“Saurer weathered the uncertainty of 2018 well, with sales revenue for the group increasing by almost 6%. Both its segments Spinning Solutions and Technologies supported this growth.
The group posted sales revenue amounting to RMB 9 220 million, a year-on-year (YoY) increase of 5.8% (2017: RMB 8 713 million). Saurer’s sales in its biggest market, China, rose by 11.2%. This was despite the uncertainty across the globe in the second half of 2018, which saw this economy growing at its slowest rate in 28 years. Saurer was well positioned to benefit from economic growth in several Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam and Bangladesh. Despite political uncertainty affecting sales in Turkey, the group’s segment Spinning Solutions grew in Saurer’s third-largest market.
Over the past year, we have focused on repositioning the group as a solutions provider – our aim is to move beyond supplying our customers with textile machinery and to partner with our clients to help realise their business aspirations.
In line with this strategy, Saurer is positioning itself in closer proximity to customers across the world. This saw a significant reorganisation of our sales and service departments, which has resulted in a positive outcome in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa (AEMEA) region, with Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal and the USA all posting a revenue increase of around 30%.
We are also embracing the technological advances brought about by Industry 4.0 as part of our strategy – our major focus areas here include automation and sensor technology as well as data analytics. In 2018, Saurer increased its R&D expenditure by approximately 50% YoY. The group’s new Saurer Technology Centre located in Arbon, Switzerland, supports engineers across the group as they work to integrate smart technology into Saurer’s products.
The group’s commitment to Industry 4.0. principles is further highlighted by its plant in Urumqi in Xinjiang Province, China, which came into regular operation in the third quarter of 2018. This modern site is the first to produce both pre-spinning and spinning machines.
As we continue to meet our strategic objectives, strengthening our outside-in approach to meet customer needs, I am confident that we can strengthen our position as a provider of smart fit-for-purpose solutions to our diverse customers in the textile industry. The fact that sales of our pre-spinning technologies have grown by 34% is an indication that we are meeting customer needs with our extended offering. In repositioning ourselves with the aim of deepening our relationships with our clients across the world, we will continue to support our customers’ enterprises as they aim for new heights.”