This came in spite of difficult general conditions, rapidly rising prices, as well as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns, which slowed economic growth. Nevertheless, the group achieved increased turnovers in 10 of its 13 product segments, some of them significant. It surpassed its previous turnover record from 2021 by €950 million.
Turnover in the seven product segments of earthmoving, material handling technology, deep foundation machines, mobile and crawler cranes, tower cranes, concrete technology and mining totalled €8.561 billion, 6.9% above the previous year’s level. In the six product segments of maritime cranes, aerospace and transportation systems, gear technology and automation systems, refrigerators and freezers, components and hotels, Liebherr achieved a total turnover of €4.028 billion, an increase of 11 % over the previous year.
Turnover increased slightly in the European Union, which is traditionally the Group’s strongest sales region. Growth rates in the EU markets varied, with business developing positively in the Netherlands and Italy in particular. Liebherr developed extremely positively in North America and in Central and South America, with strong growth impulses coming from the USA and Canada, and again from Brazil. The Group also recorded a pleasing increase in Africa as well as in the Near and Middle East. Turnover in Asia and Oceania was slightly above the previous year’s level.
The Liebherr Group achieved a net income of €2 million in 2022. Operating results and the financial result decreased significantly compared to the previous year. The number of employees grew again in the 2022 business year. At the end of the year, the Liebherr Group had a total of 51,321 employees worldwide. Compared to the previous year, this constituted an increase of 1,710.
Last year, the Group therefore invested €588 million in research and development. The bulk of this was used in the development of new products. Numerous cooperative ventures with universities or higher education institutions and research institutes were initiated or continued.
Alternative drive technologies continue to be a focal point of the research projects at Liebherr. As part of its technology neutral approach, which takes into account the most diverse areas of application and product requirements of customers worldwide, the Group is working, among other things, on the increased use of hydrogenated vegetable oils (HVO). The fuel, which is derived from renewable energy sources, can be used directly in a large proportion of Liebherr’s construction machinery, cranes and mining machines, thus also significantly reducing CO2 emissions from existing fleets.
In the field of electric drives, since the previous business year, Liebherr has added six new models to its Unplugged range. Another new development is the mobile energy storage system for supplying power to hybrid or fully electric construction machinery and equipment on construction sites.
The Group invested €863 million in its production sites and its global distribution and service networks. Investments thus increased by €121 million compared to last year. Offset against this was depreciation of €528 million. For example, the Group expanded its sales and service activities on the French market and added the new branch office Liebherr Distribution et Services France SAS, located in Taverny near Paris. Liebherr began the construction of a new remanufacturing workshop at its Jakarta (Indonesia) site. In Austria, Liebherr continued the construction of a new logistics centre at the Telfs site.
The Liebherr Group has started the year 2023 with a positive order situation. With regard to the war in Ukraine, however, there is still great uncertainty as to whether and to what extent a gradual easing will occur, whether the sanctions will remain in force and whether a gas shortage, which would result in rationing, can be avoided. At the same time, there are still macroeconomic uncertainties about the duration and distribution of the expected decline in economic activity in Europe, the duration of broad price increases in many goods and services, and the scarcity of certain raw materials and labour. The same applies to bottlenecks in different supply chains. It is also unclear how fiscal and monetary policy measures will affect the Liebherr Group. Liebherr expects further growth in turnover in 2023.