WINTERSTEIGER achieves record sales in anniversary year

The WINTERSTEIGER Management Board Harold W. Kostka, CEO & CFO (left) and Thomas Fürkötter, CTO
  • Turnover in 2023 comes in at almost 250 million euros and profit margin at 14 %
  • Spin-off of industry holding to accelerate growth


The WINTERSTEIGER Group generated a record turnover of just under a quarter of a billion euros and posted a profit margin of over 14 % in its 70th anniversary year.


Ried im Innkreis, April 2024. The WINTERSTEIGER Group, a leading company in the field of mechanical and plant engineering, achieved a record turnover in 2023, in addition to celebrating its 70th anniversary. “Despite facing challenging economic conditions, we continued building on the strong position we hold in our niche markets and saw profitable growth in 2023,” CEO Harold Kostka is pleased to note. The company surpassed the outstanding year it had in 2022 with a 10 % increase in turnover and 15 % increase in profits. The group's turnover for 2023 stood at 246 million euros, with an EBITDA of 35 million euros.


In addition, the group underwent a restructure last year to create an industry holding in the form of spin-offs. The aim for its individual divisions is to step up contact with customers, shorten decision-making processes, and become even faster through a focused division of labor.


Growth and profits in all four divisions


All four divisions – Seedmech, Sports, Woodtech, and Metals – have grown and are posting good profits, according to CEO Kostka. In the Seedmech division, the race for climate-resistant seeds is prompting investments, in particular on the part of WINTERSTEIGER’s major customers. “Plus, we have been smart about expanding our product portfolio in recent years, which is allowing us to continually expand our market shares in growth markets such as North and South America but also France, for example,” Seedmech CEO Christopher Schiehauer is happy to report. In addition to targeted investments in products that automate manual steps in the breeding process, the division is also focusing on developing its data management strategy to help WINTERSTEIGER play an even more vital role in its customers’ processes.


“There are more skiers in the world right now than ever before! Despite the downturn in sales of sports equipment, overnight stays in the winter tourism segment, and therefore rental transactions, are continuing to grow,” says Daniel Steininger, CEO of WINTERSTEIGER Sports GmbH. The North American rental market is booming in particular and is growing along with a continuing increase in prices. As a market leader in the US and Canada, WINTERSTEIGER is an active player in this growth and is benefiting from its strong organization in the region.


While 2023 was a difficult year in the construction-related areas of Division Woodtech, the low point appears to have passed. The fact that the division nonetheless saw growth in its saw, tool, and plant business last year is down to high levels of demand in the composites sector, explains Andreas Doubrava, CEO of Woodtech: “The acquisition of Hema in 2022, which supplies band saw lines designed to cut lightweight materials in aircraft construction and wind turbines as well as insulation for LNG tanks, has resulted in a consistently strong order book for the past year or more. This is also helping us to weather the crisis in the timber construction segment that is affecting our tool plant in Thuringia and our plant engineering company in Upper Austria.”


Since the restructuring of Division Metals in 2020 and resulting focus on growth sectors such as the rotor-stator industry, German company Kohler Maschinenbau GmbH has not only stayed in the black but has been a contender for the title of the most profitable division in the WINTERSTEIGER Group in relative terms year on year. “In 2023, Metals once again succeeded in posting a higher return on sales than that of Sports,” Thomas Fürkötter emphasizes, noting the division’s results. Fürkötter is the board member responsible for Metals at WINTERSTEIGER Holding AG and has been the group’s CTO since the start of the year. Over the coming years, he will be placing a targeted focus on boosting efficiency in the supply chain and improving processes in order to enhance WINTERSTEIGER’s profitability, make tied-up assets available for new acquisitions, and thereby actively support the goal of achieving turnover of 400 million euros by 2027.


Plans for expansion and strategic acquisitions


“We have challenges ahead of us in 2024, but the amazing sense of optimism within our team, our first-class products, and our broad global presence make us confident that we will see growth in our turnover and earnings again this year,” CEO Kostka confidently asserts. “We will soon be announcing our next acquisition as well,” adds the Head of the group.


In doing so, WINTERSTEIGER will also continue to place a concerted focus on its business in Austria, as management is convinced of the advantages of working in the heart of Europe despite high pay settlements and the proliferation of red tape. WINTERSTEIGER invested some 10 million euros in its home market in 2023. The latest acquisition involves an Austrian company, and logistics capacities at WINTERSTEIGER’s headquarters in Ried im Innkreis are also being expanded and automated in 2024. The group employed an average of 1,200 staff last year, around 100 more than it did even in 2022. Most of the new members of staff were employed in Austria.