Dear customers and friends of ZIEHL-ABEGG,

every year people think that the global political and economic framework could not be more uncertain – and yet it is becoming more and more unpredictable: the Brexit is approaching, the political distortions between the US, Russia and China are becoming more acute.

Planning, whether on the sales or purchasing side, is becoming increasingly difficult. That affects our customers, that affects our suppliers and that also affects our personnel planning. In 2018, for example, other procurement problems were compounded by bottlenecks in electronic components. We will make every effort to manage the impact of these factors in the coming year.

In order to remain a reliable partner for our customers in the future, we have further improved our vertical range of manufacture and production width: We have invested several million euros in machines and tools to be able to manufacture plastic products at the highest level. The advantage for our customers: In future they will be able to obtain three technologies from a single source: Aluminium, steel or plastic.

In order to counter the shortage of skilled workers, we have been improving the training of qualified junior staff for years. The fact that we were named – by a wide margin – the best training company in the electrical industry in a nationwide study conducted in 2018 underlines the success of our colleagues who look after young people across all departments.

Unfortunately, the positive development and sales growth are not reflected proportionately in earnings. We have therefore initiated a number of measures to improve our performance in this area in 2019 and at the same time meet the growing demands of our customers.

With this in mind, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Peter Fenkl