he result is entirely in line with our expectations. In view of the weakening economy, we set ourselves the target at the end of 2011 of consolidating revenues at the high level of the previous financial year. We have met this goal,” declared Dietmar Harting (73), President of the company, at the press conference on the financial statements on December 3 in Espelkamp.
Business performance nevertheless differed in the individual regions. The result achieved in the Americas region (US, South America and Canada) was particularly pleasing. Revenues here climbed by 13.6% to €50 million (previous year: €44 million). In fact, this development represents a 100% increase compared to the 2008/2009 financial year. Growth was also recorded in Europe, excluding Germany, where revenues were up by 4.3% to €170 million (previous year: €163 million). Compared to 2008/2009, the increase stood at just under 50%. In contrast, revenues in Germany dipped slightly coming in at €177 million (previous year: €181 million). By contrast, the family owned and family managed company posted a significant deckube of almost 12% to €82 million in Asia compared to €93 million in the previous year. Once again, the Espelkamp-based company generated just under two-thirds of its revenues (63%) abroad.
The HARTING Technology Group’s products and solutions are deployed worldwide in all sectors of industry. By far the greatest revenue share is accounted for by the Connectivity & Networks division led by Senior Vice President Philip F.W. Harting. This division comprises electrical and electronic connectors, device connectivity solutions, network components and assembled system cables. HARTING solutions are used in mechanical and plant engineering, automation technology, power generation and distribution, industrial electronics, device connectivity solutions and the transport industry as well as in medical, broadcast, stage and event technology. Under the Han brand, a global market standard, HARTING develops and sells industrial connectors and installation concepts in the field of installation technology to supply machines and equipment with data, signals and power.
The company is also increasingly focusing on AutoID solutions (automatic recognition of objects) for industrial production and intralogistics. From January 1, 2013, the newly-founded HARTING IT Systemintegration GmbH & Co. KG will provide the complete portfolio of hardware and software solutions through to consulting and service offerings in this business area from a single source.
In the year under review, HARTING once again fulfilled its claim of representing an innovative and research-oriented group company with a strategy of systematic customer orientation through pioneering new developments. HARTING presented its latest product innovations at the Hannover Messe and the Electronica trade fair in Munich. Han-Fast® Lock, a simple and flexible PCB connector, and Ha-VIS RFID, a seamlessly integrated RFID solution for efficient production processes, were unveiled in Hannover. At this year's Electronica, the emphasis was placed on the har-flexicon® product innovation for the rapid and convenient wiring of ever more compact devices which also addresses the economics of the assembly process. The 1.27 mm spacing also sets new standards on the circuit board. An integrated solution capable of reading a RFID transponder, controlling materials handling and production technology and making entries in the SAP-ERP system also went on display for the first time. “We aim to shape the future for people with technologies. This future begins here and now. We therefore wish to provide our customers with the tools required to actively shape the future today and to show them in specific terms which benefits can be achieved with our innovations. An innovation’s benchmark is always the efficiency improvement achieved when applied by our customers. That is our understanding of genuine innovation,” explained Philip F.W. Harting, Senior Vice President Connectivity & Networks.
Efficiency improvement and process optimization also play a key role at our own company. The concept of a learning and integral company is implemented on a day-to-day basis in various projects with a high degree of success as the winning of the “Manufacturing Excellence Award 2012” underlines. HARTING Electronics GmbH & Co. KG excelled in the “information technology” category of the best-practice production competition with its effective deployment of leading-edge IT structures in production and supply chain management.
Worldwide a total of 118 new jobs and around 15% more apprenticeship slots
The HARTING Technology Group has further increased headcount worldwide despite the consolidated course of business. HARTING reached a new record level in the financial year under review with a workforce of 3,512 (previous year: 3,394). HARTING employed 1,877 people at the three locations in the district of Minden-Lübbecke (Espelkamp, Rahden and Minden) as of September 30, 2012. That is five more (0.2%) than in the previous year. The headcount at the 36 national subsidiaries abroad increased more significantly from 1,522 (2011) to 1,635, representing a 7.4% rise. The greatest increase was in production operations in Sibiu, Rumania, and in the sales organization in the US (both plus 11%). This enabled the company to meet the growing demand for its products and solutions. “Our success is the result of the efforts of all of our employees,” emphasized Margrit Harting, Senior Vice-President and Partner at the Technology Group.
