Injection moulding machine manufacturer sees strong growth / Significant recovery after pandemic dip / Increasing costs erode margins
Engel CEO, Stefan Engleder (Photo: PIE)
Injection moulding machine manufacturer Engel (Schwertberg, Austria; www.engelglobal.com) seems to have overcome the coronavirus crisis. Sales increased by 36% to EUR 1.5 bn in fiscal year 2021/22 (end of period: 31 March 2022). “We are seeing a V-shaped recovery,” said CEO Stefan Engleder at a press event at the company’s headquarters in Schwertberg, Austria. Without the disruptions to global supply chains, the growth could have been even greater. However, the EUR 1.6 bn record sales achieved in 2018/19 could not be matched.

Engel generated around half of its revenues in Europe in 2021/22. The German-speaking region, where many companies invested heavily, played a major role in the positive development. “Europe’s powerhouse Germany is back,” as Engleder put it. However, Italy also was highly dynamic. Local subsidy programmes fuelled the industrial sector, so that Engel’s business on the Apennine Peninsula presented itself as strong as never before. Meanwhile, the situation in Eastern Europe was more subdued, especially as the war in Ukraine, as well as preceding political uncertainties, slowed down markets.

The Americas accounted for 27% of sales. In North America, bringing back production processes into the company as well as new sustainability projects had a positive impact. The Latin American markets, on the other hand, remained difficult, partly because of the political situation in several countries. Engel generated 21% of its revenues in Asia. The company recorded strong growth in China despite coronavirus-related lockdowns.

The most pronounced problems were in logistics. Engleder expects the tense supply chain situation to continue for some time. The remaining regions, which Engel subsumes as the “rest of the world”, generated the remaining 2% of revenues. The global workforce grew by approximately 10%, to around 7,000 employees.

Looking at the different industries, the automotive sector is still knee-deep in its transformation towards e-mobility. The packaging industry presented a stable picture, with “recycling” and “sustainability” being the main change drivers. In technical parts, demand for machinery declined, especially as the e-commerce sector cooled down as the effects of the pandemic wore off. The decline in anti-coronavirus measures also made itself felt in the medical sector: the previous boom transitioned to more normal growth rates. Machine orders from the teletronics sector remained fairly subdued, with Engel struggling for market share.

The order backlog for large machines extends into the next calendar year, Engleder explained, adding that the lead time for small machine orders would be shorter. His company would thus have more free capacity in this segment. By contrast, demand for small machines of the company’s second brand, Wintec, is seemingly good. The machines produced in China are being particularly well received in the US and Eastern Europe, including Turkey. However, serious transportation problems to get the goods out of China were an obstacle.

Engleder expects the logistics problems to further affect global trade for quite some time. He also believes the chip crisis will continue into 2023. The massive increase in material costs is also eating into Engel’s margins, and negotiations for higher wages are on the agenda after the summer. “We’re in for a stormy fall,” Engleder said.

On a more positive note, Engel opened a new customer technical centre at the large machines plant in St. Valentin, an investment worth over EUR 14 mn. The facility with a total area of 3,400 m² comprises the four sectors of application technology for large speed injection moulding machines of the Duo series, with clamping forces from 7,000 kN to 17,000 kN, a centre for lightweight composites, a Packaging Centre and another sector for in-house R&D.
22.06.2022 Plasteurope.com [250491-0]
Published on 22.06.2022
Engel: Spritzgießmaschinenbauer legt kräftig zuGerman version of this article...

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