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Robert Burkle GmbH Continues to Grow in 2011

Friday, August 05, 2011

Press release from the issuing company

Bürkle Business Units are "On Track" for a near record sales year.

Hans-Joachim Bender, Managing Partner, reports in his mid year report, that all Bürkle Business Units; Surfaces, Photovoltaic, Plastic Card and Electronics have experienced good first half year results. Activity from the wood industry was assisted by the very active Ligna trade show. Always an important bench mark event, Ligna in 2011 was an excellent exhibition for Bürkle with visitors from many parts of the world including North America.

Bürkle is positioned in 2011 to record sales of approximately 105 Million Euros, received with 470 staff members in Germany, with sales spread between its four major Business Units and worldwide markets; Surfaces 50 Million Euros, 40 Million Euros Photovoltaic and 15 Million Euros Electronics/Plastic Card. From a market breakdown perspective Europe at 41% remains the most active market with North America at 27% and Asia at 18%. 14% percent is distributed among other parts of the world market.

Bender also reported that Bürkle's presence in the growing Photovoltaic market segment continues to gain market share and position. The June Intersolar Show in Munich was a good example of Bürkle's strength in this market segment in spite of the political uncertainty concerning the so-called Feed-In-Tariffs (FIT). Bender said that Bürkle's position in this new and important market has been further strengthened by continued Research and Development and the introduction of a new PV lamination system, the SL series, which reduces cycle time greatly and contributes to overall quality improvements.

During the first half of 2011 Bender said that he noticed that the four Business Units grew, but somewhat differently than he had expected. The Surfaces (wood industry) product group was assisted by growth in the liquid coating application system the e.a.s.y-Coater RCL introduced at LIGNA two years ago. Since then Burke has shipped over 170 systems. Ralf Spindler, Surfaces Managing Director, reported that there has been increasing interest in Bürkle's digital printing lines. In addition, Bürkle completed a major project with a South American company for the installation of a large finishing and printing line. Spindler also reported increasing demand for Bürkle's furniture foil laminating process.

Bürkle's past marketing efforts in the solar module manufacturing industry is expected to continue to grow in 2011. The market so far on a worldwide basis has been impacted by the economic financial downturn and uncertainty affecting many countries and their FIT allowances. But Bürkle is prepared to continue to grow this business segment while other companies appear to be reducing their efforts in this market. Since the company introduced manufacturing systems to this industry over 100 laminators have been installed and operating; enough manufacturing capacity to produce approximately 4000 Megawatts annually (4 Giga-watts). To put this into perspective this is 4 Billion watts, or enough energy for approximately 200,000 homes.

Bürkle's involvement in the plastic card industry will meet forecasted sales targets in 2011 due to the expanded range of Bürkle's products serving this industry. Bürkle now offers complete manufacturing lines after printing instead of individual systems as before. This "package solution" approach has greatly improved Bürkle's overall service to this market.
Bürkle's daughter company in Shanghai China, Bürkle Machinery Shanghai, also has grown nearly 4 times what it was just 3 years ago. The Shanghai Company provides products mainly to Chinese consumers.

Bürkle has three manufacturing sites in Germany, Freudenstadt, Paderborn and Rietberg-Mastholte, employing 470; while on a worldwide basis Bürkle employs over 720 with the Shanghai factory and Major Distribution Centers in North America, Taiwan and other major markets of the world.



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