Machinery: Asia and packaging, pull factors to counter Engel’s sales decline

Austrian machinery supplier Engel expects a slower year, due to the pandemic and a slump in the automotive market, said Christoph Steger, CSO, speaking during an online event for journalists. He pointed out that the company had grossed a 20% lower turnover of EUR1.3 billion worldwide (FY 2019/2020 ended March). As for the outlook of the current fiscal year, Steger says it will drop again by around 20%.

While the majority of the family-owned company’s turnover is still from Europe (54%); it increased its share of Americas to 25% and is still generating 20% of its turnover from Asia.

Machinery: Asia and packaging, pull factors to counter Engel’s sales decline

Meanwhile, with some countries having lifted the lockdowns in place since March, Steger said the Asian market had “definitely recovered the fastest and faster than any other region, with the automotive industry having picked up substantially in China and also in other Asian countries”. He also said the medical and packaging industries had shown good growth rates.

In Southeast Asia, due to the easing of travel in Thailand, Steger said the country has picked up fastest. “It is possible to go to the customers and discuss projects and what we see is that the automotive industry is picking up in Thailand. There is also a momentum that we see in Indonesia and Vietnam, but in Singapore, Malaysia and Myanmar, there is still a very slow movement, simply because the lockdowns are the heaviest there at the moment.”

Looking forward, the company expects the packaging, medical and technical moulding sectors to lift its sales out of the doldrums, against the back of slower growth from the automotive and teletronic markets.

It has been taking advantage of the “stay-at-home” trend to cater to new packaging applications that have been pushed into the market due to changing demands. “As people stay more indoors, they start do-it-yourself projects and are going to buy tools to improve their homes. And on the other hand, if there is a lockdown, products are ordered online, therefore bolstering demand in the last couple of months that have led to several projects for us,” highlighted Steger.

He added, “Technical moulding, covering infrastructure, toys and home equipment, has remained comparatively steady in its demand and it has the most important share in Engel’s portfolio.”

In terms of new technology, the firm highlighted the 130- tonne e-mac and an all-electric micromoulding machine with an LSR injection unit to produce parts with a shot weight below 0.1 g.


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