Annual Press Conference 2021/22

Forward-looking strategy secures 30% increase in turnover for KEBA

21.6.2022
The KEBA Group, headquartered in Linz, increased its sales from € 415.4 million to € 537.7 million in the past business year (April 2021 - March 2022). With a jump in turnover of around 122 million € and a turnover growth of almost 30 % , the KEBA Group repeatedly achieved the highest turnover in its history. Looking at the last five years, the average annual growth is 22.7 % (CAGR).

The international share of business remains high at around 90 %. Around 67 % was delivered to the EU (excluding Austria) and around 13 % to Asia.

2021/20222020/20212019/20202018/2019
KEBA Gruppe
Turnover million EURO
537,7415,4373,5304
Employees Group (FTE)1963175017321750
R&D13 %14,8 %16,6 %16,3 %
International Business Share90 %90 %88 %88 %

For a technology company like KEBA, research and development is of central importance. It is the basis for the future success of the company and for its technological position on the market. Accordingly, the KEBA Group invests a significant portion of its annual sales in research and development (R&D). The expenditure for R&D amounted to around € 70 million last year.

At the end of the business year, the KEBA Group had 1963 employees (FTE) on a full-time basis. In terms of persons, KEBA has already exceeded the 2,000 mark.

In addition, the company currently employs around 180 leasing staff to cover peak workloads.

About half of the employees work in Austria, one third in Germany and about 200 employees in Asia. At the Linz location, 37 apprentices are currently being trained in six different professions. Other branches also train their own skilled workers. At locations in Germany, up to 25 young people are also trained in various professions.

Strong growth despite pandemic

Turnover growth in the last financial year was 30 %. A look at the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the last five years shows a corresponding continuity of 22.7 %.

KEBA attributes the continuous growth to the following factors:

  • KEBA has been focusing on the topic of internationalisation for more than 20 years and is continuously expanding its market presence in the relevant markets.
  • The automation expert focuses early on growth markets that deal with the future and with sustainable solutions.
  • KEBA benefits from the diversity of its business areas, which serve different industries and are subject to different economic cycles. This has once again proven to be the basis for success in recent years.
  • As a technology company, KEBA continuously invests in research and development and places great value on its ability to innovate.
  • KEBA has a flat, agile organisation with a high level of self-responsibility, which allows for quick decentralised decisions and can therefore quickly adapt to the requirements of the market.

Successful with 3 pillars

Since autumn of the last business year, the three KEBA business areas - Industrial Automation, Handover Automation and Energy Automation - have been independent companies and run the operative business within the KEBA Group. However, they continue to operate under the strong common KEBA brand and use the synergies of the group.

Industrial Automation develops and produces automation solutions consisting of hardware and software for machines and robots. The solutions range from operation to control and safety technology to drive technology. These solutions are used in various mechanical engineering sectors and in robotics.

Handover Automation is a specialist for handover solutions. These enable the secure and contactless transfer of cash, parcels or goods as well as controlled access to shared objects. These solutions are known, for example, as ATMs at banks or as parcel machines at postal and logistics companies, as well as transfer machines in the vehicle trade, in the justice system or in the health sector.

Energy Automation is one of the pioneers of charging solutions for electric vehicles. With the wallboxes, electric cars can not only be charged safely and reliably, but also networked with various systems, such as a photovoltaic system, thanks to a variety of interfaces. Another focus in this business field is on heating controls for heat pumps and biomass heating systems.

The three business segments have different characteristics. Industrial Automation focuses on the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) sector. Handover Automation is in the project business with the production of self-service machines. And Energy Automation, with its wallboxes for electric cars and heating control systems, is a series business close to the end customer.

In order to be able to optimally adapt to these different market requirements, it makes sense to enable different procedures, processes or sales channels. Separate responsibility allows KEBA to serve the industries in an even more targeted manner and to act even closer to the customer. In addition, it is also in line with KEBA's agile organisational understanding to make decisions as decentralised as possible in order to be able to make them quickly and in a targeted manner and to get things done quickly.

