AMF confident after a difficult year

AMF sees promising signs of a significant recovery in 2021.

Last year was not an easy one for Andreas Maier GmbH & Co. KG (AMF) either. Sales fell by around 20 percent to just under 40 million euros. Nevertheless, there are also positive aspects for the traditional company, whose course was already set earlier.

Johannes Maier, managing partner of AMF: "The past year was not an easy one for us either, but we see promising signs of a clear recovery for 2021."

By establishing itself in new, growing industries, AMF has reduced its dependence on the machine building and automotive industry. Innovative products for automated production and process optimisation ensure a positive development here. And because the core workforce could be kept completely on board, we feel that we are well positioned for the predicted recovery. Growing demand since December and a significantly higher order backlog in January compared to the previous year give cause for optimism. At the market leader for clamping, screwing and locking, this is also expressed in the planned 50 percent higher investments for this year.

"Make AMF crisis-proof was my motto two years ago, which helped us a little last year", reports Johannes Maier, managing partner of Andreas Maier GmbH & Co. KG in Fellbach. Nevertheless, the traditional family company from Fellbach also had to give up a lot in 2020. About 20 percent losses ensure that there are almost 40 million euros in sales at the end of the year. Maier does not even want to talk about the reasons, since they can be found in the media every day. The managing director would much rather talk about what makes us confident, "since there was also a reason for that last year."

Positive aspects and savings help

AMF has further established itself in high-growth sectors and has been able to reduce its dependence on the machine building and automotive sector. "Customers in the food, chemical, health and communication sectors as well as in the optical industry are very open to our solutions in automation and process optimisation," emphasizes Maier. This means that AMF is also decoupling somewhat from the investment cycles of the classic industries.

Internationally, India in particular had a negative impact. In contrast, sales in the USA fortunately increased strongly. In terms of costs, savings could be achieved in 2020 owing to the cancelled trade fairs. Since the vast majority of the planned 55 trade fair appearances worldwide did not take place at all, there were of course no exhibitor fees or hotel and travel expenses. “That helped us, although the lack of contacts hurts, of course.” Maier is pleased that the workforce could be kept complete. "It was important to us that we did not have to dismiss any of the permanent staff," said Maier with relief.

Inquiries and order backlog higher than in the previous year

Johannes Maier sees reason for optimism in 2021 thanks to a significant increase in demand since December and a significantly higher order backlog in January compared to the previous year. AMF is taking this into account by significantly increasing investment planning again. With 1.5 million euros, the company plans to spend significantly more in 2021 than last year, mainly for software, measurement technology and even greater precision in its own production. "Some of our customers in the new industries have considerably higher requirements there," says Maier. But he is basically looking forward to becoming more and more competitive.