02. December 2008

HARTING grows - Successful 2007/2008 business year

The HARTING Technology Group, headquartered in Espelkamp, in East Westphalia, Germany, has once again concluded a very successful business year on September 30, 2008.

The company succeeded in advancing sales from EUR 345 million in the prior year to a total of EUR 385 million, representing sales gains of 11.7%. In this context, currency fluctuations were especially tangible; based on steady exchange rates the increased sales would have amounted to just under 14 %. Dietmar Harting, personally liable partner of the HARTING Technology Group, sums up the results as follows: “In aiming for double-digit growth we set some ambitious targets, and we have not only attained our goals, but even exceeded them. With their strong commitment and dedication, our employees worldwide have contributed to this performance.“

Strong growth in core markets – considerable expansion of market position in Asia – USA remains stable in spite of difficult general economic conditions

The demand for HARTING products - renowned on their markets as especially innovative, reliable and long-lived - has increased considerably. The globally active company is fielding solutions that supply systems, facilities and machines in all industrial applications with data, signals and power. Application areas include machine building and plant engineering, automation technology, power generation and distribution, industrial electronics and telecommunications. In the largest sales segment, namely Connectivity & Networks HARTING is concentrating on three application areas: Under the key word “Installation Technology“ HARTING is developing connectors and cabling solutions for power, signals and data communication. The Han® connectors rank as an industry standard, and are successfully deployed worldwide. The “Device Connectivity“ activities at HARTING offer a universal and innovative range of device connection technologies in the protection types IP 20 to IP 65 / IP 67. Enabling intelligent networking of facilities, systems and plants, HARTING is fielding a consistent program of Ethernet network components and cabling under the “Automation IT“ keyword.

In the past business year, the HARTING Technology Group succeeded in achieving substantial sales gains in its core markets. In Europe, sales came in at EUR 293 million, and rose by 13.1 % over the previous year (sales 2006/2007: EUR 259 million). On the German market HARTING generated total sales of EUR 147 million, following on EUR 130 million in the previous year. Throughout Europe, sales were also up by a substantial measure over the previous year, and advanced to EUR 146 million, by comparison with EUR 129 million the year before. At EUR 29 million, the currently weak US market, including Brazil, showed stable sales developments virtually on par with the previous year’s level (EUR 30 million).

HARTING recorded very gratifying, above average sales gains on the Asian markets. Following on EUR 51 million in the 2006/2007 business year, HARTING achieved sales of EUR 60 million on concluding the 2006/2007 business year, representing an increase of 17.7 %. In order to meet continuously rising demand in Asia, HARTING established its own manufacturing facility in Zhuhai (China) that was commissioned in October 2007. In the past business year, the Asian sales network was also expanded: additional sales offices in China, Vietnam, Korea, Australia and India opened their doors. Philip Harting, who headed the expansion of HARTING’s Asian business activities from 2005 to 2008 on location, commented: “Our company’s Asian activities are currently showing excellent developments. This is decisively driven by the quality of our products and the closeness to customers that we have built throughout Asia. We will continue this course and are pursuing the clear aim of attaining a market leading position here too.“

In Europe, HARTING is also consistently expanding business activities. At the company’s Swiss location in Biel, the further development of this key location will involve a major expansion of research and development activities. The business activities at HARTING AG in Switzerland initially concentrated on the manufacturing and sales of connectors, the conventional core areas of the HARTING Technology Group. In 2004, HARTING set up the Mitronics business unit in Switzerland, which is active in the microtechnology area. Mitronics develops and manufactures MID substrates for the medical technology, automotive engineering and sensor technology application areas.

Creating jobs – Forward looking, exemplary training concept – Promoting East Westphalia as a business location

In the course of continuous growth, the HARTING Technology Group has created a total of 352 new jobs in East Westphalia and abroad. As of September 30, 2008, the company employed a workforce of 3,211 staff, of which 1,725 are active in Germany. These figures represent an increase of 12.3% over the previous year (2,859 employees). In the past business year, HARTING hired 154 new employees in Espelkamp and Minden, and has once again contributed to advancing East Westphalia as a business location. Outside of Germany, the additions to the workforce were mainly attributable to manufacturing activities in China and Romania.

