Winterthur, 18 September 2015 – As at the end of August 2015, the Kistler Group posted incoming orders of 215 million Swiss francs, equivalent to year-on-year growth of 3.2% (or 10.7% after adjustments for exchange rates). The closing financial statement for the four-month period does reflect the impact of the strong Swiss franc but in recent months, Kistler has counteracted this by implementing precautions to make the company less susceptible to sudden exchange rate fluctuations in the future.
Automotive Sector Strong, Asia Stagnant
Eropean automotive market is currently showing the strongest momentum. Kistler products and solutions for the development of new vehicle generations still enjoy heavy demand. The Kistler Group continued to grow in the American market, whereas demand in the Asian region is stagnating at present. China's loss of momentum here is also mirrored in orders received by Kistler. Sales revenue totaling some 320 million Swiss francs is anticipated by the end of 2015.
Measures to Boost Competitiveness
In common with most export-oriented Swiss companies, the Kistler Group has been hit by the sudden strengthening of the Swiss franc. However, Kistler was largely able to limit the damage by taking immediate and specific steps. Long-term measures will also safeguard the firm's competitive edge on a sustained basis. These include plans to reduce the quota of suppliers who bill in Swiss francs. The relocation of individual operational units or production processes to the Eurozone will also be driven ahead. Plenty of space is reserved for subsequent expansion at the new European Headquarters in Böblingen-Sindelfingen (Germany) and the area of the existing software development center in Bratislava is to be virtually doubled. Work has already started on another extension at the production center in Lorch (Germany) and in a parallel development, the area of the Shanghai Tech Center has also been doubled.
Lean Projects at Various Sites
The numerous Lean projects at various sites are progressing according to plan, with a major positive impact on the Group's competitive strength. Massive investments are being made to automate production at the Winterthur location in particular. In recognition of its successful implementation of the Lean philosophy, the Kistler Group was honored in summer with the ASCO Gold Award for the best and most sustainable corporate transformation in Switzerland. At almost the same time, Kistler Automotive GmbH was awarded the Top100 quality label, singling it out as one of Germany's most innovative medium-sized enterprises.
Looking to the Future with Confidence
CEO Rolf Sonderegger is looking forward confidently to the closing financial statement for 2015 and the next financial year. ‘Of course, exchange rate developments and the downturn in China's economic momentum also have implications for the Kistler Group. Nevertheless, we are satisfied that we have managed to cope with this exceptional situation without increasing working hours and without redundancies. On the contrary: to date this year, we have created 69 additional jobs across the globe (with 12 additional full-time posts in Switzerland), and we are planning further expansion in 2016.’
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