Canadian Plastics

Engel back on “growth course,” company says

The Austrian machinery maker is once again operating at full capacity, with an order backlog not seen since 2018.

June 22, 2021   Canadian Plastics

Engel is again operating at full capacity, including at its headquarters in Schwertberg, Austria. Photo Credit: Engel

Austrian machinery maker Engel Austria GmbH has “sky-rocketed” out of a downturn caused by problems in the automotive sector and the COVID-19 pandemic, and is operating at full capacity, with its order books “as full as they last were in 2018.”

Shortly before the start of its recent live e-symposium 2021, Engel officials gave an optimistic outlook for the current fiscal year. “Our order books are as full as they last were in 2018,” said Engel CEO Dr. Stefan Engleder.

But at the same time, he cautioned, new challenges await the injection molding machine manufacturer and system solution provider, above all the current supply bottlenecks in raw materials and components. “We have evolved during the crisis [and] we will master the challenges that lie ahead well,” Engleder said.

Stefan Engleder. Photo Credit: Engel

The company’s 2020/2021 fiscal year came to what it calls “a conciliatory end,” generating 1.1 billion euros in sales revenues. Although sales revenues again fell compared to the previous year with a minus of 15 per cent, Engel is expecting growth again for the current fiscal year. “If the upward trend consolidates, growth in the order of up to 20 per cent is realistic,” said CSO Dr. Christoph Steger.

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The regional distribution of sales at the end of the 2020/2021 fiscal year reflects the impact of the crisis, Engel said: Europe contributed 45 per cent of group sales revenues, well below the previous year’s share of 54 per cent. “The Americas accounted for 30 per cent – compared to 25 per cent the year before – and Asia for 23 per cent, compared to 20 percent the year before,” Steger said. “The Americas and Asia – and China in particular – were the first to see the economy pick up again, and strongly. [And] Europe is also clearly back on track.”

There were also shifts in the distribution of sales by business line, with Engel’s technical molding division – which includes the domestic products, sports, games, and leisure segments – seeing what the company calls “significant growth.” “There was also further growth in the medical business unit,” the company said. “Plastic products are making an important contribution to the fight against the pandemic…[and we have] processed COVID-19-related orders with higher priority since the beginning of the pandemic.”

On the down side, Engel said, COVID-19 lockdowns in individual countries and travel restrictions with quarantine rules are still making daily business difficult. “But the biggest challenge at the moment is delivery bottlenecks in raw materials and components,” Engleder said. “The supply situation will see us face a couple of challenges in the next few months.” Although Engel can still ensure global delivery capability, Engleder continued, the cost gap is continuing to widen. “The markets are overheated, and rising inflation is aggravating this effect,” he said. “This will also have an impact on prices in machine manufacturing.”


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