However, the NAFTA (+17 %) and Central & Eastern Europe (+16 %) also generated high growth once again. German operations grew at a stable level, at 14 %. From the product point of view, both the Electronics and the Electrical Connectivity division grew. The division Application-specific solutions, which specialices in meeting individual industrial demands, again proved to be a growth driver.
It's still hard to make any firm predictions for the year 2012. "The course of the year 2012 will largely depend on developments in the global economy. The key factors will be the European debt crisis as well as political reaction and measures taken in response to this," said CFO Harald Vogelsang. "Weidmüller is prepared for a number of different scenarios. We are therefore meeting the challenges of uncertain economic conditions with flexible plans for 2012. It is our goal to continue to grow at an above-average rate for the sector, and are currently expecting single-digit growth."
Personal proximity as the key to success
At the end of 2011, Weidmüller employed approximately 4400 people. This means 400 new jobs were created worldwide. "We are particularly proud of our apprentices," said CEO Dr. Peter Köhler. "In 2011, we helped more than 230 young people start their professional career, in terms of not only specialist and obligatory content, but far beyond."
China remains the market of the future
Weidmüller's involvement in China, this year's partner country at the Hannover Messe, is a good example of the way this vision is being put into practice. "China is Weidmüller's second most important sales market. As a family-owned company, we are not interested in making a 'quick buck', but rather in long-term involvement in strong, sustainable connections. This is what we invested in more heavily in 2011 by founding the Academy Asia and opening our logistics centre in Shanghai. Our success in China shows that we have chosen the right path," Köhler said. Even if the Chinese economy is appearing to slow down slightly, the People's Republic will remain an important driving force in the forward-looking markets, he added. This assessment was confirmed by Victor Wan, Weidmüller's President Greater China. "The rapid pace of economic growth in China is coupled with rising demand for energy and increasing mobility. Conurbations require efficient infrastructures for traffic, supply and waste disposal, and the rising demand for electricity will in future increasingly be met by renewable sources. Weidmüller has solutions and products for all these sectors. That is why we view China as a forward-looking market with a great potential."
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