HIMA Paul Hildebrandt GmbH closed the 2016 business year with sales revenue of EUR 126.3 million, an increase of six percent compared to the previous year. An expanded range of package solutions for the process industry and positive evolution of the rail business were the main sources of new growth. HIMA also made strategic investments and forged global partnerships to secure the company's future.
“The general economic conditions in the process industry, in particular the oil and gas sector, were not easy in 2016”, says Sankar Ramakrishnan, CEO of the HIMA Group. “We are pleased that we managed to achieve further growth under these circumstances. Among other things, our sound overall performance was due to promising trends in the growth markets APAC and Middle East, strong demand for our package solutions for pipelines, turbines, burners and boilers, and our good business in the rail sector”, comments Ramakrishnan.
Basis for further growth
HIMA laid the foundation for further growth by forging strategic partnerships in the past business year. The most important of these was a EUR3.1 million investment in a global ERP system, with implementation kick-off in 2016. The international rollout will extend over several years. A cooperation agreement with Freudenberg IT concluded late last year will create a uniform, reliable, secure and accessible global infrastructure for HIMA, enabling the company to respond even faster and more effectively to individual customer needs. “Both initiatives are part of a long-term digitalization and growth strategy. They basically enable us to offer our customers the same high level of performance and quality everywhere in the world”, adds HIMA CFO Reinhard Seibold.
HIMA founded a fully owned subsidiary in China to expand their international business and give them a presence in the Chinese market for their broad spectrum of technologies, services and training courses. Reorganization of the company's activities in the Asia Pacific region also had a sustained positive impact. Founding a new regional headquarters in Singapore in early 2016 represented a key component of the regional growth strategy.
Good evolution of the rail business
HIMA’s business in the rail sector also showed a very positive trend. “We were able to expand our rail business in 2016 with above-average growth. We have now completed rail projects in more than 30 countries”, comments Steffen Philipp, Managing Partner of HIMA.
COTS safety controllers, such as those manufactured by HIMA, are becoming the standard in the rail industry due to their deployment diversity and their distinctly lower acquisition and life cycle costs compared to proprietary technology. System integrators, rolling stock manufacturers and railway operators can use HIMA’s COTS controllers to implement their safety solutions economically, easily and quickly for applications including interlockings, level crossings and rail vehicles. HIMA’s strategic goal is to position the company as the first choice for safety in the rail sector.
New organizational orientation
To focus the company strategy on further global growth and closer customer contact, HIMA created the autonomous Process and Rail business unit for the process industry and the rail sector, respectively. Each business unit is headed by a business unit manager with global responsibility. By setting up these new organizational units, HIMA aims to boost effective access to new markets and strengthen existing customer contacts.