Wacker Neuson has reported “a significant rise” in revenue and earnings for 2017 compared to the previous year, and said it was able to achieve the goals it had set itself.
The German-based light and compact equipment manufacturer said that guided by its Strategy 2022 roadmap, the group was systematically aligning itself with customer needs, adding that topics such as digitalisation and Service 4.0 were key focus areas.
Also, it announced plans to reorganise its production facilities, with two of its ten production plants being incorporated into existing facilities.
It reported that group revenue for 2017 rose 13% to €1.53 billion, up from €1.36 billion in 2016. Wacker said this was driven by market share gains in a favourable business climate, and an upswing in almost all key regions for the group.
It claimed that “highly innovative products” and systematic alignment with market needs had been fuelling strong demand among customers.
CEO Martin Lehner said the group had been able to expand its market reach further at national and international level, and to gain new market shares.
Revenue for Europe – the group’s largest market with a 74% share of revenue – grew 11% to €1,130 million.
It said that once again, Germany was the strongest revenue driver there. It said it had a particularly strong market position in the country thanks to a network of branch offices that included more than 60 of its own sales and service stations, plus a supporting network of dealers.
Wacker said this trend was reflected across the region with the broad majority of European countries contributing to healthy revenue growth. It highlighted France, Poland and Austria as performing particularly well.
In the Americas, revenue grew at an even faster pace than in Europe, the company added. Revenue for this region amounted to €358 million – an increase of 23% over the previous year.
Growth here was said to have been driven by worksite technology products as well as skid steer loaders manufactured in the US, and compact equipment imported from Europe.
Revenue for the Asia-Pacific region decreased 5% compared to the previous year, at €47 million, while the 2016 figure was €49 million. The group experienced a drop in revenue in China as a result of a one-off effect – the initial stocking of new dealers with compact equipment increased the comparative baseline of 2016, said Wacker. In contrast, revenue in Australia and New Zealand increased.
Wacker Neuson said it had started to optimise its internal structures back in 2017, in order to improve profitability in the long term and reduce complexity across the group following years of expansion.
During the course of 2018, it said, the group would move on to the next step and incorporate two of its ten production plants into existing facilities.
The US factory in Norton Shores, Michigan, will relocate to the much larger facility in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. The light equipment production plant in the Philippines will be moved to its new factory in China. Furthermore, the two logistics companies will be incorporated into the production company in Germany and the sales company in the US.
The group said it aimed to expand its position as a leading international manufacturer of light and compact equipment, and that Europe and North America would play an important role as it planned to intensify its activities in these core markets.
Lehner said, “There is still plenty of potential for us to grow in our main regions. We are particularly keen to leverage growth potential in our core business fields with compaction and concrete technology from our light equipment segment and products from our compact equipment offering.
“The aim of Strategy 2022 is to ensure that the company is focused 100% on our customers’ needs. The three strategic pillars of ‘focus’, ‘acceleration’ and ‘excellence’ guide all of our actions here.”
As part of further international expansion plans, the group has its sights set on growth markets such as China. In January 2018, it started series production of mini excavators at its new factory in Pinghu, near Shanghai.
Wacker said it was optimistic about 2018, and Lehner said, “Our markets are currently intact, and forecasts give us every reason to be confident.
“The year also got off to a great start for us. We expect revenue to amount to between €1.65 and 1.70 billion. This represents an increase of 8 to 11% relative to 2017.”