Economy & Politics

Trumpf tests new sales model

Quantum technology is a topic for Trumpf. Tiny channels of light were lasered out of a crystal; this should make new types of microscopes possible. Photo: Trump

The machine tool manufacturer cooperates with the insurance group Munich Re. It is planned that customers will no longer buy or lease machines, but rather bill according to the number of parts produced.

Ditzingen – The machine tool manufacturer Trumpf and the insurance group Munich Re want to enter into a strategic partnership. Both partners are planning a new type of service for laser cutting machines. The aim is that the customer no longer buys or leases the laser cutting machines, but only uses them. Each cut sheet metal part is then billed at a previously agreed price, explains Trumpf Managing Director Mathias Kammüller in Ditzingen. “With this partnership, we will move into new business models more clearly than ever before,” said Kammüller. “We are convinced that this offer will not only help existing customers grow, but also win new customers,” he adds.

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The prerequisite for such a model is that the machines are fully utilized. According to Kammüller, operation in two shifts is assumed. Apparently, the actual size of the company is less important. Rather, the model comes into question for the majority of Trumpf customers. Customers include a number of companies with around 25 employees. Trumpf has already found the first four test customers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland for the pilot project. But names were not mentioned. First, the antitrust authorities still have to approve the plans.

No “real lockdown”

The family company in Ditzingen was significantly less affected by the corona pandemic than other mechanical engineers. At Trumpf, for example, there was never a “real lockdown”, says company boss Nicola Leibinger-Kammüller. In parts of production, service and administration, there was continuous work. Between March and June, the short-time work rate was 30 percent, now it is 27 percent. And Leibinger-Kammüller is confident that this number will now be reduced further.

She speaks of a “very delicate economic recovery. We see cautious signs of the end of the economic downturn, even if not yet a real upswing, ”said Leibinger-Kammüller. Overall, your outlook for the current financial year, which began in July, is cautious. In addition to Corona, she cites the “increasing trade conflicts” as reasons. It predicts a decline in both incoming orders and sales for the year as a whole. Earnings before taxes and interest in relation to sales (EBIT margin) will decrease, but will “continue to be clearly positive”. Good news in view of the forecasts: sales and orders in the first quarter were not only above expectations, but also above the comparative figures of the previous year, says Leibinger-Kammüller.

Good business is hidden behind EUV

One reason that Trumpf apparently coped with the crisis relatively well is called EUV. Microchip production using ultraviolet light is hidden behind these three letters. For many years the partners Zeiss (optics), ASML (chip supplier) and Trumpf (laser) worked on the market readiness of this new semiconductor technology. Now she promises good business. In the past fiscal year, Trumpf increased sales in this area by 19 percent to 460 million euros. And things should continue to improve. About 40 such machines are currently sold. The value is likely to skyrocket to 50 to 60 machines, they say. What Leibinger-Kammüller is particularly pleased about is that this technology has now been nominated for the German Future Prize. “In terms of industrial policy, too, this is an important signal that Europe has a say in the race for semiconductor production, especially in relation to Asia,” says Leibinger-Kammüller.

She is no less pleased that Trumpf is also active in the field of quantum technology. The machine tool manufacturer not only has a spin-off in this area. In the meantime, the federal government has also initiated a Quantum Computing Expert Council, which was constituted a few days ago. Trumpf Managing Director Peter Leibinger is in charge.

Despite the decline in profits: employees receive bonuses

Overall, Trumpf achieved sales of 3.5 billion euros in the past financial year (minus 7.8 percent). Incoming orders fell a little more sharply – by almost eleven percent to 3.3 billion euros. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) fell by almost twelve percent to 309 million euros. Consolidated net income was 132 (previous year: 145) million euros. The collective bargaining employees can now look forward to a profit sharing: They receive 1155 euros, after 1195 euros in the previous year, said Oliver Maassen (56), who has been managing director since October 1st. As Labor Director he is responsible for 14,325 (previous year: 14,490) employees worldwide. 7,437 of them work in Germany. And 4353 of them in Ditzingen.

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