The overall economic situation did not improve in 2013. According to current forecasts, the global economy will grow by just under 3% and global production probably by 3.1%. In this year the volume of worldwide trade will, according to World Trade Organization (WTO) forecasts, increase by 2.5%.
Turnover forecast for the 2013 business year
In view of only moderate overall economic development this year, the Liebherr Group expects its total turnover to reach €9.1 billion, which equals the previous year’s figure.
A slight downturn is anticipated in the construction machinery and mining area, where turnover according to current forecasts will be in the region of €5.6 billion, just €249 million or about 4% lower than in 2012. The Liebherr Group’s construction machinery and mining area includes the earthmoving, mobile cranes, tower cranes, concrete technology and mining divisions.
Outside the construction machinery and mining area, on the other hand, growth is anticipated. The Group expects turnover in this business area to reach 3,466 million €, an increase of 245 million or 8%. The area comprises the maritime cranes, aerospace and transportation systems, machine tools and automation systems and domestic appliances divisions, together with miscellaneous products and services that include the components division.
The Liebherr Group has invested in modernization and expansion of its worldwide production network, and also in further strengthening of its sales and service organization. The Group’s total investments in the 2013 business year are expected to reach slightly more than €800 million, a figure below the previous year’s total.
Construction of a new logistics centre for Liebherr-Logistics GmbH near Kirchdorf an der Iller (Germany) deserves special mention. It will be used initially to supply spare parts for Liebherr earthmoving machinery worldwide. In the long term it is planned to transfer spare part logistics for further construction machinery divisions to this location. After the first construction phase the building will cover an area of more than 47,000 m² and will go into operation in the first quarter of 2015. Investment volume for the first phase amounts to more than €100 million. When the centre is completed, Liebherr will have a 360,000 m² site boasting hall space of around 170,000m² and 4,500m² of office space.
Another major project is investment in extending the premises of Liebherr-Australia Pty. Ltd. at its Adelaide location, to which for example a warehouse building, a logistics center and a component remanufacturing centre are to be added. The aim is to offer the region’s mining customers still more comprehensive support.
The aerospace and transportation systems division is currently extending its production facilities at Liebherr-Aerospace Lindenberg GmbH (Germany) for aircraft landing gear systems as well as flight control and actuation systems. This investment is intended to provide a distinct long-term increase in production capacity.
Within the components division, Liebherr-Components Biberach GmbH began construction work in August 2013 on an additional factory near Biberach an der Riss (Germany). It is intended to accommodate the development and production of switchgear, electric motors and generators. In Colmar (France) a new factory covering an area of 50,000 m² has been built. The components division will operate it as a research and development centre and for the production of mining components.
A new production building with adjacent administrative building has been added to the Liebherr production plant for hydraulic excavators, wheel loaders, material handling machines and transmissions in Dalian (China). It is intended to increase the production capacity of Liebherr Machinery (Dalian) Co., Ltd. for the Chinese market and for various other threshold countries.
According to current estimates, the group’s workforce will increase by 1,870 in 2013, to a total of 39,670.
Outlook for 2014
Despite gradual recovery in the highly developed national economies, only moderate global economic growth is anticipated: the International Monetary Fund assumes that growth will be 3.6%.
The Liebherr Group views the coming business year with restrained optimism. In its initial forecast for 2014 it expects total turnover to reach a volume similar to that achieved in the previous year. The workforce will probably increase slightly in size.