Continued growth for the uvex group
The uvex group is benefiting from its investments in innovations, international markets and its employer brand: At the end of the 2016/17 financial year, the Fürth-based family company recorded a 7 percent increase in turnover compared to the previous year. With a total turnover of 426 million euros, the uvex group continues to show strong growth in its two sub groups, the uvex safety group and the uvex sports group.
With an increase in turnover of just under 8 percent to 310 million euros, the safety segment has had one of the most successful years in its history. The sport and leisure segment also grew by 4 percent compared to the previous year. Turnover of around 122 million euros was achieved here. "We are delighted when we are able to achieve our stated objective of standing high on the winner's podium," commented Michael Winter, Managing Partner of the uvex group, on the successful business year.
safety leads the corporate group
The uvex safety group continues to be the business segment with the highest sales, accounting for 73 percent of the total turnover. The specialist company for personal protective equipment from head to toe is growing across all product groups, most notably in foot protection, followed by eye and head protection. "The markets are developing extremely well," reports Michael Winter. "However, in the United Kingdom we have had to contend with the impact of Brexit and heavy exchange losses. While in Australia we are still on a par with the previous year."
Sport back on track for growth
Following recent poor growth rates, the uvex sports group is back on the road to success with a 5 percent increase in turnover thanks to very healthy sales figures in cycling and equestrian sports. "Our strategy at uvex and ALPINA of focusing more on summer sports such as cycling has paid off," explains a delighted Michael Winter. "Here we intend to further expand our conceptual development in order to achieve double-digit growth in the future." There continues to be fierce competition for market shares in winter sports. Short winters with little snow are responsible for stagnating sales. The Filtral group, an integral part of the sport and leisure segment, did not see any growth, however it entered the new financial year with pleasing sales, newly acquired customers and an appealing range of sunglasses and reading glasses.
Digital, diversified, international
"We invested in the key future areas for the group at an early stage, namely digitalisation, diversification and internationalisation as well as the employer brand," explains Michael Winter. For example, the long-established Fürth-based company has pushed ahead with the integration of digital functions in products and applications. The smart helmet developed by uvex safety has a function that checks that the helmet is actually being worn and detects impacts. "Our smart safety helmet provides additional safety for the wearer by communicating with the environment," says Michael Winter on the company's new "Wearable Technologies" approach. To gain access to the world's biggest market for safety products, the USA, the uvex group acquired an interest in US safety specialist HexArmor in 2016. This move enables the uvex group to be even more diversified and international. Following the launch of the first eye and hand protection products developed jointly by the two companies, Michael Winter is satisfied with the sales figures in this discerning market: "These figures reflect the success of this strategic partnership."
Dedicated employees entrusted with the job of protecting people
uvex has also seen growth in its workforce. At the end of the 2016/17 financial year, the medium-sized company had 2,500 employees worldwide – around 200 more than in the previous year. The additional staff are mainly employed in IT roles, where capacity has been increased to implement the digital roadmap. Michael Winter has also made significant investments in the uvex group employer brand. In addition to the expansion of the Fürth site, the company also offers numerous health management and family policy services for employees. "How appealing an employer is, is ultimately difficult to quantify in figures," says Winter. "What we can observe, however, is just how dedicated our employees are to the job of protecting people." Numerous awards attest to this, including the German Brand Award 2017 for "Employer Branding", the Plus X Award for the most innovative brand of the year 2017 (tool) and the prestigious seal of approval from "SkiMAGAZIN" awarded to the uvex hlmt 500 visor.
Targets for 2017/18
The uvex group is therefore in an excellent position to generate future value-oriented growth, with Michael Winter setting a target of up to 5 percent growth for the 2017/18 financial year. His focus is on preserving the strong equity ratio of the family company. This ensures the medium-sized company's continued independence from banks, thereby allowing freedom for innovation, the company's most important driving force for growth.