"Chinstrap Penguins. South Sandwich Islands” is the title of our annual report photo this year. It was taken by arguably the most famous nature photographer of our time, Sebastião Salgado, and is part of his monumental “Genesis” series.
We chose this photograph not only because it is an aesthetic evocation of major themes such as globalization, sustainability, and the protection of natural resources. There is also a wonderful inherent reference to our motto “ahead” in this, the 99th year of our company’s existence. Being “ahead” – technologically and culturally – has always been our guiding principle, but even more so in view of the current upheavals in business and society. This spirit is also reflected in the magazine section stories on photonics, electronics and quantum technology.
It is clear that, in staying ahead, a company sometimes has to show pioneering courage and, like Salgado’s penguins, be the first to “plunge in at the deep end” (which in this case is perilously ice-cold water in the South Atlantic between Argentina and Antarctica). All the more so in an era when, in addition to the rapid changes in technologies, the geopolitical environment is changing more than at any time since the fall of the Iron Curtain.
Fiscal year 2021/22 was also a challenge for us in this regard. Like many other companies, TRUMPF reacted with extreme rigor to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and suspended all business. Despite the direct and indirect consequences this had on our business, alongside ongoing supply chain bottlenecks and the coronavirus flare-ups in China, we managed to close the year successfully. This was an immense feat on the part of our entire workforce.
Buoyed by a global upturn in demand for our products, we achieved a record order intake of 5.6 billion euros (previous year: 3.9 billion), an increase of 42 percent. Our sales revenues grew to 4.2 billion euros (previous year: 3.5 billion), somewhat less dynamically due to the bottlenecks in primary products. Our earnings before interest and taxes increased to 468 million euros (previous year: 370 million euros). At 11.1 percent (previous year: 10.5 percent), the margin was above the previous year’s level – despite the drastic increase in prices for materials, logistics and energy.
The TRUMPF Group, which has been operating with a new general partner under the name TRUMPF SE + Co. KG since February 9, 2022, is cautiously optimistic about the current fiscal year leading up to its 100th birthday in the summer of 2023, notwithstanding the fragile geopolitical and economic situation. I would like to thank our customers and partners as well as our employees, all of whom have contributed to this optimism. And I hope you enjoy reading our new annual report, which is, one might justifiably say, a picture-perfect read!