For the Wittmann Group, the 2022 financial year was characterized on the one hand by high order intake, which was well above average, especially in the first half of the year. On the other hand, the tense situation with regard to the supply of purchased parts, in particular electronic components, meant that it was not possible to realize a year-on-year increase in sales. Sales in 2022 settled at the previous year's level of 376 million euros.
On the other hand, progress was recorded in the Wittmann Group's numerous investment and construction projects. Apart from new investments in modern machining centers at three of the Group's production sites, the extensions to the buildings of Wittmann Battenfeld in Kottingbrunn in Austria and Wittmann Robottechnikai in Mosonmagyarovar in Hungary were completed in 2022. The additional production space available will primarily serve to expand capacity for injection molding machines. The expansion of the Hungarian plant will also enable an increase in the production of Tempro temperature control units and of robots from the new model series with R9 control. The expansion of Wittmann USA's main building in Torrington will be completed on schedule in the next two months and will provide further space for automation solutions and complete injection molding cells in the future. Likewise, a new building is being constructed for the Hungarian sales and service organization Wittmann Battenfeld in Törökbálint, near Budapest. Completion is scheduled for the end of the second quarter of 2023.
Last year, the number of the Group's production plants was increased by a site in Dilovasi, Turkey. The focus of this plant's operations will be on sheet metal and metal processing, with full products also planned for the manufacturer's peripheral equipment division. After 1.5 years of preparation, serial production of the first devices could start at the beginning of 2023. In the first phase, a production area of 3,600 square meters is available. The activities will be successively expanded in the coming months and years, as a support to the activities of the production plants in Austria and France. The advantage of the new Turkish location is the existence of a growing labor market, which is not subject to demographic change for the next few years and provides qualified workers in the industrial sector. This will enable the Group to meet the demand for further growth.
For the current financial year, Michael Wittmann, Managing Director of the Group, is again anticipating an increase in sales, which from today's perspective will be in the region of ten percent. This estimate is based on the fact that, on the one hand, the company has started 2023 with a high order backlog and, on the other hand, an improvement in the supply situation on the market is beginning to emerge. Michael Wittmann: ”With our energy-efficient and powerful machines and products, we are in a strong position and can look into the future with optimism”.