Würth Group recorded historic sales and operating results in 2021, with new highs seen in its e-business. The group hailed its independence from supply chains in a disrupted year, with 80% of its goods originating in Europe.
Würth Group saw sales of €17.1 billion (2020: €14.4 billion)- an increase of 18.5% (19% adjusted for currency).
On its Germany home turf, Würth sales grew 14.1% to 6.9 billion (2020: €6.1 billion). Overseas sales reached €10.2 billion (2020: €8.3 billion). In Southern and Western Europe, growth rates were above-average, partly due to sizeable sales slumps seen in 2020 in the likes of France, Spain and Italy due to Covid-19.
The operating result was clearly up on 2020, reaching €1.2 billion (2020: €775 million). The Group said sales growth and increased productivity – as well as fewer travel, trade fair and conference costs – contributed to the overall performance.
"We are in the middle of the 4th wave of the pandemic, and the development of supply chains is challenging us all. Achieving results like this under such conditions shows that we have tailor-made products and services for our customers. It is also important to convey calmness and security in a crisis. In a family business like ours, Prof. Reinhold Würth and Bettina Würth play a decisive role in such a situation," underlines Robert Friedmann, Chairman of the Central Managing Board of the Würth Group.
Multichannel & in-house production
Würth’s number of pick-up shops worldwide more than doubled over the past 10 years. Meanwhile its e-business unit generated sales of €3.4 billion in 2021, a new record of 19.9% of the Group’s total sales.
With production plants in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, Würth said it had a certain level of independence from the troubled supply chains of the pandemic.
"ASSY®, our screw for wood construction, is produced by the Group company SWG Schraubenwerk Gaisbach. This means that we do not depend on Chinese steel imports. Today, already 80%of our goods originate in Europe," said Friedmann.
However supply bottlenecks did hit the company indirectly, for example, the shortage of chips had an impact on companies in the Group that depend on the automotive industry as they supply to OEMs directly.
In Q3 2022, Würth Group is to open a new innovation centre in Künzelsau-Gaisbach with the aim of streamlining innovation cycles, bringing new and further developments to market more quickly and offering customers even more solutions of added value.
A new parking garage is to be built too, with 752 spaces – 48 of which will be e-charging spaces. A new administration building – with 375 workplaces – is to be constructed for 2024. The focus of this building project is on sustainability and the circular economy: The 49-meter high-rise building will be based on a hybrid wood construction. The high proportion of prefabricated wood elements will reduce the carbon footprint.
The situation on the procurement market will remain tense in 2022, according to the group, which added that the decision of the German government to make vaccination compulsory will have a significant impact on the development of the pandemic and thus on the economic activity.
"Despite these uncertainties, we assume that we will achieve new record sales in the coming business year and achieve adequate operating result growth, as our multi-channel strategy, far-reaching digitalization and large number of own production facilities mean that we are in an independent position now and will continue to be so in the future," said Mr. Friedmann.
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