Winterthur, February 13, 2015 – The Kistler Group achieved sales of 319 million CHF in 2014, which corresponds to a growth of about 12 percent compared to the prior year. The total order value of 322 million CHF was even slightly above this record amount. 103 new jobs were created across the entire group, 21 of which at its Swiss location. The Kistler Group currently employs over 1 350 employees (full time equivalent) worldwide.
The sales revenue of 319 million CHF clearly surpassed expectations. Sales increased in virtually all markets. Since order volumes are higher than sales revenues, the Kistler Group was able to start the new year with a comfortable level of orders on hand.
At the Winterthur location, new jobs were created and, at the same time, about 7 million CHF in investments were made. Thanks to investments in automation and the associated rise in efficiency, Kistler should be able to handle the effects of the abrupt revaluation of the Swiss franc without having to cut jobs or trim back hours.
CEO Rolf Sonderegger is convinced that the Kistler Group has chosen the right strategy in recent years. ‘We have focused on efficiency and innovation and shifted certain sub-units to less expensive locations – for example, software development has been relocated to Bratislava. At the same time, we are improving our competitiveness by setting up so-called 'lean work stations’ at all of the Kistler Group Production Centers. Especially in Winterthur, it is important that we can offset the high price level with increased efficiency.’ The decision of the Swiss National Bank to abandon the minimum exchange rate has put additional pressure on Kistler, especially in regards to jobs in Winterthur.
The prospects for the current year look generally positive. In particular the automotive industry continues to innovate significantly. Geopolitical influences on demand, however, are, and continue to be, unpredictable. Here too, according to Sonderegger, ‘taking the right precautionary measures so that we can respond quickly and specifically to an unexpected drop in demand’, is key.
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Caption 1: Lean work station at Kistler Instrumente AG in Winterthur, Switzerland.
Caption 2: Rolf Sonderegger, CEO of the Kistler Gruppe.