US growth market and new key countries

03 Jul


Increased turnover and profit at Schubert

Crailsheim, Germany. The Gerhard Schubert Group achieved a consolidated turnover of 228 million Euro in 2014 and completed the fiscal year with handsome profits compared to the previous year. Turnover rose by 14 per cent, and the course is set for continued growth in the coming years as well. Turnover in the US growth market, which is already strong, is expected to double within 5 years thanks to restructuring of the sales department. The trend toward line-based concepts and Transmodul sales to new industries will further strengthen business.

The Schubert Group recorded 46 million euros in turnover in the US and Canada in 2014. In Great Britain, Schubert achieved turnover of 18 million euros, 46% more than the previous year. Schubert System Elektronik's turnover was 31 million euros (up 12.4 per cent), Schubert & Edelmann's 7.7 million euros and the Schubert Group’s line builder, IPS, reached 54.2 million euros. At the end of the year, the company employed 1,050 people (2013 figure: 980), of which around 700 were at Gerhard Schubert GmbH and 55 at IPS in Crailsheim.

With the start of construction of a new assembly plant in Crailsheim, Schubert will continue to increase serial production and therefore per-capita productivity. The plant, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2015, ensures Schubert's achievement of the company's 5-year plan. "Within the next 5 years, we believe that annual growth of 8 to 10 per cent is possible," explained Peter Gabriel, Commercial Director at Gerhard Schubert GmbH. To secure the production capacity required over the long term and to improve in-house logistics, investing in an additional plant in 2020 would make sense. "The relocation of some production activities to the US is also conceivable," commented Gabriel.

Global growth markets

In the area of secondary packaging, the US still offers large growth potential. Turnover in the US in 2014 made up around 20 per cent of the Schubert Group’s total turnover. The primary focus there is the food-processing industry, which could benefit from an increase in flexibility through the automation of secondary packaging processes. The Schubert Group’s objective is to double turnover at Schubert North America by the year 2020.

Other key countries include Benelux, France, Turkey and Poland. Booming economic regions in parts of China have also become a focus for sales and marketing. In France, which saw stable turnover figures despite the financial crisis, the sales effort will be further strengthened in 2015. A new sales team has also been established in the Benelux countries. In Turkey, a sales representative has been working on exploiting the food-processing and confectionery industries since 2013. In Poland, Schubert would like to capitalise on the favourable investment climate following the establishment of international food-processing companies in the country. Moreover, a Chinese sales representative recently joined IPS in view of capitalising on the strong upturn of the investment environment which arose through the establishment of international companies in certain areas of China.

New areas of business

Schubert continuously invests 8 to 10 per cent of its turnover in research and development. The company is at the forefront of technological development in the packaging industry thanks to innovations such as the TLM machine without an electrical cabinet, the 3D scanner for packaging machines and the Transmodul transport robot. The Transmodul is now well established in many industries, and in 2014 alone, close to 900 Transmoduls were delivered in Schubert lines. Since its introduction in 2009, 3,500 Transmoduls have been commissioned. A recent development is the sale of Transmoduls to third-party customers without the sale of a packaging machine. In the medium term, this is expected to develop into a new business segment at Schubert. A new sales representative was recently hired by Schubert System Elektronik for this purpose.

A further objective is to expand the company’s filling technology for cosmetics and powdered products, with which it could further develop the primary packaging segment. This portfolio expansion, which opens up access to new industries, capitalises on the market trend toward more services being provided by single company, and will contribute to stabilising turnover at Schubert over the long term. Beyond the primary technology, increasing focus is being placed on palletising. Following this trend, Schubert will be developing complete line concepts for its customers, covering every step from product filling to palletising to material logistics.

"We are very well positioned for the coming years thanks to our new areas of business, the new factory and global growth markets," commented Gabriel. "Close cooperation within the Schubert family-run business also ensures that we have the flexibility required to quickly respond to unexpected developments. We are therefore optimistic that we will be able to significantly increase company turnover once again in 2015."