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Wilo reports achieving record sales

DORTMUND, Germany, 21 April 2022: The Wilo Group reported that it ended the fiscal year 2021 with record sales of nearly EUR 1.7 billion euros. Despite persistently difficult conditions, the Group said, it increased its sales revenue by 13.8%.

Earnings before taxes (EBITDA) also reached an all-time high of EUR 181.1 million, the company said. This represents an increase of more than 30%m, it added. “The pleasing results speak a clear language: The Wilo Group is ideally positioned to achieve sustainable, profitable growth, even in difficult times and under unfavourable economic conditions,” said Oliver Hermes, President and CEO, Wilo Group.

Wilopark (Photo courtesy The Wilo Group)

 Wilo said the unforeseeable situation in the middle of Europe and the Coronavirus pandemic, which has been ongoing for over two years, also intensified the global decoupling tendencies in the past financial year.

Multinational alliances are being called into question, economic cooperation structures are being dissolved, supply chains are being subject to sanctions and embargoes are being imposed, it said. “More and more, German and European companies are getting caught between the fronts of geopolitical disputes,” Hermes pointed out.

Wilo said it specifically has been encountering these developments for years and, to this end, further expanded its global presence in the past financial year. Among other things, Wilo said, it invested more than EUR 170 million in the construction and expansion of sales and production locations in the modernisation and expansion of production facilities, acquisitions and takeovers.

Wilo said that in line with the “region-for-region” approach, it strengthened the American market, among others. North America, in particular, has become one of the most important sales markets in recent years, it said, adding that the acquisition of QuantumFlo, Inc., a specialist in booster sets and intelligent pump systems, completed in fiscal 2021, consolidated its market position. In addition, new state-of-the-art production and administration buildings were, and are being, built in the United States, China and India, it said.

Today, Wilo said, it has a presence around the globe, through its global network of more than 80 production and sales companies. Hermes said this is another reason for the robust success in the past financial year.

In 2021, Wilo said, it also received awards for its commitment to combating climate change. Among them are the German Sustainability Award 2021, the Ecovadis Sustainability Rating in Gold, and the title of “Climate Pioneer” (Handelsblatt), which it said, are proof of its innovation leadership.

Wilo said it is regarded in the industry as one of the pioneers in climate protection and has set itself the goal of saving 50 million tons of CO2 by 2025, thus making a substantial contribution to reducing emissions. Hermes said: “Wilo is also leading the way as a pioneer in the hydrogen era: As part of the implementation of our dedicated hydrogen strategy, the “H2 Powerplant” will be open at the Wilopark in Dortmund. This will serve as a self-sufficient, decentralized, and regenerative solution for secure energy supply.”

Ziehl-Abegg reports record sales of 716 million euros

KÜNZELSAU, Germany, 31 March 2022: Ziehl-Abegg reported record sales of 716 million euros in 2021, compared to 639 million euros in 2020. Making the announcement through a Press release, the manufacturer of electric motors and fans said the figure posted in 2021 represented a growth of 11.9%. 

The PCB manufacturing process at Ziehl-Abegg is an example of vertical integration at the company. Evelin Fazekas assembles a PCB for an EC motor

Peter Fenkl, CEO, Ziehl-Abegg, describing 2021, said, “In view of the problems with global supply chains, we took a cautious approach at times and, ultimately, managed to do pretty well in terms of sales.”

The company said it was equally heartening that the number of employees worldwide rose to 4,700, compared to 4,300 in 2020. 

Fenkl described the earnings situation as “more than difficult”, as the supply chain problems not only had an impact on delivery times but on pricing, as well. “Some suppliers had already increased prices so quickly towards the end of 2020 and then repeatedly in 2021 that we were unable to pass these on to the market on a 1:1 basis,” he said.

Based on the experience in the first quarter, the manager knows that this situation will become more acute in the current year. “I’ve never experienced anything like this before,” Fenkl said. It is relevant to highlight that Fenkl has been at the helm of the family-owned business for more than 20 years. 

Ziehl-Abegg said it is regarded as a company with a high level of vertical integration. “We now want to expand this even further,” Fenkl said. However, growth at the headquarters in Hohenlohe is problematical, as there is a serious shortage in the availability of the necessary additional workers there, the company said.

The intention, therefore, is to expand existing production facilities and establish new production sites, it added. Fenkl said: “Additional production sites will bring us closer to our customers.” 

Thomas Späth assembles a fan at the Ziehl-Abegg production site in southern Germany

The company said the 11.9% growth in sales last year provides a good base for further growth. Ventilation systems were the sales driver in the year just past, contributing EUR 637 million to the overall result, the company said.

