- worldwide sales in 2019: 903 million euros (-1%)
- 4,350 employees worldwide (+1%)
- investment in research and development: 70 million euros
- coronavirus impact minimized
VERL, Germany, April 21, 2020 – Beckhoff Automation generated global sales of 903 million euros in 2019, representing a slight decrease in sales of 1% compared to the previous year, when the company posted sales of 916 million euros. Beckhoff is satisfied with the performance of the business despite this slight decline, since the company was able to essentially maintain sales at the previous year’s level in what would become an extremely difficult market environment.
A significant slowdown in investment levels worldwide was palpable even in the second half of 2018, which led to a substantial reduction in orders in 2019 among Beckhoff’s machine builder customers in particular. Many markets bounced back strongly at the start of 2020, which all changed again, however, with the outbreak of the global coronavirus crisis. Beckhoff expects economic life at the company to resume more or less fully once the pandemic subsides, including the associated investments.
While it is difficult at present to forecast precisely how the business will develop in 2020, Beckhoff is planning for a financial year at the previous year’s level and is cautiously optimistic about single-digit sales growth.
“With global sales totaling 903 million euros, 2019 was a balanced financial year for us,” says owner and Managing Director Hans Beckhoff. “This was somewhat unusual for us, since we have grown on average by 15% annually since the year 2000. After a number of boom years, a cyclical correction was to be expected, though the impact of this may now be exacerbated by the coronavirus situation. However, we are presently working at full capacity, and this is set to continue over the coming months with no reduction in working hours envisaged. As the impact of the pandemic recedes in the coming months, we can even achieve acceptable growth in 2020. On the strength of this optimistic general assessment, Beckhoff is proceeding with all investment projects as well as research and development activities with full intensity. Beckhoff currently has a workforce of 4,350 employees globally, and this will further increase in certain areas too,” adds Hans Beckhoff.
Adjusting to the coronavirus situation
The company has adjusted well to the coronavirus situation. Beckhoff continues to serve customers at a virtually unchanged capacity and is ready to take on new projects. As a globally active company with branches in 39 countries, Beckhoff became aware of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic at an early stage. The subsidiary in China, in particular, was able to gain experience with how to ensure employee safety and maintain company operations in the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the experiences of Beckhoff employees in China, the company introduced initial measures in Germany at the end of February. By mid-March, all employees in Germany were working from home offices whenever feasible (1,200 positions in Germany and 2,100 positions in total worldwide). “Just under 80% of employees with an office workplace are working from home offices. All employees affected by these measures continue to be accessible for our customers via many lines of communication,” reports Hans Beckhoff.
At the same time, production was switched to staggered two-shift operation. All employees in production were also split into safety groups (that is, potential infection groups), which can work independently and at a safe distance from each other. “All production, warehousing and supply functions were protected by introducing social distancing and staggered working times and a number of hygiene measures, thus enabling continued supply chain security for our customers. The company would like to thank all production and warehousing employees for the exemplary and selfless manner in which they supported these changes and restrictions,” affirms Hans Beckhoff.
In addition, Beckhoff can help in the battle against coronavirus by providing cutting-edge products and technologies and through the experience and expertise of its employees. Beckhoff is involved in around 15 high-profile projects worldwide, for example, in order to develop respiratory and testing equipment. One particularly exciting and promising invention is the CoroVent ventilator, which Beckhoff supported during development and production in the Czech Republic (for further information see: www.corovent.com).
Business expansion in Germany
The dense sales network was extended in Germany with the addition of new sales offices in Waldkirch (near Freiburg), Aachen and Kempten. Also, Beckhoff acquired ADL Embedded Solutions GmbH, headquartered in Siegen, Germany, on April 1, 2019. ADL is a specialist company that is well known for producing deep embedded applications using motherboards and specially adapted peripherals. The company develops tailor-made, turnkey embedded solutions in collaboration with customers. For many years now, it has based its projects on Beckhoff industrial motherboards, and with the integration of ADL into the Verl-based company, this successful collaboration can progress to the next stage.
Global expansion strategy
Beckhoff furthermore acquired Tri-TEK Corp. in Seoul, South Korea, on July 1, 2019. The successful distributor has been closely associated with Beckhoff for many years. As Beckhoff Korea, the experienced team, which to date has focused primarily on semiconductor and display manufacturing, will now be able to support South Korea’s high-tech market even more comprehensively.
Beckhoff currently has subsidiaries and representative offices in 39 countries worldwide. Counting its own sales companies and distributors, Beckhoff is represented in 75 countries around the globe.https://www.beckhoffautomation.com/english.asp?press/pr0420.htm