German braking specialist Knorr-Bremse has seen a 21 per cent jump in sales revenue in 2014, growing from €4.3 billion in the previous year to a new total of €5.2 billion.
According to the Munich-based company, all regions and divisions contributed to the growth spurt, with the Commercial Vehicle Systems division generating €2.23 billion, an eight per cent improvement over 2013.
Net income grew 53 per cent to €560 million, the company reported, resulting in a net return on sales of 10.8 per cent.
“This positive development was due partly to the growth in sales revenues but also to the systematic measures taken in recent years to improve process efficiency and optimize costs, which enabled Knorr-Bremse to compensate for considerable price increases and cost pressures, particularly in the OE segment,” the company said.
“If all models of financing are included, the Group has invested more than €1 billion in sites and production facilities over the last five years in order to secure its future.”
As Klaus Deller, Chairman of the Executive Board of Knorr-Bremse AG, commented, “This success is the result of the company’s long-term strategic orientation. Our investments over the last two decades are now bearing fruit and providing the basis for substantial growth.
“They have enabled us to expand our regional presence and strengthen our systems competence with a view to further increasing customer value and continuously improving our processes.”
In 2014, investments rose again to €161 million in 2014. Expenditure on R&D and customer-specific developments was €295.5 million and accounted for 5.7 per cent of revenues. In Munich alone, the company has invested in a €90 million test and development centre, which will accommodate 350 engineers and technicians as well as more than 100 different test rigs.
By the end of 2014, the Knorr-Bremse Group had a workforce of 23,916 – an increase of 14.8 per cent over 2013.
For 2015, the Group is expecting more moderate growth in sales revenues and net income against a background of restrained global economic performance in 2015.
“Our company is thriving, and we aim to grow it further,” said Deller. “In addition to our efforts to generate continued organic growth we are equally determined to meet our targets by making strategic acquisitions.”