The Pilz corporate group is looking back on a difficult financial year in 2019: Against the backdrop of a weak global economy and a cyberattack in the Autumn, the company is registering a turnover of 322.5 million Euro in 2019, which is a fall of 6.5 per cent in comparison with the previous year. Nevertheless the company has been able to keep the number of employees constant.
Difficult financial year 2019 for the automation company Pilz - “Both flexible and stable through the crisis”
“2019 was a difficult year for Pilz. Alongside the economic slowdown we also had to confront the consequences of a cyberattack in mid-October. A drop in turnover was therefore unavoidable. Thanks to our flexible actions and the stability of our values and direction we will overcome this situation in 2020”, explains Susanne Kunschert, Managing Partner of Pilz GmbH & Co.KG.
Despite the drop in turnover: number of employees is constant
In the 2019 financial year the Pilz Group achieved a turnover of 322.5 million Euro. That's 6.5% lower than 2018. As such the company recorded the first drop in turnover since 2009. By contrast, the number of employees in the Pilz Group rose slightly by 1 per cent: from 2,515 to 2,544 on 31.12.2019. At the company's head office in Ostfildern, 1,128 people were employed at the end of the year (+ 6 over the previous year).
The export share continued to rise at 74.3 % (+1.3 percentage points), illustrating that Pilz’s growth opportunities are mainly abroad.
Crisis as opportunity
Economic downturn, cyberattack and Corona crisis – the family business is currently going through a difficult time, but is still looking ahead with optimism. “The cyberattack hit us without warning and the rebuilding is still not fully complete. Nevertheless something good came out of the attacks: With the experience we gained and the new digital tools, we are able to cope well with the Corona crisis. We are crisis-proof”, says Kunschert. An expression of Pilz’s flexibility is the production of reusable, everyday masks to protect against the further spread of the Corona pandemic. Pilz has been making full-face masks for their own use since April and is now able to supply customers too. A halt to capital expenditure, cost-savings and short-time working at the head office in Ostfildern are not the only ways in which Pilz is confronting the falling demand. The company is a supplier to companies in systemically important industries. Pilz is also utilising the push towards digitisation in its range of services, in its customer training for example.
Pilz is cautious in its prognosis for 2020: “Certainly the general economic situation is not going to improve greatly in 2020. Much depends on how the economy develops in the Corona pandemic. However, I am convinced that together we can come through these difficult times”, affirms Susanne Kunschert.