Focus on international expansion and new technologies leads to robust year-end sales growth
VERL, Germany, May 16, 2007 - The Beckhoff Automation strategy of "new, open technologies for new markets" has led to a strong 2006 sales growth rate of 26 percent over the previous financial year.
During 2006, the Verl, Germany-based company soared to new heights with worldwide turnover of 190 million euros. The basis for the ongoing success of Beckhoff Automation is continuous emphasis on new, innovative automation technology and the introduction of new products, combined with consistent expansion of the company's international distribution network.
In 2006, Beckhoff Automation GmbH established five new subsidiaries in Spain, Belgium, Brazil, South Africa and Australia. "We were already well represented through distributors in these countries," said managing director Hans Beckhoff, "however, we intend to further strengthen our position in these markets by moving toward direct sales." The sales increases confirm the success of this strategy: Exports made up 43 percent of the total turnover for the company in 2006. "While our recent growth rate has been roughly equal in Germany and in export markets, our medium- and long-term growth prospects are more global in nature," said Hans Beckhoff.
Overall, Beckhoff is now represented in more than 60 countries worldwide through 18 subsidiaries, agencies or distribution partners. "In 2007, we will continue to intensify the expansion of our global distribution network by establishing branches in Turkey, India and Dubai," said Hans Beckhoff. The number of Beckhoff Automation employees has also grown: At the end of 2006, Beckhoff had 800 employees worldwide, an increase of 20 percent over the previous year.
Hans Beckhoff is pleased with the business development over recent years: "With annual growth rates of 26 percent (2006), 17 percent (2005), 31 percent (2004) and 27 percent (2003), the company continues a very healthy progression." This is due to worldwide growth in the automation market, especially above-average development in Beckhoff's specialty areas of PC-based Control (IPCs), distributed I/O, software PLC/NC and Drive Technology. Further exciting new technological developments are assured from major Beckhoff announcements coming soon in the areas of Drive Technology, Safety and EtherCAT-based control technology.
In July 2006, in order to strengthen the company's position as an Industrial PC technology leader, Beckhoff acquired Embedded Logic Design & More GmbH and BeDeHa GmbH. These companies specialize in the design of motherboards and BIOS software and are based in Münster, Germany. "We bought technology for an emerging market, thereby strengthening our own development capacities," said Hans Beckhoff.
Hans Beckhoff is even more optimistic about the future: "The positive development of previous years has continued into the first quarter of 2007. Provided that the main business parameters remain stable, I am confident that the positive economic growth of the company will continue".
Beckhoff Automation provides advanced, open automation products based upon proven technologies so that customers can implement high performance control systems faster and at a lower overall cost than traditional PLC and motion control systems. Beckhoff's "New Automation Technology" product range includes PC based control, industrial PCs, automation controllers, operator interface, I/O, servo drives and motors. With representation in more than 60 countries, Beckhoff is well positioned to provide global sales and service to its customers. Sales and service are handled directly, with no intermediaries involved to provide faster response and improved communications.