Another year of record revenue at ebm-papst

Technology leader for fans and motors grows 7.0% to €1.680 billion, employs over 12,550 people worldwide.

The ebm-papst Group, the world market leader for fans and motors, completed the fiscal year 2015/16 on March 31 with record revenue. The family-owned company based in Mulfingen, Baden-Württemberg, recorded revenue of €1.680 billion, an increase of 7.0% from the previous year's figure (€1.570 billion). With these results, ebm-papst strengthened its leading position on the global market.

The positive business trend was also reflected in the number of new jobs created at the company. At the end of the fiscal year, ebm-papst employed 12,553 employees worldwide (previous year: 11,954), an increase of 599.

Hans Peter Fuchs, Managing Director of Finance and Controlling at the ebm-papst Group, said “We strengthened our technology and market leadership with a variety of innovations and increased our revenue significantly. To increase our capacity and enable further growth, we spent €137 million on capital investment, the largest amount in the company’s history.”

For the 2016/2017 fiscal year, in progress since April 1, the ebm-papst Group plans for revenue growth of 9.3% to €1.836 billion. As a result of its holding in electronics specialist IKOR (approx. 780 employees), the company expects to increase its workforce by 7.9% to 13,550.

Background information

Growth in all regions

During the last fiscal year, the ebm-papst Group increased its market share in all regions, including Germany. However, revenue benefited to some degree from exchange rate effects. Revenue in Asia amounted to €301 million, in the Americas €213 million and in Europe (excluding Germany) €756 million; revenue in Germany was €410 million. In the current fiscal year, strong growth contributions are expected from Asia and the Americas. The world market leader for fans and motors expects moderate growth in Europe and Germany.

Strategy for continued growth – focus on divisions

With its “Structure 2020” program, ebm-papst is working on a realignment of the Group to adapt to its increasing size and to ensure sustained growth in the future. Thomas Borst, Managing Director of Sales and Marketing at the ebm-papst Group, said: “We are taking this path in order to adjust to strengthening global market and customer structures and to further strengthen our customer focus with speed, flexibility and a high level of technical expertise.”

ebm-papst’s corporate structure is based on three pillars: industrial ventilation, automotive and drive engineering, and heating and home appliances. Industrial ventilation continues to account for the largest share of revenue with 62% (€1,046 million), followed by home appliances and heating with 22% (€360 million) and automotive and drive engineering with 16% (€274 million).

R&D – technology leader sets standards in the industry

ebm-papst continued to strengthen its position as a technology leader in fiscal year 2015/16, with research and development activities focusing on aerodynamics, aeroacoustics, energy-efficient product designs, and the expansion of its electronics and systems capabilities. R&D expenditures increased by 9.5% to €104 million (previous year: €95 million) and are expected to increase slightly in the current fiscal year.

Commenting on technology trends, Dr. Bruno Lindl, Managing Director of Research and Development at the ebm-papst Group, said: “We see potential for further development in various fields such as aerodynamics and aeroacoustics, which we want to exploit in cooperation with external research institutes. Another important issue will be research related to ‘Industry 4.0.’”

ebm-papst is continuing its cooperation with Heilbronn University to found an institute for electric drives at the university’s campus in Künzelsau. “We want to strengthen the university site by investing about €3.5 million in science and education,” said Dr. Bruno Lindl: “The focus of the institute affiliated with the university will be applied research – research with practical relevance.” The urban planning phase has been completed. The stakeholders, Heilbronn University, and Baden Württemberg’s Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts, have reached agreement about the institute’s activities and responsibilities in a memorandum of understanding. An architectural design contest to determine the design of the buildings will begin in fall 2016.

Record capital investment to increase capacity

In the last fiscal year, ebm-papst invested a record €137 million (previous year: €105 million) in measures to expand capacity. Thomas Wagner, Managing Director for Production and Materials Procurement: “The high level of investment was urgently necessary because of the increased demand for fans and motors. Our investment program emphasizes our interest in maintaining our German locations for the long term.”

At the Mulfingen-Hollenbach location, construction work for a new distribution center began in September 2015. Completion of the project is expected by the end of this year. At company headquarters in Mulfingen, planning began for a new building to house R&D and administrative staff.

After twelve months of construction, ebm-papst opened the first section of its new plant in St. Georgen-Hagenmoos in March 2016. The technology leader for fans and motors invested about €5 million in the new facility for electronics production with floor space of 3,800 m² and laid the cornerstone for a second phase of construction with floor space of 10,500 m2 and projected expenditures of €15 million.

In October 2015, ebm-papst opened the second production facility at its Landshut location. Production at the new plant will concentrate on products for the heating sector.

During the fiscal year, €6 million was spent to expand the East European locations in Slovenia and Hungary. For the current fiscal year, ebm-papst expects capital spending of €192 million.

Building systems expertise with acquisitions

On January 1, 2016, ebm-papst acquired a majority interest in the Spanish electronics specialist IKOR, which has operations in Spain, Mexico and China. IKOR has approximately 780 employees. Thomas Wagner: “The global electronics production sites were another reason for the acquisition. This will enable us to produce ‘local for local’ even more effectively in the future – in the market, for the market. And we will benefit from IKOR’s Industry 4.0 technology expertise.”

Staff: 599 new jobs

At the close of the fiscal year, the fan specialist ebm-papst employed 12,553 people worldwide, 599 more than a year ago. In Germany, the workforce grew from 5,997 employees in fiscal year 2014/2015 to 6,271, an increase of 274. The number of employees abroad rose from 5,957 to 6,282, an increase of 325. In 2015/16, ebm-papst employed a total of 611 temporary workers (previous year: 467), of which 328 were abroad and 283 were in Germany.

Training

ebm-papst, the world market leader for fans and motors, is growing successfully and planning for the future, as shown by its ongoing training activities in 2015/2016. At the end of the fiscal year on March 31, 2016, 295 trainees and dual study students were employed at ebm-papst in Germany: 166 people in Mulfingen, 53 in Landshut, 36 in St. Georgen, 21 in Herbolzheim and 19 at Zeitlauf.

Background information about ebm-papst locations in Germany

ebm-papst Mulfingen, site of the corporate headquarters, generated revenue of €872 million (previous year: €788 million), an increase of +10.7%. The number of employees rose to 3,338 (previous year: 3,139), up 6%.

ebm-papst St. Georgen, which specializes in drive engineering, automotive applications and compact fans, had sales of €335 million (previous year: €317 million), an increase of 5.6%. The subsidiary from the Black Forest employed 1,457 employees at the end of the fiscal year (previous year: 1,443), up 1.0%.

Sales at ebm-papst Landshut were also encouraging at €297 million (previous year: €280 million). The Bavarian subsidiary, which focuses on the home appliance and heating segments, increased its workforce to 1,181 employees (previous year: 1,135), up 4.1%.

Hauke Hannig
Head of Corporate Communication / Press Spokesperson ebm-papst Group
E-Mail: hauke.hannig@de.ebmpapst.com