KEBA Group AG is responsible for the overall orientation of KEBA as well as the strategic and financial control of the entire corporate group.

Strong international position, new branch office in the UK

With 26 branches in 16 countries and 8 production sites of various sizes in 4 countries (Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, China), the group of companies has a good, transnational network, so that it is sustainably present in all markets and can be there for its customers locally even in times of travel restrictions.

Since the beginning of the year, KEBA has also been present in Great Britain with its own branch office. It serves to expand market access and supports sales activities.

Growth in the KEBA Group

Furthermore, KEBA acquired the Stuttgart / Germany-based software company drag and bot at the end of 2021. The start-up develops an innovative operating system for machines and robots. With this new acquisition, KEBA strengthens its position in industrial automation and strategically complements its product portfolio with innovative, flexible automation software.

Expansion of production capacities and office space in Linz

In order to cope with the increased production capacities due to growth, investments were made earlier than planned in a further high-performance electronics production line including test infrastructure at the main site in the Urfahr business park.

As a result, the production area for unit assembly at the second production site in the Industriezeile was expanded once again and now totals around 30,000 m2.

The demand for office space has also increased. Part of the acquired former Haberkorn buildings in the Linz business park was completely renovated last year and converted into a modern office building.

Preparations for the new KEBA location at Technologiering in Leonding/Pasching are underway and on schedule. An architectural competition is currently taking place. From the current perspective, construction is scheduled to begin at the end of 2023.

The challenge of material supply

The procurement area was driven by material availability throughout the last business year. In addition to market volatility due to the Corona pandemic, the semiconductor crisis challenged KEBA's supply chain last year. The shortage of semiconductors is a global issue and impacts industrial companies worldwide. Reduced transport capacities (air and sea freight) also continue to have a significant impact on global supply chains.

KEBA clearly focused on remaining able to deliver and already installed an internal task force at the beginning of 2021. This task force is constantly working on generating short- and medium-term solutions and optimally designing the supply according to the circumstances. In addition, KEBA naturally remained in close contact with its suppliers and customers throughout the entire period in order to find solutions together. In such a challenging situation, KEBA's agile way of working and flat organisation proved to be very helpful, because decisions could be made quickly.

In this way, the availability of materials and thus the production supply could be largely ensured. However, this was also achieved through purchases at higher prices. Despite the challenging situation, KEBA can look back on a high delivery capacity.

Over 2,000 employees in the KEBA Group

In the last business year alone, the internationally active company grew by 225 employees, the majority of them in Austria. KEBA has now reached the 2,000-employee mark.

In order to continue the planned growth course, more skilled workers are needed. In recent weeks, a number of new employees have been hired and another 130 are to follow in the coming months, the majority of them in Linz. We are looking for the entire spectrum of software developers, product managers, application engineers, sales staff, marketing and financial experts, and production staff.

Of course, the search for personnel is challenging and requires a lot of effort. Basically, many Upper Austrian companies are looking for employees. What attracts many people and makes them come to KEBA is the new organisational form of the company, which gives people the opportunity to really actively contribute, take responsibility and follow their own strengths. The future-oriented industries also rank high with applicants.

Outlook

KEBA assumes that it is fundamentally active in growth markets with its 3 business areas and that there is a corresponding demand for its solutions. As in the last few years, a certain basic dynamic is expected, but the company is accustomed to quickly adapting to changing conditions. The turnover that the company will be able to realise in this business year will certainly depend to a large extent on the availability of materials.

The entire press release is available for download

Gerhard Luftensteiner CEO KEBA Group AG © KEBA

Management Board KEBA Group AG (f.l.t.r.): Andreas Schoberleitner (CFO), Gerhard Luftensteiner (CEO) und Franz Höller (CTO) © KEBA


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