The maxon motor Group was able to maintain its revenue level during the 2013 business year, in spite of the strong Swiss franc, the weak development of the economy in some areas and commodity prices that remained high. The revenue amounted to CHF 360.2 million. (Previous year: 360.5). At CHF 36.2 million, the cash flow was similar to that of the previous year (36.9). The number of employees in Sachseln (Switzerland), Sexau (Germany), Veszprém (Hungary) and Sejong (South Korea) stayed largely stable at 2091 (+14). Around 9% of revenue is invested in R&D, where more than 220 highly qualified specialists are at work. Last year, maxon launched many new innovations, and the drive specialist is also participating in the ExoMars Mission of the European Space Agency, which is planning a Mars landing in 2018. For the current business year, maxon motor is cautiously optimistic.
In the areas of medical technology, industrial automation, robotics and aerospace, maxon has established itself in a leading position over the past years. As a high-tech company in the field of drive technology, the company has extensive experience in finding solutions for diverse technical requirements. For example, within the framework of various space programs, the products have to withstand extreme temperatures, "from minus 120 °C on Mars to plus 400 °C on Venus," as Karl-Walter Braun, the majority shareholder, explained at the annual media conference. Designing DC motors that can function under such conditions is a real challenge. As a result, maxon has always invested heavily in R&D. "In the past year, this amounted to approx. 9% of revenue," Braun reported. Never before has maxon launched so many new, interesting products onto the market as in the last two years: These include DC motors for demanding applications in space and on Earth, implantable micro drives for medical technology, as well as energy-efficient drive systems for high-tech prostheses and electromobility.
All in all, Europe performed well, and in Italy and Spain, it was even possible to achieve record results. In Asia, maxon had significant growth, especially in China, Korea and Taiwan. "Expanding our Service Centers in these countries enabled us to react to the customers' wishes even faster. Customers in Asia, even in China, are willing to pay the corresponding price if the performance and service is absolutely top class," said Braun. In Japan, maxon was able to maintain the revenue level, despite the yen's sudden fall of more than 20% against the Swiss franc and euro. In North America, one of the most important markets for drives used in medical technology, maxon was able to keep revenue stable, despite the weakness of the dollar against the Swiss franc and the euro.
After years of continuous growth, the revenue in Switzerland dropped for the first time. maxon was able to retain all important customers, despite the drop in sales, which had various causes: Swiss customers shifted their production to foreign countries, reduced inventory, or - in the field of medical technology - did not get the required certifications, or received them too late. For the current year, the revenue in Switzerland is showing a noticeable increase again.
"We want to preserve our leading position in the future as well," said Karl-Walter Braun. One of our strategies for achieving this is the "fit for future" Lean project, which is already showing first positive results. "Thanks to the harmonization of the processes, we are able to provide our customers with even more efficient service and roll out new products onto the global market even faster," said Braun.
The increase in incoming orders that the maxon motor Group registered from the middle of 2013 also continued in the first half of 2014. The economic climate will remain a challenge in the current year, "yet we are cautiously optimistic about the future," said Braun.