The Herma Group says it has continued to expand in 2013 fiscal year, achieving growth in sales in its business with self-adhesive materials, labels and labelling machines.
The total revenues of €261.2 million (US$355.2 million) represent a year-on-year increase of 6.4 % (from €245.6 million [US$334 million]).
“Having recorded the highest annual sales in company history to date in 2012, sustaining this success in 2013 was particularly challenging against the background of the weak economic recovery,” according to MDs Sven Schneller and Dr. Thomas Baumgärtner.
“We pulled it off and, with sales setting another record, we have again shown stronger growth than the market as a whole.”
In doing so, the self-adhesive company said it benefited from the comparatively acceptable economic conditions on the domestic market this time around.
Whereas Germany’s gross domestic product edged up slightly, by 0.4%, 2013 was a year of slowdown in the eurozone and many other foreign markets important for Herma.
Nevertheless, the company said it reported an upturn in exports of 5.9% to €143.7 million (US$195.4 million).
The domestic market grew by 6.9%, to €117.5 million (US$159.8 million).
Accordingly, the export ratio was 55.0 %, after 55.2 % in the previous year.
Given the brighter outlook on the domestic and foreign markets, both MDs anticipate 3% rise in sales across the company in the current fiscal year.
Double digit volume growth in self-adhesive materials
In absolute figures the self-adhesive materials division contributed around half of the company’s growth in 2013.
The revenues climbed by 5.7%, from €140.0 million (US$190.4 million) to €147.9 million (US$201.112 million) at year-end, although the division had to contend with currency-related contracting margins in the key British market in particular.
In volume terms, the increase in sales of self-adhesive materials was around 11%.
This was based on the systematic expansion of Herma’s multi-layer technology, coupled with the continued introduction of new, innovative adhesives.
Labels: success despite market dynamics
In percentage terms, the pattern of sales recorded by the labels division was comparatively pleasing, said Herma.
Growth of 5.2% boosted revenues from €74.5 million (US$101.3 million) to €78.4 million (US$106.6 million).
However, business in the office and consumer sector was still affected by an absence of market growth as a consequence of intensified digitisation of office jobs and falling numbers of children attending school.
Parallel to this, classic wholesaling and retailing ceded market shares to online suppliers and large chains.
In the industrial labels sector, further gains were made in business with large international customers and in the core unprinted labels segment.
In 2013 the biggest growth in percentage terms was generated by the labelling machines division, says Herma.
Sales rose by 12.2% year on year, from €31.1 million (US$42.3 million) to €34.9 million (US$47.5 million).
“The growth strategy outlined in the previous year has been successfully put into operation,” said the MDs.
Alongside ongoing product portfolio expansion, this includes stringent standardization of the existing product range, as well as a strictly customer- and application-based approach to developing industry-specific solutions.
The division also benefited from building up its international sales activities.