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Intralogistics automation provider, KNAPP AG posts record results

Intralogistics automation provider, KNAPP AG, concluded a very successful fiscal year 2013/14 with a record turnover of 383.75 million euros, while the opening of offices in Australia and Russia during the year highlighted the group’s continued international growth.

With its core business areas being pharma, fashion, general retail and food retail, KNAPP continues to bring the latest technology to warehouse logistics. Its trio of Managing Directors – Gerald Hofer, Franz Mathi and Christian Grabner – reported recently on an extremely positive year, highlighting an increase in order receipt of about 15 per cent compared to the previous year and EBIT up 5.2 per cent to 15.4 million euros.

Highest ever number of employees
The KNAPP Group worldwide has increased to 2,500 employees, a growth of some 200 employees in comparison to the previous fiscal year. More than 1,800 staff work in Austria, with the group now having sites not only in Graz – its global headquarters – but also Leoben, Grambach and Dobl. Employees are highly qualified, with approximately 45 per cent having a university or college degree or diploma. "Our employees perform exceptionally, and therefore we want to create a positive environment in which they can further develop their strengths," explained KNAPP CEO, Gerald Hofer. Evidence of this philosophy was the opening during the year of a childcare facility on the site at Graz and awards received in recognition of family friendliness and corporate culture. In addition, KNAPP introduced a unique higher qualifications programme for long-serving production staff in co-operation with the Styrian region’s Economic Development Institute. As a result, 15 employees successfully completed apprenticeship exams in mechanical engineering. Commented KNAPP CFO, Christian Grabner, "For the employees, the completion of this training translates not only into the higher qualifications of a skilled worker, but it is also personally enriching."

Continued investment in R&D
In the fiscal year 2013/14, KNAPP invested more than 7 per cent of turnover – amounting to 27.7 million euros – in research and development. Over 400 staff are focused on new and further developments in all the core business areas. "New developments often arise from new market demands," explained KNAPP COO, Franz Mathi. "Our Pack2Patient is a successful new solution for direct delivery to the end customer in the pharmaceutical sector but is also a response to the new legal frameworks. There were also further developments within our KiSoft Vision product group where we reduce errors in every process step from goods-in to goods-out by using intelligent image recognition technologies."

Western Europe remains the strongest region
The Western European economic region remained the strongest sales region for KNAPP, with a turnover share of almost 70 per cent. The sales figures for the CEE countries, which are slowly recovering from the recession, tripled to a turnover of over 15 million euros. The turnover in the North American region was cranked up to a record level of over 57 million euros, thanks to rising turnover figures in Canada. The Latin American economic region was also a driving force for growth – the share of turnover increased from 8 per cent in the previous year to more than 10 per cent. The Asian-Pacific market area remained at the same level as the previous year at about 11 million euros.

Further growth planned
"For the next year, we intend to reach a growth in turnover of 10 per cent," added Gerald Hofer, CEO. "On one hand, we would like to achieve this with proven and tested solutions, but we would also like to score with new system solutions. We have a lot in store and look forward to an exciting and successful new fiscal year."
Image: From left to right: Franz Mathi (COO), Christian Grabner (CFO) and Gerald Hofer (CEO)
Tel: 01844 202149
E-mail: craig.rollason@knapp.com

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