Speaking in a videotaped message as part of the virtual Fakuma for Wittmann Kunststoffgeräte GmbH, Vienna, and Wittmann Battenfeld GmbH, Kottingbrunn, Austria, the company executive said the group was on track to record 310 million euros, or about $365 million, in turnover this year — 17 percent less than last year.
“I have to say North America in general is doing quite well, particularly the U.S.,” he said. “The U.S. market is at the level of 2019. We have not seen any kind of a decline in the U.S.”
In a rare occurrence, the company expects sales in the U.S. to outperform those in Germany. The country is “not affected at all actually by the coronavirus,” though, as in the rest of the world, the automotive-manufacturing market has slowed considerably.
“I believe it is because the medical industry is rather big in the U.S., and this is compensating for slowdown in the automotive market in the U.S.,” Wittmann said.
Overall, the company experienced a weakening of business in the second quarter, as the pandemic began to grip Europe and North America, but it has bounced back well over the last quarter, with “a very, very strong recovery in the recent weeks,” Wittmann said.
“The question is certainly how long will this last. I believe nobody can tell us about it, but certainly our industry right now is not really seeing any kind of impact of COVID-19,” he said.
Compared with last year, some countries, including Canada, France, Poland, Turkey, Taiwan and Singapore, actually experienced growth.
Other than in particular geographical areas or markets, such as the automotive industry, the company now is experiencing no dramatic impact from COVID-19, and, with 2,250 employees, it has no plans for cutbacks.
Barring further developments from the pandemic, “the situation is better than expected,” Wittmann said.