- News 01.08.2023
Science Based Targets initiative
OECHSLER have committed to set a science-based target with the Science Based Targets…
OECHSLER Group increases sales in the fiscal year 2022 in a persistently challenging market environment and consistently continues diversification and sustainability course
Ansbach, June 22, 2023 --- The OECHSLER Group, a leading polymer technology group with a global presence and headquarters in Ansbach/Middle Franconia, closed the 2022 financial year with a 2.9 percent increase in sales compared to the same period of the previous year. Despite the persistently challenging market environment, which was characterized by numerous geopolitical tensions and resulting crises, Group sales in 2022 rose to 380 (2021: 369) million euros. Significant sales increases were achieved by the Health and Innovative Solutions business units, which have been defined as strategic growth areas. In these two business units, OECHSLER already cumulatively generates more than one-third of its total sales.
Connectors from OECHSLER are in demand in the solar industry
In the Innovative Solutions business unit, OECHSLER increased its sales by 17 percent to 114 (2021: 98) million euros in 2022. The driver of this positive development was the increasing demand for components for solar systems, which OECHSLER produces for its customers as a recognized reliable partner. As part of the partnership with an industry leader, OECHSLER is currently expanding its global capacities for solar system connectors and creating new jobs for this purpose at the Ansbach site, among others.
Successful growth strategy in Health leads to rising sales
OECHSLER achieved a significant jump in sales of 28 percent to 19 (2021: 15) million euros in the Health business unit. This success results from consistently implementing the growth strategy adopted in 2021 in the Health Business Unit. By 2028, the Franconian technology company aims to exceed the sales threshold of 100 million euros in the medical products business. OECHSLER sees significant growth potential, particularly in the product categories of Drug Delivery Systems and Diagnostics. The growth strategy is based on investments in the key areas: Human Resources, Process Development, Infrastructure, and Market Awareness. OECHSLER is continuously expanding its ISO Class 7 and 8 cleanroom capacities in Germany and Mexico and preparing to expand in Romania. Here, too, a major focus is on reducing the ecological footprint: sustainable construction of the cleanrooms, use of energy-efficient machinery, and implementation of resource efficiency measures are essential components of the strategy.
War of aggression on Ukraine burdens the automotive business
Burdened by the consequences of the war in Ukraine, the automotive business declined in the past fiscal year but remains OECHSLER's strongest business unit. Sales here declined by 4 percent to 247 (2021: 257) million euros. In particular, the significant rise in energy and raw material costs due to the Russian war of aggression caused some significant losses on the global automotive markets in Europe, the USA, and Japan in 2022. Despite increasing business with the electronic parking brake (EPB), the OECHSLER Group could not completely escape this market development. Already in the current fiscal year, however, the polymer technology specialist expects not only a significant recovery but also renewed growth in the Automotive business unit. The company sees great potential, for example, in the global market for smart actuators, which play a major role in electromobility. To bundle its actuator expertise, OECHSLER recently entered a sales cooperation with the system supplier sauer product in Dieburg, Hesse. The company has also entered the field of metal injection molding ("MIM"). Here, highly complex metal components are manufactured for a leading German automotive supplier at the Weissenburg site. Thanks to long-term customer contracts and its predominant independence from drive technologies, OECHSLER again expects double-digit growth rates in the Automotive business unit for 2023 and subsequent years.
Sporting Goods Industry struggles with pandemic consequences
The Sporting Goods business was again impacted by the Corona pandemic in 2022. As an innovation partner to the sporting goods industry, OECHSLER was confronted with general consumer restraint and well-stocked warehouses of its customers last year. Despite these challenges, the Group achieved its budgeted sales in this business unit as well and even exceeded expectations. To make itself more independent of fluctuations in demand in its current customer and product portfolio, the Franconian medium-sized company is currently investing in the expansion of its sales and production capacities, especially at its Asian locations.
OECHSLER continues to expand projects to reduce its CO2 emissions.
One focus of the total investments of 43.2 million euros made in 2022 was on projects to reduce the company's CO2 emissions. At its European sites, OECHSLER obtains electricity from renewable sources. In China, Vietnam, and Mexico, the company has invested in the construction and expansion of its own photovoltaic plants. Most recently, the Group's largest PV plant to date was also connected to the grid in Germany at the Weissenburg site. By May 2023, OECHSLER has installed solar plants globally with a total nominal output of 4,925 kWp and an energy production of approximately 6,000 MWh per year. These plants avoid the emission of about 3,125 tons of CO2 per year. This is roughly equivalent to 1,850 German 2-person households. In 2022, OECHSLER also recorded global Scope 3 emissions for the first time in preparation for sustainability reporting.
Additive manufacturing continues to be an important innovation driver
Series production with polymer 3D printing continues to be an important innovation driver for OECHSLER. The technology is material and resource efficient and functions digitally and decentrally, making supply chains more resilient and ideal for driving innovation processes quickly and efficiently. Since entering this technology in 2016 with the production of shoe soles for a leading German sporting goods company, the Franconian medium-sized company has been one of the pioneers in 3D printing. In 2022, OECHSLER was again able to realize and launch product innovations together with renowned customers in the automotive and sporting goods industries. In the process, the company has established itself as a full-service provider from development to prototyping to global series production and as a specialist for compressive lattice structures. Due to their special properties, these so-called lattice structures are suitable, for example, as damping elements in protective equipment, car seats, or for energy recovery in sports shoes.
Dr. Claudius M. Kozlik, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of OECHSLER AG, said on the presentation of the annual results: "Our global presence with production sites in Asia, Europe, and North America, as well as our diversified customer and product portfolio, have proven to be a competitive advantage in 2022 and helped OECHSLER to continue its growth course in a challenging market environment. Particularly in the global market for medical technology products, we see great potential in the future, which we intend to leverage further based on the growth strategy already implemented last year. However, the automotive business remains an important pillar for OECHSLER: With over 180 million electronic parking brakes produced, our company is one of the leading suppliers and developers of actuators. In the future, we will build on this great experience and expand our offering in various product segments of the rapidly growing electromobility even faster. We expect double-digit growth rates in the Automotive division in 2023 and subsequent years."
Karl Ostler, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of OECHSLER AG, added: "In recent years, OECHSLER has built up an extremely healthy financial structure with an equity ratio of 56 percent and long-term financing. This extremely solid structuring ensures that our financing costs remain relatively stable despite rising interest rates, but at the same time, provides us with scope for investment. Thus, we will continue to invest in products, processes, and innovations, not only to create efficiency but above all, to reduce our CO2 emissions and thus contribute to the energy transition towards a more sustainable economy. We have massively expanded OECHSLER's own photovoltaic plants to make us less dependent on rising energy prices. Furthermore, we will continue to expand production capacities at our German sites and hire additional skilled personnel."
With OECHSLER AG, the OECHSLER Group is one of the 15 largest employers in Middle Franconia in the manufacturing industry. On an annual average, 2,950 people were employed at OECHSLER, which is 15 less than in the previous year. Of these, around 1,324, including more than 61 trainees (previous year: 73), were employed at OECHSLER's sites in Ansbach, Weißenburg (OECHSLER AG) and Ansbach-Brodswinden (OECHSLER Motion GmbH).
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