Process manufacturer reports strong 2018 growth
Endress+Hauser reported strong growth in 2018 and positive projected growth for 2019 thanks to process automation sector sales in the U.S.
Endress+Hauser experienced strong growth across all regions, sectors and product areas in 2018. The ongoing digitalization of the industry and positive development on the international markets provided impetus.
“The bottom line is, 2018 was a good year for Endress+Hauser worldwide,” explained CEO Matthias Altendorf at the Group’s annual media conference in Basel. The Group increased net sales by 9.5% to 2.455 billion euros, despite facing strong headwinds from foreign exchange rates. Expressed in local currencies, sales grew by 12.7%.
US moves to number one
The business was bolstered by a strong economy in the process automation sector. Continued high demand from private consumers, as well as recovering oil and raw material prices, contributed to the solid growth. After years of somewhat restrained investment activity, large-scale projects made a return.
Endress+Hauser made excellent progress in Europe. Business was also strong in Africa, the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific region. The strongest growth, however, was in the Americas. “After 65 years, the US replaced Germany as our largest sales market,” Altendorf said, noting that China also grew at a double-digit pace. “If this trend continues, China could soon take over the top spot.”
Endress+Hauser’s growth was fueled by many innovations. The company brought 54 new products to the market last year. Research and development expenses climbed to 184.2 million euros, representing 7.5% of sales. The company filed 287 initial patents in 2018. At the end of the year, Endress+Hauser held nearly 7,800 patents and other intellectual property rights.
About one-third of the new patents were related to the IIoT, digital communications, diagnostics and electronics. “Digitalization is penetrating all areas,” Altendorf said. Apart from 1,000 developers active in the Group’s centers of competence, various start-ups established by the Group are also busy working on products, solutions and services for the digital age.
Process analysis was another driver of growth. “The optical analyzer business performed extremely well,” Altendorf said. Endress+Hauser established a European support center for advanced analyzers in Lyon, France. The network of sales specialists in this area is growing in Europe. The CEO is hoping for additional impulses to spur this business area.
– Edited from an Endress+Hauser press release by CFE Media.