KNAPP AG looks back once again on an excellent business year. In the past business year 2016/17, the Styrian intralogistics expert KNAPP AG recorded an increase in its net revenue by 8.6 percent to 631.88 million euros and made a profit of 34.82 million euros. These financial results combined with an order intake of over 700 million euros exceeded the company’s targets in terms of both revenue and outcome.
In comparison to the previous year, the KNAPP group not only increased net sales revenue by 8 percent, but also the EBIT by 14 percent from 30 to 34 million euros. The high export quota of 98 percent did not change. The Managing Board with Gerald Hofer, Franz Mathi und Christian Grabner are delighted with the success of the past business year and the infrastructural expansion of the global subsidiary network of the KNAPP group.
Record order intake and staff growth
“We concluded the financial year 2016/2017 with a record order intake of over 700 million euros. This is a tremendous success that highlights our position in the market as partner to industry, which we have achieved thanks to the dedication of our strong team,” says CEO Gerald Hofer. “We are especially happy that we were able to boost our local presence in a number of regions, and that we welcomed around 300 new employees in our headquarters in Hart bei Graz and across our other three Styrian sites in Dobl, Grambach and Leoben,” adds CFO Christian Grabner. The KNAPP group currently employees 3,350 members of staff from 40 nations.
Technology and innovation
“The fantastic result that we achieved this year is also vital for our investment programme,” explains COO Franz Mathi. Each year, KNAPP invests around 6 percent of its turnover in research and development “We are living in unbelievably exciting times for innovation. Rapidly increasing digitalization requires innovative and highly flexible solutions to efficiently handle logistics processes,” adds Mathi. New KNAPP technologies are in use around the world as well as in the company’s homeland of Austria with customers such as SPAR, Pankl, Würth, Egger and Engel Austria.
Innovation ranks highly at KNAPP. The Open Shuttles are a good example of this. The autonomous vehicles navigate independently and employ swarm intelligence. KNAPP utilizes augmented reality as the basis for state-of-the-art image processing and recognition technology for quality assurance in industry or for serial number tracking in pharmaceutical wholesale. In addition to this, the ergonomic Pick-it-Easy work stations, the Pick-it-Easy Robot that was named Best Product 2017 at the LogiMAT intralogistics trade fair, fast sorting applications as well as the comprehensive, scalable software solution KiSoft One, are also paving the way to the smart warehouse, to smart production, and are boosting both flexibility and performance.
Greater presence with international site expansions
Beyond investment in research and development, site and infrastructure expansion is supporting further growth within the KNAPP group and is reinforcing the relationships to customers in the service area, in particular. The KNAPP subsidiary in the United Kingdom has moved to new premises and KNAPP employees in the USA will also have a new headquarters in 2018. In Germany, production capacity in the area of sorter technology is undergoing expansion and a campus is currently being built at the Dobl site with new office and production areas for around 150 employees. The company is also investing in its headquarters in Hart bei Graz. A modern, six-storey office building for 450 employees is in the planning stage.
Trends and market demands in core business areas
“Development in our core business areas of healthcare, fashion, retail, food and food retail continues to be positive. On top of this, the newly established line of business in industry is also recording pleasing growth,” explains Gerald Hofer. Logistics begins as early as in production; the gap between production and distribution is closing rapidly thanks to the trend leaning towards supplying individual customers with individualized products.
Further positive stimuli are coming from trends that have arisen from increased digitalization or the Internet of things. The key issues here are increasingly faster delivery times, highly dynamic brick and mortar business and e-commerce, changing and unpredictable markets, and consumer behaviour. Mathi: “We see these developments as extremely positive as we already have a tried and tested solution portfolio on hand to cater to these demands.” The system’s economic efficiency and KNAPP’s philosophy making complexity simple are at the forefront.
Over the last five years, KNAPP has grown on average by 14 percent, making it one of the most successful companies in the sector. “We predict further growth for the current financial year based on a very high level of demand. We were able to enter the new financial year with a very satisfying order volume. As a result, our outlook is extremely promising and we are able to create new jobs in the region,” says Grabner.
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The Managing Board of KNAPP AG from left to right: CFO Christian Grabner, COO Franz Mathi
The Pick-it-Easy Robot combines maximum performance, flexibility and accurate picking in one system with the help of Vision technology – image recognition and processing software.
The comprehensive, scalable software solution KiSoft One paves the way to the smart warehouse and guaran-tees flexibility, availability and performance, providing a complete overview and transparency across the entire logistics system.