Record year for Wiesner-Hager
With a turnover of 41.5 million euros in the last business year 2017/18 the Upper Austrian company based in Altheim looks back on one of its most successful business years. By comparison with the previous year the Upper Austrian specialist for office furniture, office consulting and interior design achieved a significant increase in turnover of around 12 percent (previous year: 37 million). The company’s high export ratio (56%) made it possible to utilise the positive global economic climate to the full. This is also reflected in staff numbers: in the last two years Wiesner-Hager has increased its workforce by 10% to a current overall total within the group of 336 persons. Major international projects, innovative product families and a strong focus on the strategic ongoing development of the company are the main reasons for the high growth figures.
The optimistic prognoses for 2017/18 were fulfilled in their entirety: With an overall turnover of 41.5 million euros Wiesner Hager recorded one of the most successful business years in its history. Growth in turnover increased by 12 percent as compared with the previous year (turnover 2016/17: 37 million euros). “The original turnover target was 39 million euros. The absolute increase in turnover of 4.5 million euros corresponds to a doubling as compared with the average increase of recent years,” Wiesner-Hager CEO and owner of the family enterprise Markus Wiesner says expressing his delight. The positive development was achieved in equal measure both on the Austrian domestic market and in export business. Furthermore, ongoing product innovations and the intensive strategic engagement in new work scenarios which Wiesner Hager subsumes under the concept of “New Work” are, in his opinion, responsible for the positive developments.
Major international projects as an additional driver of growth
The company’s positive development was further strengthened by the commissioning of major international projects. As early as the spring the new Kuwait University was furnished with mobile seminar tables; the subsequent order for the second instalment at Kuwait University is currently in progress. Meanwhile the long-term partnership with global office market leader Steelcase is also well underway. This company now markets the innovative “nooi” chair family exclusively in North America. Most recently Wiesner Hager was chosen as the Europe-wide leading contract partner of the Radisson Blu hotel chain for furnishing meeting and seminar areas. “We are pleased that, thanks to a long-term internationalisation strategy, we are now already approaching an export quota of 60% which is procuring us a special position in the Austrian office furniture sector. At times of economic boom we can make stronger use of the positive market trend, and at times of meagre growth it creates more flexibility and security,” states Markus Wiesner. Besides the projects mentioned further major international projects are currently in the finalisation stages.
Strategic focus and “New Work” as a topic for the future
In recent years, the Austrian office furniture sector has shown its turbulent side. Bankruptcies, take-overs and a general market adjustment have tied up the focus of many companies in the sector internally. The company Wiesner-Hager has used these disruptive times in a positive manner and committed itself to a clear strategic positioning in the context of B2B and architecture. Thus the theme of “New Work” has been defined as a central strategic theme. “New technologies, increasing mobility and a globalised labour market, new generations of employees and new entrepreneurial organisational forms create a dynamic area of tension on the labour market. We take these demands on “New Work” into account. We aim to transform classical offices into contemporary creative spaces for modern forms of work,” explains Wiesner. For this reason the Austrian market leader for office chairs has expanded its portfolio by the services areas of office consulting and interior architecture where innovative overall office concepts are developed.
Encouraging prognoses for the current business year
“We have big plans for 2018/19. We will continue to extend our lead in the area of “New Work”, work steadily on modern product innovations and push our international business,” says Markus Wiesner. “Currently we are moving around an increase in incoming orders of 14% as compared with the previous year,” states Wiesner, underlining the encouraging development in the current business year. The doubling of the volume of investment as compared with 2017/18 to 2.7 million euros is mainly devoted to measures to increase capacity and efficiency so as to counteract growth-retarding factors such as longer delivery times.
Wiesner-Hager at the Orgatec – Europe’s largest office furniture trade fair
Wiesner-Hager will be represented as an exhibitor at the Orgatec – Europe’s largest office furniture trade fair – from 23 – 27 October as the only office furniture manufacturer from Austria. There the Upper Austrian company will exhibit new developments and innovations, mainly in the area of “New Work”.
© Photo: Markus Schwalenberg