“Profitability is the launch pad for the growth of the coming years”
Dr. Martin Komischke, President of the Board of Directors of HOERBIGER Holding AG, has been intimately familiar with the HOERBIGER Group for three decades – twelve years of these from the perspective of CEO. During the interview, he rates the past fiscal year, describes – from his perspective – the most important success factors for the future, and ventures a business outlook for 2023. Personally, he has set important goals for himself for the coming years.
In 2022, HOERBIGER generated the highest revenue in the company’s history. What is your assessment of the past fiscal year?
Dr. Martin Komischke — Despite the difficult – and at times tragic – general conditions, I have a very positive impression of the 2022 fiscal year. I am delighted about the fact that we again grew profitably under these challenging conditions and, as a Group, achieved both our revenue goals and our profitability targets. This is also proof that our strategy to be the leader in niche markets is working.
The financial result from 2022 also clearly confirms that we made the right acquisitions and that complementing the traditional HOERBIGER business involving the Compression and Automotive Divisions with the Rotary, Engine and Safety Business Units was an excellent decision.
It is particularly pleasing that, with the exception of the Automotive Division, all areas of the Group contributed to this success. In the automotive area, where we faced tremendous challenges, our resolute action and the excellent crisis management of the Division’s leadership averted the worst impact from the extraordinary turmoil in the automobile industry.
The profitability we achieved as part of this development, which is considered to be very pleasing, allows us to finance our ambitious goals for future activities. Profitability is very important for HOERBIGER, as it serves as our launch pad for the growth activities in the coming years.
“I am committed to maximizing the existing potential, while utilizing, with Courage and Pioneering Spirit, the opportunities that present themselves as
a result of today’s technological change, in order to expedite our profitable growth.”
HOERBIGER’s goal is long-term and profitable growth. In your view, what are the success factors that made it possible for the Group to grow again in 2022?
MK — In my view, there are essentially three things:
First, the profound knowledge of the markets and of our customers’ needs. HOERBIGER operates in niche markets that we are intimately familiar with. Our strength is that we recognize the right trends at the right time and take advantage of them in the form of market offerings.
Secondly, our expertise when it comes to translating technologies into performance-defining products. Whether it is production or product technology – we excel in translating them into performance-defining solutions that allow our customers achieve their goals. This is an essential part of our DNA.
And thirdly, a highly motivated global team that stands firmly behind the company and is supported by the value-based HOERBIGER culture.
What is your assessment of the development of the general economic conditions and, in your opinion, what influence do they have on HOERBIGER’s business?
MK — The next 12 to 24 months will certainly remain difficult as far as the general conditions are concerned. Nonetheless, I expect HOERBIGER to generate aboveaverage, profitable growth over the next two years, compared to the market.
How exactly do you plan to continue to grow in 2023?
MK — By capitalizing on existing potential in the best possible way. Thanks to our increased profitability, we are in a position to finance exciting and promising projects and M&A activities with our own resources, which will enable additional profitable growth. And we are addressing the extraordinary requirements of today’s automotive business, which we must not overlook as they pose a strain on us, with a very demanding action plan, which will further stabilize the economic situation in this respect.
What are the priorities for 2023 from the point of view of the Board of Directors?
MK — Our top priority is innovation, which we will decisively move forward in every respect. Examples I would like to mention include the hydrogen compressor, the piezo valve, components for the semiconductor industry, and the safety of lithium batteries. Additionally, possibilities to innovate exist in the automotive field, despite the tough environment.
Another focal area is the development of new potential in the mid-market segment. As a market leader for high-end products and due to our outstanding knowledge of the markets and customers, we are ideally positioned to assume a leading role in the mid-market segment as well. This applies, for example, to valves for the air and industrial markets, which we are already working on diligently, as well as to engine components and rotary unions.
Our expertise in value engineering projects, which we have also carried out very successfully on numerous occasions outside the automotive field, is an important key and the basis for developing the mid-market segments.
The third area we are focusing on is the expansion of our activities in the Chinese market. Despite extensive difficulties, we will intensify the cultivation of the market there and expand our production activities, for example in Compression, Safety and Automotive.
What personal goals have you set for yourself for the coming years as President of the Board of Directors?
MK — HOERBIGER has an outstanding Executive Board, outstanding management and outstanding employees. Our duty on the Board of Directors – as well as my personal objective as President – is that we fully recognize the contributions of these individuals and support them with our helpful experience in a way that generates value. We want to meet them on their level and help them devise and implement strategic scenarios.
We live in exciting times full of opportunities, not just for the major technological and industrial enterprises in this world, but also for HOERBIGER. This is my conviction. For this reason, I remain committed to maximizing the existing potential, while utilizing, with Courage and Pioneering Spirit, the opportunities that present themselves as a result of the current technology transformation, in order to expedite the implementation of our strategy of profitable growth.
“We live in exciting times full of opportunities, not just for the major
technological and industrial enterprises
in this world, but also for HOERBIGER.”