Higher costs contribute to ‘weak’ 2023 for Wittmann Group

Oct. 15, 2023
Orders have been slow, partly offset by backlogs created by supply chain challenges, said Michael Wittmann, president of Wittmann Technology.
Wittmann Group
Michael Wittmann
Michael Wittmann

Inflation in the costs of material and energy, higher financing costs and an array of other factors have contributed to relatively weak volume of orders, Michael Wittmann, president of Wittmann Technology, said during a Wittmann Group press conference just before Fakuma opened. 

“From an economic standpoint, [this] is a rather long actually slowdown that we are experiencing, and eventually it has to go up again,” he said Oct. 12, days before the trade show was set to begin on Oct. 17 in Friedrichshafen, Germany. 

In his presentation, Wittmann ticked off a number of construction projects undertaken by the injection molding machine and auxiliary maker around the world — including the completion of new and expanded buildings for production, sales, service and training in Hungary; a production facility in Turkey; and a new sales/service subsidiary in Vietnam. 

But he acknowledged orders this year have been slow, offset in some ways by backlogs created by the supply chain challenges of the past few years. 

“It is simply because we had a huge backlog going into this year, and the huge backlog came first of all from the very high order interest of the last two years, but also because we had some issues with the supply of materials over the last two years. That has absolutely improved significantly. We are now able to deliver, and that's the reason why we're seeing here an increase.” 

Overall, the 2,300-employee company expects 2023 revenues of about $430 million, an increase of 9 percent over last year, and it projects a recovery beginning in the second quarter of 2024, with next year’s revenue levels likely to return to 2022 levels.  

As far as this year, Wittmann said, in reference to a slide, “I can say actually I don't have to read everything here. It is weak. I can say actually we are definitely not satisfied with the order income.” 

About the Author

Karen Hanna | Senior Staff Reporter

Senior Staff Reporter Karen Hanna covers injection molding, molds and tooling, processors, workforce and other topics, and writes features including In Other Words and Problem Solved for Plastics Machinery & Manufacturing, Plastics Recycling and The Journal of Blow Molding. She has more than 15 years of experience in daily and magazine journalism.