Knapp AG achieved record turnover results with approximately 327 million euros in the past fiscal year (ending March 2012). The company's workforce increased by 300 and Knapp invested more than 20 million euros in research and development during this time period. The core business areas of the warehouse logistics specialist are pharmaceutical wholesale, fashion as well as food/retail.
For its 60th company anniversary, the logistics business Knapp with headquarters in Hart bei Graz (Austria) is pleased to announce the highest results in company history. In the past fiscal year 2011/2012, Knapp achieved the highest turnover since the business' founding, clearly surpassing the sales target of 300 million euros. "Despite the uncertain economic situation, we were able to continue on our long-term course of growth. The main reason for this successful result can be found in the highest order intake in company history with a total of 425 million euros, which is an increase of 50 per cent compared to the previous year", says Knapp CEO Eduard Wnscher on the company's development. The EBIT remained stable on last year's level of 11.3 million euros - despite extensive investments.
Workforce: increase by 15 per cent
The successful course of this international business is reflected in its number of employees. "Due to our strong market growth, our number of employees increased by 15 per cent in the past year. In Austria alone, our workforce increased from 1,400 to 1,600", Wnscher says. At the moment, Knapp AG has 2,100 employees worldwide. Due to the on-going high level of investment in research and development - previously noted at more than 20 million euros in fiscal year 2011/2012 - the number of employees should continue to rise in the next couple of years. "More than 350 individuals are continuously working on new and further developments in our Austrian locations alone", Wnscher explains.
Forecast for fiscal year 2012/2013: targeted ten per cent increase in turnover
Based on our current state of knowledge, the rapid course of growth will continue in the new fiscal year. Wnscher: "We plan for an organic growth of about ten per cent. Looking at our track record of the past five years, we have a growth in turnover of approximately 130 million euros during that period. That is more than a 66 per cent increase, and we are very proud!" For comparison: in fiscal year 2007/2008 the company had a turnover of 196.1 million euros.
Export quota of 98 per cent: increase in turnover by 30 percent in Western Europe
The Austrian logistics specialist operates on an international level, impressively demonstrated by an export quota of 98 per cent. In the past year, the Western European region showed especially positive development, with a turnover increase of 30 per cent. Knapp achieved about 80 per cent of its total turnover in Western Europe, of which the English and German markets account for the main share.
North America presents a similar picture, with an increase by 25 per cent. Wnscher: "We used the past fiscal year to further strengthen our market presence and further expand our knowledge of the sectors. Besides our traditional core strengths in pharmaceutical wholesale, we were also able to develop fashion and food/retail into full core sectors of Knapp AG."
In the fashion business segment, among other projects, our company has equipped the new distribution centre of the renowned shoes manufacturer Clarks in North America with a Knapp logistics system. The 451,000 sq ft centre in Hanover, Pennsylvania will begin operation at the end of 2012. At that time, an OSR Shuttle system of the newest generation will store, process and ship about 50 million pairs of shoes each year. Knapp AG had already furnished the new Clarks distribution centre in UK.
Technology & Logistics Supplier of the Year
In British Burton-upon-Trent, Knapp developed and implemented an innovative multi-channel solution for the retailer Boots UK for its growing e-commerce branch. The OSR Shuttle system with more than 70,000 storage locations forms the heart of this solution. The wholesaler for pharmaceuticals and cosmetics invested approximately 60 million euros in its new service and logistics centre. At peak times, about 1,000 employees process 900,000 single items every day in the new warehouse. This automation solution by Knapp increases productivity by 65 per cent compared to the previously fully manual order processing. For development and implementation of this innovative solution, Knapp recently received the renowned British "Grocer Gold Award" in the category "Technology & Logistics Supplier of the Year". "Awards like this one are always a great honour, but also a challenge for the future. It is our goal to constantly strive to improve our technologies", Wnscher concludes.