Shanghai. November 6, 2012. The Chinese market plays a key role in the strategy of the Freudenberg Group. This is confirmed by the continued positive development of Freudenberg in 2012; sales in China rose by about ten percent in the third quarter of 2012 compared with the same period of 2011. In the course of this year, the number of employees has also risen by more than 600 to 5723. Freudenberg is also becoming active in more and more markets. “In addition to established business areas such as seals and vibration control technology, specialty lubricants, non-wovens and household products, medical technology is also becoming increasingly important throughout the world in view of growing life expectancy figures,” said Hanno D. Wentzler, Regional Representative China for the Freudenberg Group and President and CEO Freudenberg Chemical Specialities, today at the press conference in Shanghai.
Apart from medical technology, the main focus of investments in the global strategy of the Freudenberg Group is on applications in chemical surface technology, oil and gas, industrial filtration and vibration control technology for rail vehicles, wind power and agricultural and construction machinery. And the Group has been doing business in these fields in China for several years. Concerning chemical surface treatment SurTec has a production site in Hangzhou. In the oil and gas industry EagleBurgmann is located in 12 cities with production sites and sales offices. Beside industrial filtration Freudenberg Filtration Technologies is located in Changchun, Suzhou and Chengdu. And in the field of vibration control technology Freudenberg Schwab Vibration Control has a sales office in Beijing. Profitable growth in these markets is to be ensured by a buy-and-build-strategy. In the mentioned established business sectors, growth is to be driven by the group’s own resources.
Freudenberg continues to grow in China
In the first three quarters of the 2012 financial year, the globally active Freudenberg Group recorded sales growth of about 10 percent to Yuan 2.98 billion. There has also been a significant increase in employee numbers over the course of the year. By September 30, 2012, the number of associates in China had risen by 636 to 5723. Furthermore, the Group is investing intensively in China and further expanding its activities in the long term. From 2004 to the end of the third quarter of 2012, the Group had invested about Yuan 2 billion.
Investment in China also in medical technology
Demographic change is a global phenomenon which is also affecting Asia. By 2030, half of the population of Asia will be older than 60. Inevitably, demand for medical services will rise on the one hand because of the typical increase in chronic diseases among older people and on the other hand because of the wish of many older people for a higher quality of life. In order to ensure profitable growth in the long term, Freudenberg is therefore focusing on medical technology. The Group intends to grow continuously in this field through a buy-and-build-strategy. Expansion has also been pursued in China since 2008. The acquisition of Anura Plastics Engineering Corporation (APEC) added a new facility in Shenzhen to the Group’s existing locations. The highly advanced production plant, which is one of the few in China to hold ISO 13485:2003 certification, makes Freudenberg a pioneer in the growing Chinese medical market. In addition, the plant has four “ISO class 8 clean rooms”. By investing US $500,000 in the plant, Freudenberg is meeting customers’ needs and strengthening its position on the growing Chinese market.
Freudenberg shoulders global challenges of the future
Going forward, medical technology will continue to be a focus for investment not only in China but throughout the world. Only a few weeks ago, Freudenberg acquired MedVenture Technology Corporation with headquarters in USA. The company is one of the leading developers and manufacturers of medical technology solutions for minimally invasive surgery (MIS). Acquisition activities already started in 2004 when Freudenberg acquired Jenline Industries. The take-over of APEC at the beginning of 2008 added a new material group and a facility in China to the Group’s portfolio. Freudenberg then added 50 percent of the shares in the Irish company VistaMed and the partnership with Cambus Medical in August 2012. In September 2012, the Freudenberg Business Group inaugurated a new plant in Costa Rica. The Business Group now has production facilities in China, the USA, Germany, Ireland and Costa Rica. At the end of October 2012, Helix Medical employed about 800 associates.