at a pre-K 2016 event for journalists held at its headquarters in Schwertberg, Austria.

“This fiscal year will again be a successful year. There will be growth for sure, but we will not give you an exact figure,” said Peter Neumann, who is retiring as CEO later this year. “I say to colleagues, maybe this will be my farewell gift to Engel.”

Answering questions at the press conference, Steger said Engel’s sales growth is better than the overall injection moulding machine market, but the group does not carry out comparisons with competitor companies in the market.

In Europe, Engel said it has continued to significantly expand its share in the packaging sector, with strong growth in beverage caps.

Packaging sales have trebled since Engel started targeting the sector in 2007, said Steger. The group’s sales by sector are now 45-50% in automotive, 25-30% in technical moulding and 15% in packaging (with medical and teletronics sharing the rest).

The Engel Deutschland Technologieforum Stuttgart — the newest of the four German subsidiaries — has more than doubled its personnel numbers since opening in April 2013.

Construction work on a significant expansion of the company headquarters in Schwertberg has been underway since the summer of last year. In addition, work has begun at Engel's large-size machine plant in St. Valentin, Austria.

The firm expects two warehouses will be completed by late summer 2016, with work starting on an additional production hall in the autumn.

Meanwhile in Engel’s Shanghai office, both the production facility and the office wing will be significantly expanded by April 2017.

Steger said at the press event that the overall Chinese economy has clearly slowed down but the important message is: “There is no slowdown in our industry, and especially not in Engel.”

The expansion in Shanghai will use up all available space at the site, which indicates Engel’s growth in China. Neumann said: “I never thought in my period [as CEO] we would come to the problem that we have used all the land.”

Engel, which has two factories in China and a third in South Korea, said at Chinaplas 2016 it was spending $9m (€8m) to expand in Shanghai.

Asia accounts for almost 25% of Engel's global sales. It said China is its largest market in Asia.

That would put Asia in the range of $300m (€263m) a year in sales, compared with about $130m (€114.2m) in 2012, when the company doubled capacity at its Shanghai and South Korean factories.

Since 2014, Engel has been providing vocational training in Shanghai. At present, more than 30 apprentices are receiving training as CNC and plastics technicians, and in the coming school year, the firm will also be accepting mechatronics trainees in Shanghai.

In all, more than 5,200 staff members were employed worldwide by the firm at the close of the 2015–2016 financial year.

*Journalists at Plastics News Europe and Plastics News contributed to this report.

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