The Schmidt + Clemens Group has today presented its financial statements for the last financial year. The slowness of the recovery in the oil price led to a tangible reluctance to invest on the part of customers in the petrochemicals sector. As a result, the consolidated sales of the S+C Group saw a fall of around 21% in the 2016 financial year to EUR 230.5 million.
However, the modernisation and optimisation of the production processes brought about by the investments of previous years, paired with the associated cost savings, have made it possible to achieve an altogether satisfactory result. The balance sheet total decreased by 1.5% to EUR 167 million. On the balance sheet cut-off date, the total workforce numbered 1057 people, including 610 at the parent site of the Group in Lindlar.
“The market environment was once again characterised by difficult conditions in 2016,” states CEO Jan Schmidt-Krayer. “The debt and refugee crisis in Europe, war in Syria and worldwide terrorist attacks all conspired to cause uncertainty for the markets.”
In addition to the investment in machinery and infrastructure at the parent site, the financial year was also marked by expansion in production at the Group’s subsidiaries in the Czech Republic, Spain and Malaysia. “In Germany, we can now only invest in high-tech processes. Wage-intensive tasks have to be increasingly moved abroad,” Schmidt-Krayer reports. There are a variety of reasons for this, he says. However, he also places much of the blame on political decisions and the trade unions. “Germany’s competitiveness as a production location is suffering noticeable damage,” Schmidt-Krayer firmly states.
The company is proud of the “Top 100” award it received in 2016. This distinction is given to Germany’s most innovative SME businesses. S+C repeatedly succeeds in defending its leadership of the market through the regular launch of pioneering materials and products.
In line with the strategic focus on core business areas, Bowers & Jones, the Group’s UK subsidiary, was sold in 2016 to an investor. A further service subsidiary was founded in Malaysia, which in future will carry out the Corporate Group’s Asian Installation Services activities.
Despite continuing investment reticence on the part of the customers, the S+C Group is optimistic for the 2017 financial year. The optimisation measures undertaken throughout the business in the cost, process and production fields are cause for the senior management to set their sights on financially ambitious business goals, despite the challenging market environment.
In addition to the parent site in Germany, the Schmidt + Clemens Group also has production operations in Spain, the Czech Republic, Malaysia and Saudi-Arabia. A new service subsidiary was founded in 2016 in Malaysia. S+C is the world market leader in pipe systems for the petrochemical industry. The Group’s product range also encompasses components for use in separation technology, power engineering, industrial furnace construction and the pump industry.
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