Wampfler group increases turnover to nearly 70 million Euro in 2004

Strong growth impulses from Eastern Europe and Asia

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Strong growth impulses from Eastern Europe and Asia / successful implementation of management buyout (MBO) and staff shareholding / slight growth expected for 2005

Weil am Rhein, 18 March 2005. Wampfler AG is based in Weil am Rhein, Germany, and is one of the world’s leading suppliers of mobile energy supply and data transmission as well as handling systems. The company registered an increase in turnover of 7 percent to nearly 70 million Euro in fiscal 2004, establishing a new company record. While turnover in Germany remained nearly the same as in the previous year, accounting for about a third of the Wampfler group’s total revenue, the growth markets could particularly be found in Eastern Europe and Asia. For example, Wampfler registered very high growth rates in the Czech Republic, India, and especially China, which by now has become the most important Asian market, with an increase in turnover of 74 percent compared with the previous year.

The Wampfler group continued to extend its year-long presence in China by founding the Shanghai-based subsidiary Wampfler China Manufacturing & Engineering Co. Ltd. last year. Despite the weak dollar and the resulting higher prices for importing goods from Germany, Wampfler succeeded in increasing turnover in the US, the company’s biggest market outside Europe, by 14 percent. World-wide, Wampfler has 27 direct locations and 21 additional partners.

Major orders for container terminals, steelworks suppliers, and the automobile industry

Wampfler offers a wide range of goods and services: consulting, installation, development, and production of systems for energy supply and data transmission for cranes and conveying systems, for high racks, the automobile industry and mechanical engineering, as well as for systems for passenger transportation, among others systems for railed vehicles and battery-operated electrical buses. In 2004, important orders were placed world-wide, for example, for the modernization of container terminals, materials handling equipment, as well as for people mover. In the Czech Republic, Germany, and Austria, Wampfler realized major projects for steel works suppliers. In the innovative field of inductive power transfer and data transmission (IPT®), the company posted a surging demand in various applications and the supply of complex major plants. The Hyundai plant in Beijing is currently being equipped with innovative contacless energy supply and data transmission. Production is scheduled to start here in the beginning of May.

Increased competitiveness and staff shareholding

Wampfler’s average number of employees went up to 482 in fiscal 2004, compared with 465 full-time employees in the previous year. However, this rise mainly resulted from hiring staff in the Chinese subsidiary. In order to additionally increase the group’s competitiveness, a number of organisational and cost-saving measures were introduced and implemented in the headquarters in Weil am Rhein, Germany, in the fourth quarter of 2004.

In addition, in June 2004, every employee of the Wampfler group received the chance of acquiring a share in the company. More than a third of the staff made use of the offer supported by the company. It was also due to this measure that the follow-up regulation effected at the fiscal year change of 2003/2004 in terms of a management buyout (MBO) could be implemented so successfully, and that the Wampfler group now feels fit and strong to face future tasks. By giving many employees a direct share in the company, entrepreneurial decisions now are approved of and implemented in an even better way. As reported, Chairman Stefan Ziegler acquired about 80 percent of the company’s shares from its founder, Manfred Wampfler, together with the other members of the Board of Management, Uwe Bormann (technology) and Christopher Friedrich (finances), as well as a team of managers.

Reluctant optimism for 2005

Despite the economically unstable situation, particularly in Germany, which still remains Wampfler’s most important sales market, the management expects stable development for 2005. “The Asian market will continue to be of major importance. At large, on the basis of positive market response, the current volume of orders, as well as the implemented cost-saving measures, we expect business development to remain successful and the profitability of the Wampfler group to continue to increase”, Mr. Ziegler said. By selling the product line Safety Systems as at 31 December 2004, Wampfler already took another important step towards concentrating on its core business of energy supply and data transmission.