The Swiss company Benninger has been the textile industry´s leading partner across the globe for more than 150 years with global branches and service representatives. Benninger develops and manufactures textile finishing and cord production ranges as well as providing complete system solutions.
Beat Meienberger, CEO, Benninger, talks on the company´s performance over the years, and prospects for 2015 and ITMA Milano. Excerpts from the interview.
ITJ: How has been your company´s performance over the years with special reference to 2014 & first quarter of 2015?
Beat Meienberger (BM): In 2014, Benninger was able to continue the sales volume level of 2013 and continued strengthening the knit segment. On a geographical basis the Asian market in 2014 was somewhat weaker due to the slower growth and currency problems, but these were compensated by Europe and South America. Nevertheless in the last quarter we could realise an improvement of the Asian market activities. In all 2014 can be regarded on a general level as a good year for Benninger. In the first half of 2015 some of the Asian markets have shown significant growth, whereas some of the south American markets, in particular Brazil were behind expectations. Benninger as well as all other Swiss textile machinery manufacturers were affected by the appreciation of the Swiss Franc since January 2015. Due to the right strategic measures taken already years back, the impact is not as severe for Benninger.
ITJ: How do you look at the prospects in the rest of months in 2015 and beyond-ITMA Milano for your company?
BM: We have a good number of perspective projects we are working on, which will be decided in the next few months. All in all this leads to a positive outlook for the rest of the year.
Of course during the ITMA we expect to identify new opportunities, not only for the woven and knit line, but also for the new developed solutions for technical textiles.
ITJ: Give a brief note on some of the technological breakthroughs achieved by your company in the recent times.
BM: For both the woven segment, as well as for the knit segment enhancements have been implemented and are currently launched in the market. On top of that Benninger has become the leading provider for wet finishing solutions for technical textiles.
As the market and technology leader Benninger offers the leading process concepts and advises customers accordingly in order to have customized machine concepts. One stronghold is the Benninger resource management, which was enhanced by the acquisition of the Kasag caustic recovery system. Benninger not only assures optimum fabric quality at lowest possible production costs, but also enables the customers to achieve those goals with minimum use of resources.