The 2021 fiscal year was remarkable in many ways. Following the difficult pandemic year of 2020, we entered a phase marked by a global upswing. But COVID-19 in particular had (and continues to have) an impact on many different levels. The disruptions to global supply chains are partly due to these effects, as are the recurring regional restrictions caused by a resurgence of the pandemic. At the same time, high demand from the beginning of the year led to a sharp increase in the costs of raw materials. This means that in Europe and the USA we are faced with the problem of rising inflation for the first time in a long time. In addition, PALFINGER was targeted by a highly complex cyberattack right at the start of the year, which resulted in a partly two-week production downtime in some areas.
Facing all these challenges, PALFINGER has proven itself a strong, focused, and future-oriented company – 2021 is a record year in our 90-year history.
The figures speak for themselves: Driven by the favorable economic trend, growth in all regions, and full order books, revenue rose to EUR 1,841.5 billion, EBITDA increased to EUR 243.7 million, the EBIT margin was up 8.4 percent, consolidated earnings total EUR 86.6 million, and the workforce increased to 11,733 employees.
These outstanding results and successes are no accident. The fact that PALFINGER was able to make the most of the prevailing conditions in 2021 is due to the GLOBAL PALFINGER ORGANIZATION (GPO). It enables us to respond quickly, efficiently, and effectively to unforeseen events. The GPO also allows us to proactively shape our business areas and activities and to implement medium- and long-term strategies.
In procurement, for example, we have relied on long-term cooperation and supply contracts with selected partners for years; we have established the double and multiple sourcing strategy; we make sure to buy as much as we can locally, and we actively manage our stock levels. Thanks to this consistent policy, we were able to compensate for supply chain disruptions in the best possible way and minimize their consequences. In addition, we have set up a supply chain task force that defines measures quickly and flexibly to ensure optimum capacity utilization at all our plants. PALFINGER once again lived up to its reputation as a reliable and cooperative partner in 2021.
The transformation process we started with the GPO is not yet complete. To secure it and leverage its effects even more effectively, we are stepping up the global rollout of SAP 4/HANA and combining internal services for Europe at the Global Business Services Center in Sofia. At the same time, PALFINGER implemented the most extensive investment program in its history in 2021. Around EUR 122 million was spent on expanding our R&D facilities, additional capacities, test infrastructure, and educational programs, as well as on modernizations and energy efficiency improvements. In addition, PALFINGER AG acquired the headquarters in Bergheim. This overall package is the starting point for further targeted investments in structures that will enable PALFINGER to proactively shape its own and its industry’s future. We are now laying the foundation to achieve our goals.
For this purpose, we formulated the Vision and Strategy for 2030 in fiscal year 2021, which will be implemented throughout the company in 2022. With the strategic pillar “Go for Solutions”, we are expanding our focus and no longer only see our product, but also the entire vehicle and software solutions as an interconnected system.
With the strategic pillar, “Go Digital”, we are advancing the digitalization of the entire value chain and opening up new, digital business areas.
In 2030 PALFINGER will be a global technology company offering hardware and software from a single source. As a premium brand and innovation leader, we develop future-oriented solutions ahead of our competitors – and are targeting annual revenue of EUR 3 billion. Together with our employees, customers, partners, and investors we create value every day. Thank you for accompanying us on this journey.
Andreas Klauser, CEO
Felix Strohbichler, CFO
Martin Zehnder, COO