Since more than 60 years, vocational training activities have played an extremely important role at HARTING. The company is currently employing 68 apprentices, trainees and students active in eleven different vocation profiles. At the Espelkamp headquartered family owned and managed company, training concepts are clearly oriented to conveying comprehensive, holistic contents: the aim is to not only provide all trainees with excellent vocational skills and know-how, but also to instruct them on the overall, interdisciplinary functions of the company as a whole. To this end, the trainees are familiarized with the task scopes of the other vocations. In order to create the right platform and space for these activities, HARTING built the New Training Center HARTING (NAZHA, Neues Ausbildungszentrum HARTING) that embarked on training activities in June 2008. Here, all of the company’s trainees are instructed “under a single roof” and learn how the individual parts and aspects of the company interact. As one of the five founding companies, HARTING has also been successfully engaged in advancing Espelkamp as a location for studies. In addition to training mechatronics professionals within the context of the dual studies scheme, HARTING has added the electrical engineering focus area to the “Bachelor of Engineering” course. Next year, “Business & IT” studies will be added to the curriculum. With these offers, the number of students undergoing the dual studies program will increase to 14. In order to meet the demands of global competition in an optimal manner, HARTING has set up a training course in China revolving around “Forwarding and Logistics Services”. These training activities are being conducted in cooperation with the Foreign Chamber of Commerce. The range of training offerings in Espelkamp is also being continuously expanded. As from the year 2009, new training courses on “Technical/Product Designer” and “Machine and System Operator” will be round off the range.

As a corporate citizen, HARTING has been engaged for many years in promoting cultural and social activities geared to advancing the East Westphalia-Lippe region as a location. Attracting and tying young people to the region is one of the company’s key aims. In order to enhance the attraction and appeal of the East Westphalia region, HARTING is pursuing an integrated concept promoting the areas of sports, culture and science. Entrepreneur Magrit Harting, Chairwoman of the Philharmonic Society, East Westphalia-Lippe, and Honorary Chairwoman of the Industrial Location Promotion Interest Group of the Minden-Lübbecke District, has cleary stated the company’s commitment to the Espelkamp location: “We have our roots in East Westphalia and we would like to help to strengthen the region and contribute to enhancing the overall quality of life.” In addition, the company is also committed to promoting sports. The family owned and managed company is the sponsor of the first league handball team GWD Minden, and the second league soccer club VFL Osnabrück.

Family owned and managed company in the third generation

The Espelkamp headquartered, family owned and managed company HARTING is now preparing the transition to the third generation. In addition to the entrepreneurs Dietmar Harting and Margrit Harting, their two children have also joined company management in Espelkamp. Philip Harting, who was active as Managing Director in Asia as from 2005, has been responsible since the spring of 2008 for the company area with the largest sales volume as Vice President Connectivity & Networks. Focus areas of his task scope include the global strategic development of the HARTING Technology Group and the development of new markets. Since the spring of 2007, Maresa Harting has been responsible for the financial affairs of the company in her function as Senior Vice President of Finances, Controlling and Tax. With the third generation now on board, HARTING will remain a family owned and managed company.

Outlook and planning for the upcoming business year

Also in view of the current overall economic situation, the HARTING Technology Group plans to further expand its market position in the ongoing business year. Continued growth has been and remains a key aim of the HARTING Technology Group. In the coming business years, the company aims to generate additional sales through the implementation of new, innovative approaches in the areas of network components, connectors and MID technology. This process will involve both the permanent expansion of the product range, as well as the dynamic international expansion of the HARTING Technology Group. In this context, special focus will be on the further development of Asian and East European markets.


Development 2008