Sensors giant SICK says its business has continued to grow despite a “challenging market environment”.
Group sales by the sensor producer increased by 7 percent to €1,750.7 million during the 2019 fiscal year (2018: €1,636.8 million).
Growth was considerably higher than the average for the sensor industry, estimated as having shrunk by 1 percent for 2019 by the AMA Association for Sensors and Measurement.
SICK again received a high level of orders – amounting to €1,774.1 million in 2019 (2018: €1,701.0 million). The number of employees worldwide increased by 2.6 percent to 10,204.
The growth in sales, in addition to measures introduced to increase efficiency, contributed to an increase in EBIT (earnings before income tax) of 13.1 percent to €132.9 million which, as a proportion of 7.6 percent of total sales, remained at a high level.
SICK could thus meet its forecast targets for the 2019 fiscal year, despite the company facing a downturn in the global economy, a deepening of global trade conflicts, and a difficult market situation in factory automation in general and the automotive sector in particular.
SICK nevertheless continued to follow its innovation strategy and again invested a high proportion of its sales, 11.5 percent, in research and development.
Commenting on the financial results, Dr Robert Bauer, CEO of SICK, says: “Many industries are facing a radical structural change and increasingly dynamic digitalization.
“SICK is adhering to its high level of investments in research and development in order to continue to drive forward new technologies alongside our traditional automation business.
“This is the only way that we and our customers can exploit the opportunities of digital technologies to enable us to react agilely to rapidly changing economic conditions.”