Röchling Group Expanding Worldwide
Fifth Plant in China and Seventh Plant in the USA
“We are in the midst of a growth spurt,” said Georg Duffner, CEO, explaining the good start to 2011. “The Röchling Group is benefiting from strong demand, particularly in China and other newly industrializing countries. In order to continue to benefit from opportunities, the topic of international expansion has highest priority.” For example, this year the Group commissioned its fifth plant in China, located in Chengdu, the capital of the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan, and its seventh manufacturing facility in the USA (Akron, Ohio). The Röchling Group is currently building an additional manufacturing facility in Pitesti, Romania. Duffner: “Whereas the Röchling Group still generated 67% of its sales in Germany ten years ago, we expect to derive two-thirds of our sales from other countries in 2014.”
2010: Sales Grew to EUR 1 Billion
Following the year of recession, 2010 represented dynamic growth for the Röchling Group. Good demand prevailed not only in the automotive market but also in the capital goods industry, particularly the chemical industry and medical technology. Sales rose by 20.6% to EUR 1,002.8 million. Incoming orders, which increased by 26.8% to EUR 1,044.4 million, performed even better.
The growth engine was the unexpectedly rapid recovery of the global economy, driven by a surge in China and other growth markets. As a result of the upturn, the Röchling Group increased investments in tangible assets by 34.2% to EUR 35.9 million. Among the most important projects in 2010 was the first assembly line for the flexible production of six different intake manifold models in the Röchling Automotive plant in Changchun, China, with an annual output of 737,000 units.
Due to encouraging business development, the Company’s financial position continued to improve. “Given the continued increase in our financial strength, we are well equipped to remain on track for global expansion,” stated Marc Trube, CFO of the Röchling Group. The 8.8% increase in the number of employees to 5,971 as of December 31, 2010 underscored the Company’s confidence in the future. At the end of March 2011, Röchling had as many as 6,376 employees.
High-Performance Plastics Grew by 25 Percent
The High-Performance Plastics division recorded a sales increase of 25.9% to EUR 529.6 million. All important sales markets experienced good demand. “In particular, the area of renewable energies has developed into an important business field for us,” stated Röchling COO Ludger Bartels, who is responsible for this topic.
However, since the summer of 2010 significant price increases for raw materials have had a dampening effect on the business. A surge in worldwide demand has led to scarce supply.
In the wake of the economic rebound, the High-Performance Plastics division nearly doubled its investments. They climbed by 84.1% to EUR 19.7 million. Focal points were the expansion of production at sites in Haren/Ems and Lahnstein, Germany, as well as extensions to production facilities in Singapore and China. An additional element was the expansion of manufacturing of injection-molded plastic parts for medical technology through cleanroom production in Brensbach, Germany. All Company groups increased their staffing in response to the rising workload. As a result, the number of employees rose by 8.3% to 2,763 (previous year: 2,549).
Automotive Plastics Division Benefits from a Rapid Market Recovery
The international automotive supplier industry recovered from the severe economic decline in 2009 with astounding speed. Thus the industry’s global sales in 2010 nearly matched the pre-crisis level. As a result of the good market development, the Automotive Plastics division increased sales by 15.8% to EUR 473.7 million. The growth rates were particularly high in China and the USA.
The investments of the Automotive Plastics division, which totaled EUR 16.1 million, remained nearly at the same level as in the previous year (EUR 15.9 million). The emphasis here was particularly on expanding capacity. A new production hall was constructed in Worms, Germany, for example, for the manufacture of lightweight parts. As the business in China is operating at full speed, the Chinese subsidiary in Suzhou expanded its capacity and moved into a new production hall.
The workforce grew by 275 new employees, 9.6% more strongly than in the High-Performance Plastics division. On December 31, 2010, Röchling
Automotive group had a total of 3,136 employees. This corresponded to an increase of 9.6%. The personnel rise occurred primarily in Europe and Asia.
In order to further strengthen its position as an innovation leader, Röchling established the new specialist division New Business Green Car. In view of the increasing variety of new vehicle and drive concepts, the division is designed to promote the development of corresponding plastics products.
Despite the good trend, the outlook for the future is not untroubled, as the industry sees itself exposed to new risks. Although China’s enormous automotive market is rapidly gaining in importance, many suppliers complain of financial tension caused by the high costs of expansion necessary to augment their presence in this market. In addition, the industry is suffering from rapid price increases for raw materials. Although the Chinese government has maintained its economic stimulus program since the beginning of 2010, at the end of the year it announced restrictions on the registration of new private cars beginning in 2011.
The remaining regions of the Automotive Plastics division similarly recorded sharp increases in incoming orders and sales. Here also, the sector is worried about the increasing scarcity of raw materials as a result of rising demand.
Company’s Largest Investment Program Launched
Notwithstanding these risks, Röchling still sees itself well positioned and views the future with optimism. In view of the very promising outlook for growth, the Executive Board launched the largest investment program in the Company’s history. In total, more than EUR 80 million are to be invested in the expansion of existing plants as well as new plant construction. In the first quarter of 2011, therefore, the Group increased expenditure on fixed assets by more than 100% from EUR 6.7 million to EUR 13.8 million.
The Executive Board expects the upward trend to continue in the second quarter of this year. Duffer: “However, it is too early to make a forecast for the entire year of 2011. The economy’s development after the summer break will be decisive for business performance. Thus we must await the impact of various risks on the year, particularly the further development of prices for raw materials and energy, the consequences of the natural and nuclear disaster in Japan, lingering problems surrounding the highly-indebted eurozone countries, as well as the situation in North Africa.”
