The Wilo Group looks back at a successful financial year 2019 and records its tenth successive year of record sales. Sales revenues stood at 1.48 billion euros last year, an increase of one per cent over 2018. “We have asserted ourselves in a challenging, tense market environment and, alongside our all-time high in sales figures, we have also set a new record of 180.1 million euros for our operating result,” explains Oliver Hermes, President and CEO of the Wilo Group.
“The main reason for this impressive result is the excellent growth in the Eastern European, Indian and North American markets, as well as in countries in Central Asia.” Looking back over the past 10 years, the Wilo Group has increased its sales revenues by 60 percent.
“In the face of the geopolitical challenges of the past year and the increasingly volatile economic and also political environment, we have managed to remain on a growth course through the solid implementation of our digital transformation, the expansion of our multilateral partnerships and networks, and an intensified globalisation strategy,” explains Oliver Hermes. This excellent result was driven by disproportionately strong growth in the water management segment and by products, systems and solutions in the area of cold-water applications. Non-heating applications now make up more than half of Wilo’s business activities.
Increased profitability and major investment
“With an increase of more than 10 per cent, we witnessed double-digit growth in profitability and also in our operating result which, based on the standard international key performance indicator EBITDA, represents an all-time high,” reports Oliver Hermes. We also set a new record in terms of cash flow from operating activities in 2019: at almost 170 million euros, this is more than double the figure achieved in the previous year. In addition, last year the Dortmund-based technology company also invested heavily in the future: “Over the past decade, we’ve shouldered an investment volume of around a billion euros; in 2019 alone, we invested 155 million euros, which equates to a rate over 10 per cent,” says the President and CEO of the Wilo Group. Investment activities comprise, among other things, the future-oriented enhancement of production capacities – the most obvious example being the construction and purchase of the WiloPark at the Dortmund headquarters – the development of the sales infrastructure, the acquisition of companies in a number of countries, and the implementation of the digital transformation.
Climate protection and digital transformation as drivers of innovation
Irrespective of geopolitical uncertainties and developing regional strategies, two topics will dominate the behaviour of industrial and technology companies over the next few years: climate protection and digital transformation. “The Wilo Group is making a significant contribution to slowing climate change and achieving global climate protection targets,” says Oliver Hermes. “We are a climate protection company. Climate protection is part of our business model.” Wilo is driving the digital transformation of the Group in the four areas of products and solutions, processes, business models and personnel with great determination. The move to the new Wilo Smart Factory – the first digital factory of the Wilo-World – is nearly complete: “Here, we are fully committed to utilising Industry 4.0 standards and processes, rolling them out at all our production sites over the next decade,” explains Oliver Hermes.
Coronavirus as a global challenge
Against the backdrop of the current crisis caused by the Corona pandemic, Oliver Hermes expects a period of great uncertainty for the global economy: “For the current year, the expected further spread of coronavirus will put a serious strain on the global economy,” says Oliver Hermes with little doubt. “Our main priority in everything we do now and in the future will be to minimise the health risks for all of our staff and limit the economic damage to the company.” Despite the increasingly tense global economic situation overall, Oliver Hermes believes that the Wilo Group is in a strong position going forward: “Global economic prospects for 2020 look rather bleak. Nevertheless, we’ll continue to approach the new decade with confidence.”