Safety – On growth track with targeted product roadmap
With planned product innovations, improved process flows in the value chain and successful M&A activities, the Safety Business Unit generated successful sales and profit growth in 2022. Safety is also expected to grow further in 2023.
“The Safety Business Unit is pursuing its long-term growth strategy, which continued in 2022 with positive sales trends and targeted acquisition.”
The Safety Business Unit significantly increased its production and sales figures in all regions last year, although the continuing instability of supply networks and long material lead times confronted the Safety teams with various challenges. Cost increases put pressure on the business, but these were offset by selective price increases and reductions in manufacturing costs.
In general, the Safety Business Unit continued to focus on innovation and new product development, strategic production and supply chain management, and the ongoing expansion of its presence in emerging markets. The success of these initiatives was evident with record sales achieved by the Safety teams in 2022. In this context, sales increased by 19 percent overall compared to 2021, and well-filled order books throughout the fiscal year ensured a solid order backlog going into 2023.
Stabilization of the supply chain
By consistently focusing on strategic production and supply chain management, the Safety Business Unit achieved two important milestones: Firstly, serial production of the IsoFlap™ and IV8 products were realized in China. Secondly, the acquisition of British electronics manufacturer ASC Ltd. on April 1, 2022 and its successful integration with Newson Gale was completed.
Furthermore, Safety’s industry initiatives achieved solid results in the polysilicon market and in the E&G business. Its focus on battery energy storage systems (BESS) resulted in securing the first volume orders for BESS-eX™ vents as well as a strong backlog of continuing projects. Following the successful launch of several products in 2021, the Safety Business Unit pursued its product roadmapin 2022 with the completion of the revision and FM certification of the Atexon spark detector, the acceptance of the infrared detector in support of a major contract with Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, and the expansion of the new test center in Austria.
Following strong participation in the 2021 Voice for Excellence survey, the Safety team in 2022 focused on areas identified as priorities by the respondents. In addition to contributing to the development of the HOERBIGER Leadership Capabilities, a variety of initiatives were taken to improve communication, team development and work-life balance. Many of the projects were completed during the reporting year, while others are still ongoing.
Furthermore, the Safety Business Unit announced a new management structure for 2022 to ensure that the right resources and the necessary attention are applied in a targeted manner both to internal processes and to the market and customers.
Long-term growth strategy
The Safety Business Unit’s goal for 2023 is to exceed last year’s growth while improving the quality of its earnings through market-driven product line expansion, operational excellence, and further M&A activities. In general, global supply chain pressures are expected to continue for the time being, although the easing of COVID restrictions in China should provide a positive offset.
Furthermore, Safety has taken several initiatives to reduce costs and improve its own competitiveness. The stability and efficiency of the Business Unit’s internal and external supply chain will also be optimized, as well as product lifecycle management to reduce inventories. The Business Unit will develop a clear sustainability strategy in support of HOERBIGER’s overall goals, which will be consolidated as part of the group-wide program to further strengthen profitability