Kuhne: Specialist for extrusion lines presents positive balance sheet despite sales losses in 2009

German extrusion line specialist Kuhne GmbH of Sankt Augustin has a positive outlook on the future. Despite being affected by the substantial sales deficits experienced by the entire plastic machinery manufacturing segment, the company fared well in 2009 and took advantage of the situation by focusing on development and investment. These activities will produce benefits in 2010, when the economic situation is expected to improve.

"As early as 2008, we prepared for an anticipated 30% sales deficit in 2009 by introducing the necessary preemptive measures," Stephan Halstrick, CEO of Kuhne GmbH explains. These included a clear focus on our core activities, short shifts and strategic investment in product development as well as an improvement of all production processes.

Sales increases for Kuhne and American Kuhne
In order to maintain a profitable production, we expanded our production facilities, moved our machining department to a separate profit centre and our subsidiary Kuhne Anlagenbau GmbH built a new on-site facility. Neither Kuhne Anlagenbau nor our US subsidiary American Kuhne in Ashaway/RI were affected by the crisis: in contrast to the current market trend, both machinery manufacturing companies reported sales increases of 45% and 12% respectively.

The global financial crisis affected Kuhne GmbH in different ways: while the company´s Flat-Film Division suffered significant losses, the Blown Film Division reported a 5% increase. Stephan Halstrick: "Neither of the two divisions experienced disruptions in their standard machinery business. We sold high-speed in-line thermoforming lines as well as blown film lines for standard products with a width of up to 2 m. Our individual extruders were in strong demand, because we impressed customers with fast delivery times, which are part of our philosophy of ´fast beats slow´. Significant deficits were only reported by the special machinery segment."

Business to grind almost to a complete halt in Russia
In 2009 Kuhne experienced a shift in the export markets: while sales figures were looking up in Germany, France, the Benelux Countries and in South America, business slackened in Spain, Greece, Scandinavia and the UK. "After we experienced major sales increases in Russia during 2007 and 2008, figures took a nosedive, causing business to grind almost to a complete halt."

Kuhne anticipates a major market improvement and Halstrick has ample reason for optimism: "Our figures for the first two months are looking very promising and I am convinced that the positive trend will continue."

More Information: www.kuhne.de