The annual revenue of Swiss engineer Liebherr rose above €10bn for the first time in 2018, a result that the group hailed on Twitter as "a milestone for our family-run business!" Â
As well as the 7.5% rise in sales to €10.6bn, the company announced a net profit of €321m in 2018, slightly above the 2017 result. Operating profit was up 6% to €632m, and the company also reported a 2,300 increase in its payroll to 46,169 employees, of whom 33,698 are based in the EU.
The star performers were the group’s units in mining machinery (up 16% to €1bn), earthmoving equipment (up 12% to €2.7bn), mobile cranes (up 9% to €2.2bn) and tower cranes (up 7% to 570m).
The group was also helped by a surge in construction activity in Germany, its largest market, as well as Australia, China, France and the US.
The company’s report stressed its commitment to R&D, which made up €586m of its total investment of €829m.
The report comments: "We are collaborating with prestigious partners to develop solutions for the networked and automated construction site of tomorrow. We are also working to promote e-mobility by developing our electric turbo compressor for fuel-cell-powered vehicles.
"In our aerospace division, we achieved our first success in our research into additive manufacturing processes by delivering our first mass-produced 3D-printed component."
The company also highlighted the construction of a "development and exhibition centre" at Kirchdorf in Baden-WÃ¼rttemberg. It said: "This facility is the only one of its kind in Europe and will be used to test innovative prototypes of new construction machines and material handling machinery on a 1.2km track."
Image: Family shareholders (left to right) Patricia Ruef, Stéfanie Wohlfarth, Jan Liebherr, Sophie Albrecht, and Isolde and Willi Liebherr (Liebherr)