Efforts to provide emerging talent with training opportunities and qualifications, which has traditionally been a major priority at HARTING, are being further stepped up. The number of apprenticeships was once again increased by around 15%. The overall average grades of 1.9 of the 24 graduate apprentices and the numerous awards won by this year’s apprentices underline the high quality of the training. The Wago Foundation awarded honors to three HARTING graduate apprentices and IHK Ostwestfalen near Bielefeld gave distinctions to six former apprentices for their outstanding examination results. Andre Hartleb, a system integration IT specialist, was invited to Bonn to be honored as one of the best 237 apprentices in the whole of North Rhine Westphalia.
The high-tech company offers successful apprentices attractive, future-oriented employment opportunities in Germany and abroad. The company's systematic focus on technology and innovation is highlighted by the wide range of technical career profiles and the large number of apprentices in this sector. These include apprenticeships as materials assessors, mechatronic specialists and electronics technicians as well as study opportunities on dual courses in electrical engineering, business/IT and mechatronics. As of the balance sheet date (September 30, 2012), 103 young people (including 35 new entrants) were receiving training in 17 careers at the NAZHA training center which opened in 2008. The number of apprentices was therefore significantly higher than 12 months previously (90) and has almost doubled compared to the end of the 2005/2006 financial year (54). HARTING once again plans to increase the number of apprenticeships over the coming year by around 14% to 117 places.
Various activities and initiatives undertaken by the Technology Group as the largest employer at its headquarters in Espelkamp aim to boost interest in and improve understanding of technology and to make young people of school age aware of career opportunities and prospects in this sector. All local primary schools took part in the HARTING-funded “KiTec – children discovering technology” project which was run for the first time. The schoolchildren constructed basic structures in small groups with tools and materials provided free of charge. Thirteen pieces of work were then submitted for the “HARTING Research Prize” which was offered as an incentive. The “INPUT” promotional project also proved successful. Individual professional skills and training attributes were significantly improved through a cooperation initiative between Waldschule Espelkamp and HARTING which began in 2009. Professional training opportunities were subsequently found for most of the young people.
Fourteen school pupils took part in the current scheme two of whom started training with HARTING as a result. The HARTING TectoYou Award was also presented for the first time. Pupils at schools in the region produced a report outlining improvement proposals for the future structure of the exhibition after visiting the industry trade fair in Hannover. Prizes were awarded for the best ideas.
Regional commitment and social responsibility are key elements of how the family owned and family managed company perceives itself. The company’s integral strategy to systematically reduce energy consumption received 1st prize in the Energy Efficiency Award 2012 presented by the German Energy Agency GmbH (dena). Since introducing an energy management system in 2001, HARTING has ranked as one of the forerunners Germany-wide in efficient energy consumption at all company divisions. HARTING also demonstrates environmental responsibility through its systematic usage of regenerative energy and electric cars. Three such vehicles are now available. It has also supported cultural and social organizations and projects for young people carried out by sporting associations and churches in the region in order to enhance the locations and increase the attractiveness of the Mühlen district and OWL region. These include the “Neue Theater” in Espelkamp, the north-west German philharmonic orchestra and the handball team GWD Minden which plays in the national German league. A major highlight was the visit of Olympic discus champion Robert Harting in September who inspired HARTING employees, sportspeople and hundreds of schoolchildren with his strong belief in performance and passion during a company tour, presentation and podium discussion.
€10 million investment in state-of-the-art quality and technology centre
Investment in the new financial year will focus on the construction of the HARTING Quality and Technology Center for which the groundbreaking ceremony took place in April. The facility will cost an estimated ten million euros. Research on new technologies for future products and solutions will be carried out at the technology center in Espelkamp where 60 people will be employed. The Technology Group also plans to increase its capacities in Rahden. Premises on the Ost industrial park were acquired there in 2010. The site is to be expanded by around 20 hectares over the medium term, while some 10 hectares are required for an initial construction phase. An application to amend the regional plan has been submitted to the district administration in Detmold. The Technology Group has also acquired another piece of land at the Espelkamp location on which a new logistics center is to be built. As a research-oriented group company, HARTING is implementing these projects and investments to ensure its uncompromising quality standards and systematic customer focus. This strategy creates the optimal conditions for success on the international markets.