Fenkl said he held no illusions about the challenges that lie ahead. “Work shifts are currently being repeatedly cancelled because of a lack of components – how can you realistically plan and how are you supposed to satisfy your customers?” he said.  

Ziehl-Abegg employs 2,600 people in Germany, 200 more than a year ago. The number of employees worldwide rose from 4,300 to 4,700. Since employees of the baby boom era in Germany are now increasingly reaching retirement age, this is having a direct impact on the available workforce potential. “Companies must, therefore, openly target Generation Z, the post-millennials,” Fenkl said. “We mustn’t persist with old ways of thinking but instead take the wishes and needs of young people seriously.” 

IRENA report charts pathways to further accelerate energy transformation

Berlin, Germany, 14 April 2019 – As the urgency to take bold climate action grows, new analysis by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) finds that scaling up renewable energy, combined with electrification, could deliver more than three quarters of the energy-related emission reductions needed to meet global climate goals. According to the latest edition of IRENA’s Global Energy Transformation: A Roadmap to 2050, launched earlier in the month at the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue, pathways to meet 86% of global power demand with renewable energy exist. Electricity would cover half of the global final energy mix. Global power supply would more than double over this period, with the bulk of it generated from renewable energy, mostly solar PV and wind.

“The race to secure a climate safe future has entered a decisive phase,” said IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera. “Renewable energy is the most effective and readily available solution for reversing the trend of rising CO2 emissions. A combination of renewable energy with a deeper electrification can achieve 75% of the energy-related emission reduction needed.”

According to the report, an accelerated energy transition in line with the Roadmap 2050 would also save the global economy up to USD 160 trillion, cumulatively over the next 30 years in avoided health costs, energy subsidies and climate damages. Every dollar spent on energy transition would pay off up to seven times, the report said. The global economy would grow by 2.5 per cent in 2050. However, climate damages can lead to significant socioeconomic losses, the report added.

“The shift towards renewables makes economic sense,” La Camera said. “By mid-century, the global economy would be larger, and jobs created in the energy sector would boost global employment by 0.2 per cent. Policies to promote a just, fair and inclusive transition could maximise the benefits for different countries, regions and communities. This would also accelerate the achievement of affordable and universal energy access. The global energy transformation goes beyond a transformation of the energy sector. It is a transformation of our economies and societies.”

But action is lagging, the report said. While energy-related CO2 emissions continued to grow by over one per cent annually on average in the last five years, emissions would need to decline by 70% below their current level by 2050 to meet global climate goals. This calls for a significant increase in national ambition and more aggressive renewable energy and climate targets.

IRENA’s roadmap recommends that national policy should focus on zero-carbon, long-term strategies. It also highlights the need to boost and harness systemic innovation. This includes fostering smarter energy systems through digitalisation as well as the coupling of end-use sectors, particularly heating and cooling and transport, via greater electrification, promoting decentralisation and designing flexible power grids.

“The energy transformation is gaining momentum, but it must accelerate even faster,” La Camera said. “The UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the review of national climate pledges under the Paris Agreement are milestones for raising the level of ambition. Urgent action on the ground at all levels is vital, in particular unlocking the investments needed to further strengthen the momentum of this energy transformation. Speed and forward-looking leadership will be critical – the world in 2050 depends on the energy decisions we take today.”

ENGIE announces new version of the Quantum Air

Lindau, Germany, 14 April 2019: ENGIE Refrigeration is redesigning its entire air-cooled Quantum series, the company said through a Press communiqué. The new Quantum air models will be available worldwide from June 24, the company added through the communiqué.

“The requirements for the refrigeration industry have changed in recent years,” said Jochen Hornung, CEO, ENGIE Refrigeration. “Our customers are placing increasing value on greater efficiency and performance in their chillers, for example. We are accommodating these changing conditions by redesigning our air-cooled QUANTUM series.”

Jochen Hornung, CEO, ENGIE Refrigeration

On the launch date, ENGIE Refrigeration will offer 28 basic models of the Quantum Air. Fourteen of these models use the refrigerant R-1234ze, and 14 models use the refrigerants R-134a and R-513A; all of them require lower quantities of refrigerant, the communiqué said. Like its predecessor model, the revised chiller is ideal for use in a variety of industries – from automotive manufacturers and suppliers to the chemicals and pharmaceuticals industry, industrial production and data centres, the communiqué said.

According to the communiqué, customers will benefit from additional important advantages in the future – ENGIE Refrigeration has combined the individual machine components in a new way, so that the Quantum Air surpasses even the exceedingly high efficiency of the current series. The chiller is also suitable for applications from 250 kilowatts to two megawatts, the communiqué quoted the company as saying, adding that with this refrigeration capacity, the Quantum Air outperforms not only its predecessor but also all air-cooled chillers from other manufacturers that are currently on the market.

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