Electronics Production | December 20, 2010

Harting: Sales upswing from the trough

The Harting Technology Group, headquartered in Espelkamp, Eastern Westphalia (Germany), has concluded a decidedly successful business year, marking a milestone in the history of the company.
In the business year elapsed, the family owned and managed company Harting, generated total revenue of EUR 413 million, which is 27 % ahead of the previous year. The fact that worldwide sales were up by more than 7% over the previous record year of 2008 is particularly gratifying.

“These decidedly positive developments are the result of the joint efforts of all employees of the Harting Technology Group worldwide,“ emphasized Dietmar Harting, President and partner, at the balance sheet press conference on December 7, 2010 in Espelkamp: “We are very impressed with the solidarity and close cooperation of our staff, as well as their steadfast identification with the aims and objectives of company management. It is only by drawing on these strengths that we were able to able to genuinely make the most of the opportunities that always present themselves in such particularly challenging times.“

Worldwide sales gains – especially strong growth in Asia and the Americas

Harting succeeded in boosting sales considerably in all regions. The positive developments in machinery and automation, as well as transportation and energy played a key role in this context. Sales in Germany amounted to EUR 146 million, which is almost 24% above the previous year (2009: EUR 118 million).

Throughout Europe (excluding Germany) sales were up by around 20% to EUR 140 million (2009: EUR 116 million). Considerably outpacing all other regions, Harting was recorded gains in the Asian markets, where the company was also able to grow in the prior year: coming in at EUR 89 million, sales were up by more than 39% over the past year’s level (2009: EUR 64 Mio.). The developments in the Americas presented a very gratifying picture: posting total sales of EUR 37 million, Harting achieved sales gains of almost 49%.

Considerable increase in staff – technology competence extended

The positive developments at the Harting Technology Group are also reflected by the marked increase in staffing levels at the company in the course of last year. As of September 30, 2010 the company’s workforce amounted to 3'174 employees worldwide, representing an additional 235 members of staff or an 8% rise in employees by comparison with the prior year (2009: 2'939 employees).

In view of the sound order situation Harting had once created new positions in the first month of the new business year. By the end of October 2010 the company’s workforce numbered 3'240 members of staff, representing a record figure in the history of the company. These figures break down as follows: a total of 1'789 employees at the domestic Espelkamp and Minden locations, while a further 1'451 members of staff are currently active outside of Germany. Additional hiring is on the agenda for the ongoing business year, both in the Mühlenkreis district in Germany, as well as at the company’s locations abroad.

In the opinion of Margrit Harting, Senior Vice President and Partner, the sound development of the company is based on the committed work of all members of staff: “We have an excellent team in place, both at our headquarters in Germany, but also with a look to our staff at our meanwhile 32 subsidiaries worldwide. Every one of our employees supported the necessary measures we had to take in 2009, and contributed their utmost in creativity, motivation and willingness to perform towards putting the company back on the course to renewed growth.“

As acknowledgement and a token of gratitude for this commitment and solidarity the company disbursed a special bonus of EUR 1'000 to all members of staff and put the upcoming wage rises into effect ahead of schedule in October 2010.

Additional growth targeted – think tank inaugurated

The company’s positive developments are also set to continue in the ongoing business year. As Dietmar Harting stated, the key preconditions are customer orientation, competitive strength and flexibility combined with the ability for self-criticism. “Competitive products that are geared to customer requirements and are meeting tomorrow’s demands today, represent our potential for a continued successful future. With the inauguration of our think tank in Rahden this year we have visible form and substance to our high aspirations. Our other development areas, however, are pushing ahead at full speed and working on ever new and innovative solutions.“

In order to maintain the company’s position, Harting will also be committing considerable resources to research and development in the upcoming year and move ahead with the respective investments. Current planning envisages an expenditure in excess of EUR 70 million on research and development activities.

“We will place a key emphasis on expanding technologies. In this context we are especially strongly concerned with meeting our responsibility for society and setting an example for the entire industrial sector. We have drawn up an ambitious agenda,“ as Dietmar Harting summarized at the financial statement sheet press conference of the Harting Technology Group on December 7, 2010 in Espelkamp.
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