Other news from the department business & finance
Sustainable zinc-ion batteries for the energy transition
Research project aims for rapid industrial implementation
Patent filings in 3D printing grew eight times faster than average of all technologies in last decade
Metallographic image analysis in second
TGFS invests in start-up for AI-based software for microstructure analysis
Battery technology "Made in Germany" as an opportunity of the century
CustomCells calls for a holistic course to be set for the targeted establishment and expansion of the battery value chain
Evonik cooperates with REMONDIS on sustainable polyurethane recycling
The cooperation will support Evonik as it develops its chemical recycling process to the next level
Start-up recycles plastic lab waste into new test tubes and petri dishes
University of Bath is home to UK’s first pilot plant for recycling plastic lab waste
BASF and Nanotech Energy partner for lithium-ion batteries with locally recycled content in North America
BASF will be the first company in North America to provide cathode active materials produced with recycled metals on a commercial scale starting in 2024
Schenck Process: Refocusing on core business after carve-out of the food division
Digital solutions and sustainable bulk solids processes at the heart
HCS Group announces completion of acquisition by ICIG
With the company takeover, the current CEO will be leaving the company
New standards for sustainable biogas facilities
Partnership between Bilfinger and spin-off from the Technical University of Munich
Takara Bio and Eppendorf cooperate
Automation of Takara Bio’s Chemistries on Eppendorf’s Automated Pipetting Systems for Significantly Higher Efficiency
FLEXIM becomes part of Emerson
Headquarters in Berlin to be expanded into global center of excellence for ultrasonic flow measurement technology
ALTANA bolsters business with acquisitions and innovation investments
Sales below previous year’s level due to general economic conditions
beeOLED raises EUR 13.3m in Series A funding to solve the last big challenge of the OLED industry
The deep tech startup will use the investment to further develop its innovative, high-efficiency, deep-blue emitter technology towards go-to-market-readiness
Most read news
Major breakthrough in the development of electric vehicle batteries
New study finds ways to suppress lithium plating in automotive batteries for faster charging electric vehicles
Green methanol for shipping and industry: € 10.4 Mio. for the "Leuna100" project
A consortium of two Fraunhofer institutes, DBI-Gastechnologisches Institut Freiberg, Technical University of Berlin and C1 makes industrial history at the Leuna site
Research shows table salt could be the secret ingredient for better chemical recycling
Table salt as the key to the plastics recycling revolution?
Graphene discovery could help generate hydrogen cheaply and sustainably
Microscopic insights into electrochemical interfaces
New battery holds promise for green energy
Redox-flow battery eliminates costly and inefficient membrane
Leipzig-based start-up converts CO₂ into green chemicals with patented plasma catalysis
CO₂ recycling as a useful complement to carbon capture and storage
Cleaning water with ‘smart rust’ and magnets
New method for pollutants such as crude oil, glyphosate, microplastics and hormones
A Second Life for Electric Car Batteries
Scientists develop a decision model for retired lithium-ion batteries
More news from our other portals
Cells with an ear for music release insulin
For the first time, researchers are using music, including Queen's global hit "We will rock you," to stimulate insulin release from cells
Blender Bites launches at Walmart USA
The products are to be introduced in about 1,600 stores across the country
"Anti-obesity drugs" normalises brain in obesity
Anti-obesity drug improves associative learning in people with obesity
Clean water from fog
A property known as photocatalytic memory ensures that this also functions when skies are overcast and at night
Benchtop NMR spectroscopy can accurately analyse pyrolysis oils
More accessible analysis could help develop the potential of bio-oils as an alternative to fossil fuels
Microbe of the Year 2023: Bacillus subtilis – for health and technology
Already, Bacillus subtilis is indispensable in many industries, and many more innovations are expected
Green, sweet and crisp - New apple variety Pia41 approved
The apple bred at the Julius Kühn Institute receives variety protection
Younger generation gets sick earlier and more often than older generation
In spite of their advanced age, they are in the middle of life, healthy, active and mentally alert – they are referred to as the “young old”
Sugar: Small increase in production despite record prices
EU sugar market more than in need of reform to keep medium-sized processing companies competitive
How sleep deprivation can harm the brain
Sleep deprivation decreases the amount of a factor that protects neurons
Stanford study shows how the meat and dairy sector resists competition from alternative animal products
A whole new order of bacteria could hold the key to improving biogas production
The discovery was made by researchers from Germany, Spain and the Netherlands
A microchip for Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Consorzio del Parmigiano Reggiano, p-Chip Corporation, and Kaasmerk Matec Partner to Launch Breakthrough in Food-Safe Digital Tracking Technology
Scientists use quantum device to slow down simulated chemical reaction 100 billion times
What happens in femtoseconds in nature can now be observed in milliseconds in the lab
How to inactivate common cold viruses
In the cold season, cold viruses are everywhere. But we can do something about it
Straws and disposable tableware: Also made of paper often with harmful chemicals for the environment and health
The supposedly better alternative is often not better at all, scientists emphasize
Fondant under the magnifying glass
New insights into the properties of sweet coating: The results could be used to optimize the industrial production process in the future
How minimal genetic differences can turn healthy food into a deadly danger
You are what you eat - this old saying could take on a new dimension according to latest research results
KNAUER invests in Dresden-based start-up company
Both companies will offer integrated solutions in the field of material separation and laboratory organisation
New approach to testing for long Covid
Blood vessels in the eye altered with persistent coronavirus symptoms