Strong Performance Despite Corona-related Decline in Sales
The international RAMPF Group generated consolidated sales of €168 million in fiscal year 2019/20. The decrease of 13 percent compared to the previous year is mainly due to the global economic crisis triggered by the corona pandemic.
RAMPF Group CEO Michael Rampf:
First of all, we are very grateful that only a small number of employees were infected with Covid-19 and that they have all fully recovered. We would like to sincerely thank our staff who all adhered to the social distancing and hygiene regulations in an exemplary manner. This ensured that we were able to keep our production running and uphold our delivery capabilities at all times.
Against the background of a slower growing global economy and the crisis in the automotive industry, we had already made a rather cautious forecast for fiscal year 2019/20 with an unchanged sales level of around €190 million. By the beginning of the fourth quarter in March 2020, we were well on the way to achieving this goal. But the effects of the corona pandemic then caused our sales to drop sharply.
Until the economic downturn caused by corona, sales of RAMPF Polymer Solutions (reactive plastic systems based on polyurethane, epoxy, and silicone) were at record levels, while RAMPF Production Systems (mixing and dispensing systems, automation solutions), RAMPF Eco Solutions (recycling polyols and recycling plants), RAMPF Composite Solutions (carbon fiber and glass fiber composite parts), and RAMPF Tooling Solutions (board and liquid materials for modeling and mold engineering) had all generated sales at the previous year's level.
The RAMPF Machine Systems division (machine beds and machine systems made of alternative materials such as mineral casting, hard stone, and ultra-high-performance concrete) was hit hard by the drastic drop in orders in the mechanical engineering sector, which had already been struggling before the corona crisis.
“In April of this year, we appointed Marc Dizdarevic and Stefan Foroutan as the new management team. They are working on strengthening the company's position in the market – the economic and ecological advantages of alternative materials for the laser, semiconductor, medical, and packaging industries as well as conventional machine tool construction are outstanding, but these have to be communicated more effectively and transferred into new projects,” Michael Rampf emphasizes.
The crisis in mechanical engineering also negatively impacted the results of the RAMPF subsidiaries in the USA, China, and Japan. However, the negative trend in the Machine Systems division was partly offset by strong sales growth in Polymer Solutions (RAMPF China and RAMPF USA) and Tooling Solutions (RAMPF USA). The RAMPF Korea joint venture, which produces mixing and dispensing systems for the Asian markets, performed strongly.
In fiscal year 2019/20, RAMPF brought three groundbreaking innovations to market:
- RAKU® Microwave Curing: With the new microwave technology developed by RAMPF, ultra-fast curing and processing times are achieved when mixing and dispensing sealing systems, adhesives, and casting resins. The groundbreaking innovation is based on the thermal activation of 1- and 2-component polymer systems using microwave radiation.
- RAMPF FlexSpeed: With its speed-dependent dispensing technology, RAMPF Production Systems cuts lead times for sealing, foaming, and bonding processes in series production by more than 50 percent. Instead of dispensing at constant speed, FlexSpeed robots travel at high precision around corners and very quickly in a straight line.
- Universal User Interface for Dispensing Systems & Robots: The human-machine interface (HMI) developed by RAMPF Production Systems with control solutions from Beckhoff Automation and Siemens is an elementary component for the digital strategy of manufacturing companies.
These innovations once again illustrate the ability of our employees to develop products and processes that bring our customers decisive competitive advantages. In turn, the additional sales generated here are used to finance future-oriented investments,” says RAMPF Group CEO Matthias Rampf.
These investments include the construction of new office and production buildings for RAMPF China in Nantong as well as RAMPF Composite Solutions’ state-of-the-art production building in Burlington, Ontario, Canada, which recently started operations.
For the current fiscal year 2020/21, which began on July 1, 2020, the management team of the RAMPF Group is refraining from providing an outlook.
Neither the development of the corona pandemic nor its effects on the economy can be predicted with any certainty. However, we are convinced that with their high-quality and diversified portfolio of products and services, the companies of the RAMPF Group are very well positioned and stand for a safe and timely delivery. As a medium-sized family company, preserving and creating jobs is particularly important to us. The RAMPF Group currently has 873 employees worldwide, a decrease of around 4.5 percent compared to the previous year (913 employees). This decline resulted from the economic implications of the corona pandemic and is largely based on natural fluctuation. Together with the targeted use of short-time work, we hope that we will continue to master this challenging period successfully.
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