Economy 2012 (based on the Q3 2012 report)

If we take a look at our sales regions around the world, a certain reluctance to invest has been evident in the German-speaking countries Germany, Austria and Switzerland, although our current quotation activity clearly indicates that interest in our products remains as lively as ever. Eastern Europe failed to match the strong growth of the previous year, although development has been positive in individual markets. However, the upward tendencies in these markets have been overshadowed by the financing crisis, particularly on the Russian market. By contrast, developments in the American region have been highly positive, and in Asia we also achieved an improvement over the previous year‘s figures.

• Innovation/trends

The underlying movement towards greater individualization and automation is set to continue – both in the field of industrial batch size 1 production coupled with integral software solutions and greater availability, and also in the woodworking shop sector with optimized workflows, innovative warehousing and CNC technology. The issue of energy and resource efficiency is without doubt a key area of focus across every customer group. With our range of ecoPlus measures, once again we are underpinning the importance of sustainability and efficient production processes. The topic of lightweight construction also deserves mention in this context, and will be a focal feature at this year’s LIGNA.

• Concentration/Consolidation

We will be continuing to concentrate our efforts on cultivating cooperative partnerships and entering into joint innovation development ventures with our customers. We are keen to further sharpen our leading edge in innovation and expand our global presence. This naturally includes the continuous expansion of our offered services with a view to providing our customers with the best possible support.

• Investment activity in 2012

Focal areas of investment activity for us last year included the construction of a new sales branch in Switzerland, the opening of the unique HOMAG Group CompetenceCenter in Herzebrock, and further expansion of our Chinese production plant in Shanghai. It goes without saying that we continue to implement on-going investment in our producing locations in Germany. Our investment activity also encompasses capitalized development services, which serve to secure our innovative strength and to underpin our position in what is a highly competitive marketplace.

• Opportunities

Interest in our products remains as strong as ever. As the world market leader, our global presence, our efficient marketing and our broad product portfolio including services provide us with ideal market opportunities. We must grasp this chance to stand out from our competitors, with innovation as a decisive and unique selling proposition. Our in-house exhibitions in 2012 gave us the ideal platform to do this. Despite a difficult market environment, we are continuing to improve our operational performance step by step, adhering consistently to our proven strategies.

Jürgen Köppel is member of Homag’s board for sales, service and marketing. In North America Homag Canada operates offices in Ontario and Quebec and is represented in the United States by Stiles Machinery of Grand Rapids, MI.

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