Austrian fitting manufacturer the Blum Group has increased turnover by 2.6% in the 2018/2019 financial year to €1,887.85 million despite a “subdued” Western Europe market.
However, the company has seen positive sales in Central and Eastern Europe, with Blum achieving nearly half of its turnover (48%) in the EU region and 15% in the USA.
The company invested a total of €242million in the 2018/19 business year, with the completion of a Stamping Centre in Dornbirn and extension to the plant in Breganz.
Currently, construction work is taking place on an extension to the administration building in Poland and there are plans to expand the incoming goods, dispatch and high bay warehouse in Blum USA.
It is also planing to build new premises, including warehouse, offices and showroom for Blum’s subsidiary in Canada.
In addition, Blum has bought an additional plot of land close to its current premises in China, to build local assembly facilities and an automated high bay warehouse over the next few years.
It further plans to add a 49,000sqm production bay to its factory in Breganz, with construction expected to be completed by the summer of 2021.
The 16th building phase at the Breganz plant will be the largest one-off investment in Blum’s corporate history.
Commenting on the investment, managing director Marin Blum said: “We are committed to maintaining our main production site in Vorarlberg, Austria. This is where we develop and optimise our products and manufacturing procedures in our eight plants.
“In addition, we establish production facilities in markets where there is sufficient demand for our products and where it is logistically sensible to do so.
“We set up a local production plant in the USA 40 years ago; we have a similar situation in China today.”
The company believes there is uncertainty about future global economic development, however is optimistic about the business year ahead.
Managing director Philippe Blum commented: ““There are global signs of a slowdown in the dynamic growth of previous years.
“The fact that Brexit has not yet been regulated has created a great deal of uncertainty in the EU, as has the reignited trade conflict between the USA and China. The economic situation in Turkey remains uncertain.
“Nevertheless, Blum will approach the new business year with restrained optimism and will focus on ongoing innovation, market development and close customer relationships.”
The third generation of the Blum family has taken the helm of the company, with the management board consisting of Philipp Blum, Martin Blum, Urs Bolter and Gerhard Humpeler and the Corporate Management Group
Gerhard E. Blum will now focus on the Blum Group Holding.