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Sales of German plastics and rubber machinery rise faster than expected

Sales of German plastics and rubber machinery rise faster than expected
German plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers have recovered from the economic crisis more quickly and decisively than anticipated a year ago.

Sales growth higher than expected
The VDMA’s monthly representative survey shows that member firms achieved a 17 per cent increase in sales in the last financial year. “The process of recovery was so strong that by the end of the year sales had grown even faster than predicted,” said Ulrich Reifenhäuser, adding by way of reminder that at the time of K’2010 the growth forecast had already been raised from 10 to 15 per cent.

Sales to customers in Germany were up by 10 per cent, while foreign business as a whole grew by 19 per cent; sales to the countries of the euro area recorded a year-on-year increase of 9 per cent.

Output reaches 4.5 billion euro
Plastics and rubber machinery manufacturing is currently one of the fastest growing branches of German mechanical engineering. Output in core machinery manufacturing is expected to rise to around 4.5 billion euro. “We are very relieved at the way last year turned out,” said Ulrich Reifenhäuser in conclusion. “But we are also aware that despite this very pleasing growth total industry output is still well below the record figure of 5.6 billion euro achieved in 2008.”

Boom in orders brings full order books
New orders increased sharply month-on-month; for the year as a whole orders were 75 per cent up on the previous year. K’2010 brought a powerful boost towards the end of the year. The industry’s capacity utilisation rate increased markedly and order books are full. The high level of orders is sufficient to cover part of the current year, with many firms working at full capacity well into 2011.

Foreign deliveries still on the rise
Deliveries of German plastics and rubber machinery to foreign countries increased throughout the year, and the middle of the year saw a return to positive rates of growth. The main market was again China, with the US coming a distant second and India ranking third. “Despite the high growth rates, industry exports too continue to fall far short of the record levels achieved in 2008,” concedes Ulrich Reifenhäuser.