ERJ staff report (TP)
Stuttgart / Friedrichshafen, Germany – Automotive supplier ZF Friedrichshafen AG said it created about 4,200 jobs globally last year and increased sales by eight percent.
About half of the new jobs were created in Germany. During the same period, sales increased from €15.5bn to €16.8bn.
“ZF once again experienced above-average growth last year,” said CEO Dr Stefan Sommer. “Whether in Europe, the US or China, we were only able to manage this development with additional qualified and dedicated employees.”
Thanks to the new recruitments, ZF now employs about 72,600 people around the world – 41,900 of which are based at German locations. Overall, this corresponds to a six-percent increase.
“With a 15-percent sales increase, the Region of Asia-Pacific in particular gave us a special impetus,” said Dr Sommer. ZF also opened new axle assembly plants in China and Malaysia and secured new orders.
With sales of about €3bn respectively, North America and Asia-Pacific are viewed as “the most important foreign markets” for ZF after Europe, even though the sales increase in Europe (eight percent) and North America (five percent) was lower than in the Far East.
As in previous years, ZF once again spent approximately five percent of its sales on R&D in 2013 by investing €836m. In contrast, the €954m used for investments in property, plant, and equipment was seven percent below the prior year value.
Operating profit increased from €597m to €756m, an increase of 27 percent – while the return on sales increased from 3.8 percent to 4.5 percent.
This year Dr Sommer anticipates a growth in the “high single-digit percentage range” and the firm expects approximately 2,000 jobs to be created worldwide – with a quarter of them to be located in Germany.