Group enjoys global growth, increases profit and creates scores of new jobs
Endress+Hauser increased sales and profit in 2017. The Group benefited from a strong business environment and introduced a wide range of product innovations, including the first digital services offering. Numerous new hires, substantial investments and great strides in the area of sustainability underscore the Group’s balanced growth.
Strong development on a local currency basis
In 2017 net sales rose 4.8 percent to 2.241 billion euros. The appreciation of the euro against most other currencies distorts the picture, however. “When adjusted for local currencies, we grew at a 6.5 percent rate; the instrumentation business enjoyed 8.0 percent growth,” said CEO Matthias Altendorf during the Group’s annual media conference in Basel. “We are confident that Endress+Hauser has strengthened its market position.”
A strong consumer business environment, stabilizing oil prices and low interest rates in 2017 led to greater investment activity in the process industry. “Apart from having to expand capacity, companies were looking for ways to produce more competitively, reliably and sustainably,” said Matthias Altendorf. Endress+Hauser supports their endeavors as a leading global provider of process and laboratory measurement technology, automation solutions and services.
Impetus from innovation and digitalization
“The business performed well across practically all regions and industries,” reported the CEO. Innovative technologies gave significant impetus to business. Endress+Hauser launched 57 new products and 571 instrument options last year. Expenditure on research and development rose to 170.7 million euros, which equates to 7.6 percent of sales. The significance of innovation at Endress+Hauser is reflected in 261 new patent applications. Digitalization is playing an increasingly important role.
Improvement on the earnings side
Endress+Hauser improved operating profit (EBIT) by 15.0 percent to 251.7 million euros. Profit before taxes (EBT) rose 24.9 percent to 275.6 million euros. Net income grew by 34.2 percent to 209.1 million euros. Return on sales (ROS) climbed 2.0 points to 12.3 percent. In contrast, the equity ratio sank 0.3 points to 70.2 percent due to exchange rate effects. Endress+Hauser invested 138.7 million euros worldwide.
Excellent score in sustainability
“As a family company it’s our aim to grow sustainably,” emphasized CEO Matthias Altendorf. One of the strategic key performance indicators in this respect is the EcoVadis benchmark, which rates supplier sustainability. In 2017 Endress+Hauser scored 66 out of 100 points to place in the top two percent of all companies that were evaluated. Endress+Hauser created 296 new jobs in 2017, significantly more than planned. At year end, 13,299 people worked for the Group.
Solid outlook for the current year
Endress+Hauser is off to a good start this year with a strong increase in incoming orders. The Group is planning growth in the mid-single-digit range and anticipates profitability remaining at the current level without extraordinary effects. 223 million euros have been set aside for investments and the Group plans to create up to 500 new jobs worldwide. “We expect 2018 to be another good year for Endress+Hauser,” said Matthias Altendorf.
Industrial automation: The next generation
Rockwell Automation's "Innovations" booth features new technologies under development for potential release. Included are mixed reality applications delivered via Micosoft HoloLens headsets and new design tools that easily extract key machine parameters from Studio 5000.
Of the technology trends that I have observed in recent years, few developments have been more exciting than Industry 4.0 for Process Automation. Having the opportunity to attend several events and talk with professionals throughout the industry, it’s clear that Industry 4.0 concepts and technology are being applied to process automation. At the 2017 Hannover Fair, for instance, I was fortunate enough to meet with Michael Ziesemer, an executive with Endress+Hauser and president of ZVEI, to discuss the impact of Industry 4.0 for process industries. This is not the first discussion I have had with Ziesemer, as I have found through many discussions with the engineering industry veteran, that his opinions and observations are always insightful.
The Automation Fair® event is the ideal opportunity to discover how The Connected Enterprise can help you achieve faster time to market, optimize your assets and lower your total cost of ownership. Visit us Nov. 15-16 in Houston, Texas, and participate in industry forums, hands-on labs and technical sessions. Join us for the Process Solutions User Group Nov. 13-14. Learn best practices and find solutions to process application challenges
The process control and automation businesses of the Top 50 global and North American suppliers still face some challenging headwinds, and 2016 was a tough year. Traditional automation suppliers are betting on big transformations into the world of the Internet of Things (IoT)—or to the Industrial IoT (IIoT) in the case of automation—to rejuvenate their businesses. ARC Advisory Group also sees an increasing focus on cybersecurity as the critical infrastructure and manufacturing sectors continue to experience high profile cyberattacks.
Endress+Hauser accompanies customers on the path to digitalization
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has huge potential: predictive maintenance, asset information management and device configuration are just some examples of the opportunities digitalization has in store for companies. Endress+Hauser is driving IIoT forward through innovative products and solutions as well as by working with partners. This dedication has been proven twice – winning the Digital Champion Award and presenting a new digital platform at the German Digital Summit.
The advantages of digitalization in the process industry can already be seen clearly. Increased networking opens up new opportunities in process optimization and increases plant efficiency. Endress+Hauser is therefore constantly increasing its offer of products, solutions and services in order to increase customers’ productivity and system availability while expanding competitiveness.
Digital Champion 2017
With Memosens, Endress+Hauser introduced a pioneering sensor technology for liquid analysis in various industries such as chemical, power & energy, food & beverage and water & wastewater over 10 years ago. Memosens sensors measure the pH-value in liquids, for example, and transform it into a digital signal while still in the sensor. The data is then passed on via a contactless system and provides extremely accurate, reproducible and reliable measurement results.
Furthermore, the technology combines high process and data security with simple handling: it can withstand corrosion and moisture, can be calibrated in the laboratory and enables predictive maintenance.
Memosens was presented with the Digital Champion Award in the category Digital Products and Services in June 2017. The award is a joint initiative of the German telecommunications provider Telekom and the business magazine WirtschaftsWoche, which was set up in 2016 with the aim of awarding prizes to significant projects by medium-sized companies.
Endress+Hauser at the Digital Summit
Endress+Hauser also demonstrates its commitment through its work with partners: the company created a platform through which data can be exchanged together with BASF, SAP, Pepperl+Fuchs and SAMSON. This was presented for the first time at the Digital Summit of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Technology. The event took place in June 2017 in the metropolitan Rhine-Neckar region and saw over 1000 participants, including the German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel.
The platform enables new forms of data-based cooperation. The effectiveness and efficiency in chemical production can be increased significantly, allowing new business models to be created. The ability to gather data on the condition of devices and components and exchanging this data with all those involved with the process helps determine maintenance requirements, plan maintenance work more efficiently and reduce plant shutdowns.
Subsidiary for IIoT activities
Endress+Hauser has combined its activities for IIoT in a subsidiary in Freiburg, Germany, in order to meet the high pressures of digitalization. Here, specialists work exclusively on products, solutions and services for digitalized plants. These include customized cloud solutions, for example, which utilize specific data from production processes and increase efficiency, as well as services for the plant’s entire life cycle.