As always, we were confronted with a number of challenges during the past financial year. These included a business climate which could have been better, a countrywide shortage of suitably qualified staff and statutory framework conditions which created problems for many of our customers. Our established market is no longer growing as dynamically as was the case just a few years ago, and the procurement markets are also becoming increasingly complex.
We have grown nevertheless – both in turnover and in workforce numbers – and we are proud of this growth. Our customers are placing increased trust in us – for which we are very grateful – and we are delivering! Our group now has a workforce of more than 3,500 at 400 locations worlwide. In Germany we have successfully expanded the operations of our pneumatics division, while the growth rate of our Mobile Hydraulics Service and our Industrial Service has also been above average. We have been able to supply large numbers of new customers directly from our hose line series production in Bremen, while automatically packaged merchandise is efficiently distributed from our central stores in Geisenfeld near Ingolstadt.
Internationally we have registered stronger organic growth than in Germany. In many countries we are the market leaders, with satisfied customers enabling us to expand this position further. We have acquired a company in Australia, in Italy we have over the last two years reinforced our positive start, and in South America we have created a healthy market position for our subsidiary in Chile.
Our long-term investment is paying off – as planned! This success is due above all to our highly qualified workforce, who operate on behalf of our customers day and night if neccessary. Without them this success would not be possible, and we would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to them.
We are looking forward to working with you in 2016. We wish our customers and our employees a successful business year 2016!