Morning business news from Hamburg - September 2Monday 02 September 2013 10.32
JUNGHEINRICH CONTINUES TO INVEST IN IRISH OPERATIONS - The German manufacturing sector is the backbone of the economy there and one typical German manufacturing company is Jungheinrich, which makes forklift trucks and shelving systems. It is a family business, set up in the 1950s. While it has a stock market listing, it is still a family firm and typical of the Mittelstand companies - it is focussed on pretty much one thing, doing that thing really well and expanding overseas. The company has a massive 34% market share, in a sector with 24 players. It is number two in Europe and three in the world. Jungheinrich employs 11,500 people in over 30 countries, including 78 staff in Ireland.
Des Kavanagh, managing director of Jungheinrich's Irish operations, says that the technology of the forklift - and so of the company - is improving all the time. He says the company now needs a more educated workforce than it has in the past. Its employees now have to understand how technology works, adding that education plays a key part in preparing staff for work in Jungheinrich. Mr Kavanagh also says that the company's Irish sales are up 42% this year.
Jungheinrich’s Markus Piazza, based in Hamburg, says that Jungheinrich is a good marker for what is going on in the economy as is Germany for what is going on in the euro zone. He says that the company is a classic German company as it started out making machines in the 1950s and now has evolved into a multi-national service company. He says the the company did experience hard times in the last few years but managed to solve them in a short time, and it solutions included the use of the German's government's short working week where the government paid part of a worker's salary.
Mr Piazza says that the company is still investing in its Irish operations, which he describes as one of the company's core operations. Jungheinrich is buying its Maynooth premises from NAMA and Mr Piazza says that the Irish business is ''doing fine'' although conditions still remain tough.
MORNING BRIEFS - There was growth in activity in the Irish manufacturing sector last month, according to Investec, as new orders grew at the fastest pace in 14 months. This was the third month in a row of growth in activity and the fastest pace of expansion since November 2012.
*** The engineering and project management firm PM Group, says that by the end of this year it will have created 250 jobs internationally, 100 of those are in Dublin and Cork, with 50 positions yet to be filled. The group employs 1,000 staff in Ireland, another 1,000 overseas.