HERMLE Group sales rise 12% in 2023

HERMLE Group sales rise 12% in 2023 to €532 m
Above average growth in business with automation solutions
Operating result increases by 16% to almost €116 m
Proposed dividend of €15.05 per preferred share confirmed (prev. year €11.05)
Downturn in sales and profit anticipated for 2024 due to market conditions

Gosheim, 30 April 2024 – Maschinenfabrik Berthold HERMLE AG reached new record levels in sales and profit in 2023. Starting with a large backlog of orders from the previous year and good demand that still continued through the beginning of the year under review, Group sales of the Swabian machine tool and automation specialists rose 12.3% in 2023 to €532.3 m (prev. year €474.1 m). Domestic business volume rose by 18.5% to €203.3 m (prev. year €171.5 m) while foreign business volume grew by 8.7% to €329.0 m (prev. year €302.6 m). This represents an export rate of 61.8% (prev. year 63.8%). The trend for revenues from automated production systems equipped with HERMLE digitisation modules was particularly strong.

This demonstrates the effectiveness of the company's strategy of continuously expanding its portfolio with new automation components. HERMLE was able to solidify its market position as the technology leader in 5-axis machining centres while expanding in the area of automation solutions despite the deteriorating sentiment in the industry over the course of the year. The resulting reluctance to invest did not impact HERMLE until the second quarter of 2023, which was later than expected. Throughout the Group, incoming orders decreased by 7.4% to €494.8 m (prev. year €534.1 m). Of that total, €182.0 m was generated within Germany (prev. year €200.2 m) and €312.8 m on international markets (prev. year €333.9 m). The backlog of orders at the end of December was €130.5 m (prev. year €168.0 m).

Due to the overall good capacity utilisation and an improved mix of products/German states, HERMLE increased the profit in the past business year disproportionately to sales. The company also benefited from a weaker trend in rising prices for supply parts and energy, and it was also possible to pass along price increases to some extent. Group earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose 16.3% to €115.8 m (prev. year €99.6 m). The profit from ordinary business activities grew from €99.7 m to €118.4 m, enabling the gross sales margin to improve from 21.0% to 22.2%. An annual surplus after taxes of €87.6 m was reported, which was 22.0% more than in the previous year (€71.8 m).

In light of this, the HERMLE Supervisory Board decided to recommend to the Management Board increasing the dividend for the business year 2023. Subject to approval at the shareholders' meeting on 3 July 2024, €15.05 will be paid out for each preferred share (prev. year €11.05) and €15.00 for each ordinary share (prev. year €11.00).

Thanks to its good earnings performance, the HERMLE Group was able to further buttress its already solid financial and asset position in 2023. The operating cash flow increased by 12.8% to €99.1 m (prev. year €87.8 m). As of December 31, the company had an equity ratio of 72.5% (prev. year 71.6%) and despite higher capital expenditures, liquid assets of €111.0 m (prev. year €113.9 m).

Capital expenditures in tangible and intangible assets rose throughout the HERMLE Group in 2023 to €33.2 m (prev. year €10.4 m). These were related mainly to the expansion of the production site in Zimmern ob Rottweil. The company is building a second facility for production of large parts there and expanding capacity for mineral casting manufacturing and storage areas. A photovoltaic system will also be installed with which HERMLE will be able to cover the electricity requirement of the site in the future on days with sufficient sunshine, CO2-neutrally and independently of the public grid.

The number of employees of the HERMLE Group grew by the end of 2023 by 128 to 1511 (compared to previous year 1383). New employees were hired primarily for Customer Service in Germany and abroad and for areas associated with automation. Furthermore, as in past years, new recruits were hired after successful completion of their training, and positions that had become open were filled accordingly. By the end of 2023, 111 young people at HERMLE had learnt a future-oriented profession as part of traditional training or dual study (prev. year 87).

The first months of 2024 were characterised, especially in Germany, by weak demand, which was absorbed somewhat for HERMLE by various major projects. It is difficult to estimate the trend in the future, but due to the current difficult economic environment, it is likely initially to deteriorate further. Willingness to invest is hampered in Germany and Europe by the uncertain political situation, rapidly increasing over-regulation, and very high energy and financing costs. Subdued momentum is also anticipated in many foreign markets. Another factor hindering business is the slow processing of export licenses. HERMLE is currently assuming that Group sales for the entire year 2024 will not reach the level of 2023 even in the best case, while the unfavourable scenario foresees a downturn of about 20%. The operating result is likely to trend noticeably disproportionately lower in any case, with a downturn about 10% to 20% greater than sales. The reasons for this, in addition to lower utilisation, are primarily personnel costs, which are predicted to continue rising, regulatory expenditures, and energy prices, which cannot be passed along to a sufficient extent in the current market environment.

Regardless of the current situation, HERMLE is anticipating great demand from industry, especially in automation, to counteract the skilled labour shortage and to boost efficiency, competitiveness and innovative capacity. With its high-quality range of custom complete solutions for automation from a single source with intuitively operable software, the company therefore finds itself well positioned for the future.

The complete annual financial statements is available on the HERMLE website www.hermle.de.


Maschinenfabrik Berthold HERMLE AG is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-quality milling machines and machining centres and offers its customers complete automation solutions from under one roof. Owing to their high quality and precision, HERMLE machine tools and manufacturing systems are used in high-tech sectors such as toolmaking and mould construction, medical technology, the electronics and chip industries, packing technology, the optical industry, the aerospace industry, energy technology as well as the automotive industry including their subcontractors. HERMLE shares are traded on the regulated stock markets in Stuttgart and Frankfurt am Main.

Press contact: Redaktionsbüro tik GmbH, Gabriele Rechinger,
T 0911 988 170 72, E-Mail: info@tik-online.de 

Image material: Maschinenfabrik Berthold HERMLE AG, Udo Hipp,
T 07426 95 6238, E-Mail: udo.hipp@hermle.de 

Online-Schulungen der HERMLE AG

Do you have any questions?
We look forward to
answering them

Ein HERMLE Mitarbeiter

A tailor-made
career path? Start it
at Hermle

Data privacy settings

Cookie settings
This website uses cookies that enable services from external providers, e.g. YouTube or Google Maps. The legal basis for data processing is Article 6 (1a) GDPR.

Please note that some functions may not be available depending on your settings.

More information can be found in our Statement on data protection