In 2018, PALFINGER set another historic record. Last year was not only the most profitable year to date in the company’s history, but also represented the beginning of a strategic realignment at PALFINGER
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. This positive spirit of optimism was tangible at the Annual General Meeting, which was held for the second time at the PALFINGER World in Lengau and billed as a Green Event.
But, first things first: as a meeting of shareholders, in addition to the appointment of the Supervisory Board, the financial report was naturally also high on the agenda at this Annual General Meeting. And here it was possible to again break the old historic record with sales of €1.6 billion and growth of 9.8 per cent. It was even possible to top this growth rate again in terms of operational profitability. In summary, in 2018 PALFINGER not only sold more than in previous years, but it was also able to increase its market share and build on its position as no. 1 in the field of lifting solutions.
From product provider to complete service provider
However, PALFINGER scored not only in terms of figures in 2018. The new alignment of processes and structures, which was tackled when Andreas Klauser became the new CEO in June 2018 and was implemented in the new GLOBAL PALFINGER ORGANIZATION (GPO) as part of a pioneering move at the beginning of 2019, demonstrates the commitment to optimal preparation for future challenges. This commitment is shared by Andreas Klauser, who was officially introduced to shareholders by Chairman of the Supervisory Board Hubert Palfinger Junior at the Annual General Meeting. Together with his decades of experience in the commercial vehicle sector, the Upper Austrian represents a combination that is worth its weight in gold in this process of transformation – in the face of huge challenges such as digitalisation, automation and skills shortages on a turbulent global market.
At any rate, the new GPO structure presents a response to this, as does the development of smart products, processes and applications as part of PALFINGER 21st, the company’s innovation hub with which PALFINGER actively shapes these changes. Instead of waiting for changes and just reacting, PALFINGER 21st is concerned with finding new technologies from around the world, screening these and using the best approaches to develop new solutions and services. Not for some other time, but for here and now.
This is proven by the initial, innovative results such as the digital inspection solution STRUCINSPECT that uses the latest data collection technology, 3D data processing, AI-assisted data analysis and targeted planning of measures to revolutionise maintenance in bridge construction, while also, in its capacity as a promising joint venture, demonstrating the added value that smart partnerships and comprehensive networks can generate for PALFINGER customers.
The course has been set
At any rate, the course has been set for 2019 and beyond. The digital transformation is undergoing further development in close cooperation with customers – in order to provide precise, fast, flexible and transparent support to operators of PALFINGER products – from fleet management with the Fleet Monitor to technical support thanks to innovative solutions such as Smart Eye, the data glasses for service technicians that can connect with PALFINGER specialists to enable them to see what is happening and provide their expertise in real time, if required, with the aid of augmented reality (AR).
For the sake of the environment – Green Event
This year’s Annual General Meeting on 20 March 2019, met the strict criteria of a Green Event for the second time: the provision of environmentally friendly travel and accommodation, an environmentally friendly venue, sustainable catering (regional, seasonal, reduced packaging), with documents reduced to a minimum and printed on eco-labelled paper. These are, of course, just details. However, they are details that reflect the big picture and also underline the long-term environmental goals of the Group. For example, 75 per cent of the Group’s electricity is to be generated from renewable energy sources by 2022.
Full speed ahead!
You can find all the figures and decisions using the following link: https://www.palfinger.ag/en/investors/shareholder_meeting