Würth Group continues to grow despite economic slowdown 13 September 2023

Würth Group remains on course for growth, albeit at a much slower pace than in the previous two years, with the company reporting sales of €10.5 billion in the first half of 2023 – corresponding to an increase of 5.9% compared to the same period last year. Adjusted for currencies, this is equivalent to 6.6%.

For the first half of 2023 the operating result of Würth Group amounted to €680 million, which is slightly below the same period last year (2022: €720 million). Apart from higher personnel expenses, this development is due to increased costs for mobility and maintenance, as well as the ongoing price pressure.

Robert Friedmann, chairman of the central management board of Würth Group, commented: “After two years of record sales and operating result, the economic slowdown is becoming apparent.” 

However, after almost three years of the Covid-19 pandemic and related supply chain problems, the supply situation is improving for the Group. Although, at the same time, interest rates remain at a high level, which, in turn, hampers the demand in the construction industry. Geopolitical challenges such as the smouldering conflict between China, Taiwan and the USA, as well as the war in Ukraine, and the associated high energy prices, has influenced the economic growth in Germany. “Against this backdrop, we are very satisfied with the development in the first half of 2023,” emphasised Robert. 

The companies of the Würth Group in Germany generated sales of €4.2 billion and, with almost double-digit growth (+9.6%), reported a positive development overall. Well established companies of the Würth Group, such as Würth Industrie Service, tool distributor HAHN+KOLB and electrical wholesaler FEGA & Schmitt have made a decisive contribution to this successful result, which was achieved without acquisitions. Adolf Würth GmbH & Co KG, the largest individual company in the Würth Group, generated sales of €1.5 billion including intra-group sales.

The Würth Group companies abroad generated sales of €6.3 billion, which was a 3.5% growth compared to the same period in 2022. Growth drivers were the companies in southern and eastern Europe.

Whilst it is difficult to predict how the many conflict hotspots and their consequences, such as high energy prices, will affect Würth Group, Robert Friedmann was still optimistic about opportunities within the market. “On a positive note, the transport markets have clearly recovered and the Covid-19 pandemic is not as prevalent as before. In general, it can be said that supply chains have stabilised significantly again, which means that availability has almost reached the pre-crisis level. Procurement prices, which are still well above the pre-crisis level, however remain problematic. Provided conditions do not deteriorate drastically, we expect mid-single-digit sales growth and a slight decline in operating result.” 

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