SICK sustains growth momentum - First half-year sales, earnings and orders received substantially increased despite the depressed global economy
Waldkirch, 31 July 2008. To date, SICK has not felt any significant impact of the crisis affecting the international financial markets. The world-leading sensor manufacturer has sustained its growth momentum in 2008. In the six months to 30 June 2008, the SICK Group took in new orders to a value of EUR 390 million, an increase of 8.9 percent over the same period in 2007. Sales increased by 9.8 percent to EUR 373 million. All business segments, Factory Automation, Logistics Automation and Process Automation, performed equally well and contributed towards the 17-percent increase in earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), which rose to EUR 39 million. The Group’s net income also compares extremely favorably with the previous year’s same-period results, having increased by 25 percent to EUR 25 million.
In the first half of 2008, the slower rate of growth in North America – primarily due to the exchange rate – was substantially offset by continuing sturdy business in Europe and Asia. The highest growth in revenues was achieved in these sales regions.
The Factory and Logistics Automation segments offer sensors and engineering solutions dedicated to automation and safety technology as well as automatic identification in the packaging, robotics, mechanical engineering, automotive, and handling and warehousing systems sectors. These segments saw their revenues increase by 9 percent to EUR 312 million in the first half of the year. Sales of compact laser scanners for industrial safety systems, and of laser-assisted sensor systems and RFID technology for automatic identification, were particularly strong.
A marked 17-percent increase in sales to EUR 61 million was recorded by the Process Automation segment, which supplies components and complete system solutions for gas analysis and flow measurement. Emission control continues to be an area of intense activity, as industries around the world upgrade their products and facilities to meet stricter emission standards, comparable to those imposed in Europe. There is a strong demand for top-quality emission-control technology, such as that offered by SICK. Additionally, the booming gas market is stimulating demand for flow measurement technology. The company’s new policy of concentrating on its core business, implemented for the first time in the period under review, is reflected in the improved segment results.
319 new employees – over 5,000 now work for the SICK Group
To ensure its capacity to respond to the growing volume of business, SICK has made further investments in its human resources. At 30 June 2008, the SICK Group had 5,040 employees on its payroll. Of these, 319 were newly recruited staff who had joined the company since the beginning of the year.
Inauguration of customer center in Waldkirch
In just six months from start to finish, a customer center has been created at the company’s headquarters in Waldkirch, containing an exhibition area, conference rooms, an experimental workshop and an applications laboratory. Its approximately 650 square meters of floor space provide the ideal environment in which to devise new solutions in collaboration with customers.
It remains difficult to make any accurate predictions about the way the economy is likely to develop. The crucial factor in this respect will be the extent to which Europe and Asia succeed in decoupling themselves from the weak U.S. economy. As things stand at present, SICK has further scope to expand its business in Europe and Asia and expects to post a single-digit growth rate in its end-of-year financial statements.
SICK AG is one of the world’s leading producers of sensors and sensor solutions for industrial applications. The company was founded in 1946 and has its headquarters in Waldkirch (Breisgau), Baden-Württemberg. Today it employs 5,000 people around the world. In 2007, Group sales amounted to EUR 707.5 million. Further information on SICK is available on the Internet at http://www.sick.com or by phone at +49 (7681) 202 - 3873.