Robert Bürkle GmbH terminates business year 2011 with a turnover of 96 million Euros. Originally, the company had planned 110 million Euros. Reason for the recession is the worldwide bad demand in the solar market. Something pleasing: the business result of the company group stayed positive, since Bürkle achieved higher sales figures in their business unit surfaces as well as in business unit printed circuit boards and plastic cards than expected.
Amongst others, managing Partner Hans-Joachim Bender attributes a part of the success in business unit surfaces to some new equipment for the profiling of heat insulation boards made of Styrofoam being used in the building industry. The parquet and door market was noticeably revived as well. Moreover, Bürkle perceived a considerable increase in sales of finishing and printing lines.
Background for the attained turnover in solar business that was just half of the planned business volume is easy to explain: the lamination machines produced by Bürkle are at the end of the process chain. Thus Bürkle felt the decreasing demand for solar modules first. "We have already felt this decrease in the second quarter of 2011 when the others still felt a boom” affirms Bender. However, the manager still counts on photovoltaics business. He hopes that the market will have adjusted in two years and that overcapacities will be sold, so that Bürkle will be able to “score" by means of innovations, like considerably shortened laminating times and will thus have a unique selling point on the market. After all Bürkle has earned a turnover of 100 million Euros in the PV industry after their market entry four years ago.
In 2012 the machine manufacturer would like to achieve a total sales volume of 94 million euros, 20 % in thereof in the PV industry, 60 % in business unit surfaces including the wood composite, glass, automotive and graphical industry and 20 % in the field of printed circuit boards and plastic cards. Bender emphasizes that the order situation is currently good. In the first quarter Bürkle is working to full capacity and for the second quarter only a few small orders are missing for full utilization of capacity. Bender thinks that the diversification of the company is one reason for this positive order volume. “Thanks to its three business units Bürkle Company is quite resistant to crises. If one market is weak, another increases."
„The PV crisis will surely lead to a market adjustment" says Bender. However, Bürkle will survive this dry spell in the PV industry due to innovative product developments and diversification.
Additionally, the machine building company is currently checking market potential in the field of generation and saving of energy. Moreover, growth markets like China and Brazil are interesting as well. Last business year the subsidiary Bürkle Shanghai producing equipment for the Asian market and employing 160 people, solely achieved a turnover of 16 million Euros in China.
Robert Bürkle GmbH located in Freudenstadt develops and manufactures machines for the woodworking industry as well as for the electronic, photovoltaics, glass, building, automotive and plastic card industry. At the moment 470 people are working in Freudenstadt and in the branch office Mastholte. The group incorporating further factories in Paderborn, Shanghai and Hangzhou as well as sales and service offices in USA, Hongkong, Poland, Slovakia, Taiwan and Brazil, employs approximately 720 staff members worldwide. The formation rate of 13 per cent has been clearly over the average for years.