In the year of its 130th company anniversary, the KERN-LIEBERS group can look back on a mixed, though in overall terms still satisfactory fiscal year 2017/18. At 745 million euros in fiscal year 2017/18, group turnover was up approximately 2% over the previous year (adjusted for exchange rates: +4.5%).
Performance in the major overseas regions was weaker than in the past year, in part due the exchange rate situation (China: +2,4%; North America: -16%). At +12%, the trend in Europe outside Germany was encouraging. In Germany itself, there was an increase of 6% compared to the previous fiscal year.
Although the upturn in the global economy has lost momentum, the group plans to continue this growth trend in the coming fiscal year 2018/19, underpinned by numerous new initiatives and projects in all regions and business units, as well as the acquisition of shares in Schnöring GmbH.
"The environment is getting tougher," says CEO Dr. Udo Schnell. The trade conflicts initiated by the United States are producing a spiral of action and reaction. Political uncertainties in the euro area have escalated significantly. And the risk of sudden insecurity on the capital markets - with hard corrections - has increased. This will negatively impact investment and consumer decisions and destabilize the forces driving global economic growth.
The KERN-LIEBERS group continues to invest in its locations: in the year of the 25th anniversary of KERN-LIEBERS in China, this is apparent in the construction of new production halls in Taicang (near Shanghai) and Tianjin (near Beijing), which will create an additional 35,000 square meters of production facilities.
The KERN-LIEBERS group currently employs roughly 8,050 people around the world, including 3,800 in Germany. This represents an increase of 650 employees year-on-year, and includes 200 employees of Schnöring, the company acquired by the group some months ago. 1,439 people are employed at company headquarters in Schramberg-Sulgen.
KERN-LIEBERS is highly committed to the training of 119 young people at company headquarters at the Sulgen location, with 92 in industrial and 27 in commercial occupations. These include apprentices at the Bohnert and Carl Haas subsidiaries.