The ifm group hit the 1-billion-euro mark in sales for the first time in its history in 2019 – the year of its 50th anniversary. "We are very satisfied with the result in the anniversary year even if the growth rate was somewhat lower than the previous year," commented Christoph von Rosenberg, CFO of the ifm group, on the business results now available.
Despite ongoing international trade disputes, the specialist for innovative automation and digitalisation technology was able to significantly increase sales again in 2019, recording a year-over-year growth of 5.5% at the end of the year. With a group turnover revenue of 1.0 billion euros, the ifm group hit the magic sales mark for the first time in its 50-year history. Major growth drivers were the markets in North and South America and China. "Thanks to good growth in the food and mobile machinery sectors, we were able to cushion the sharp downturn in the global automotive and associated mechanical engineering industry." The preliminary operating result (EBIT) was maintained at a solid level of 5.6% (previous year: 7.7%) despite the dynamic course of business. "This result demonstrates the sustained profitability of our business model," said Rosenberg.
The total number of active customers also reached new record highs with 174,000 buying customers, while the workforce increased to 7,300 at the end of 2019.
Due to the uncertainties related to the current coronavirus crisis, the company refrains from offering an outlook for 2020 at this point in time. "In spite of the considerable turbulence in China and Europe, the first quarter was very stable with sales at the same level as last year. However, due to the global economic slowdown we need to expect a sales decline in the coming months," Rosenberg said.