Berthold Leibinger joined Trumpf in 1961 and became managing director in 1965 following his succession of Christian Trumpf. (Image: Trumpf)
Berthold Leibinger, a senior figure and partner of Laser manufacturer Trumpf, has died at the age of 87.
Berthold Leibinger joined Trumpf in 1961 as head of the engineering division. In 1965 he took over shares of the company and became managing director following his succession of Christian Trumpf, the owner of the company, and in 1966 Leibinger became a company partner. Under his leadership, Trumpf evolved into a prominent machine manufacturer.
‘Leibinger understood the potential of light as a tool more than any of his peers, and he is now regarded as one of the pioneers in the industrial application of lasers,’ Trumpf commented.
‘Berthold Leibinger was a visionary engineer and entrepreneur, added Dr Jürgen Hambrecht, chairman of the supervisory board of Trumpf. ‘Everything he did was ultimately directed toward people's welfare and the common good. He was an outstanding example to us all,’
In 2005 Liebinger’s eldest daughter, Dr Nicola Leibinger-Kammüller, took over as CEO of the company. Liebinger’s son, Dr Peter Leibinger, is vice chairman of the managing board.
Leibinger was also a member of the supervisory boards of Deutsche Bank and BMW, and was appointed chairman of the supervisory board of chemical producer BASF. Additionally he was president of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of the Stuttgart Region and, from 1990 to 1992, president of the VDMA – the German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association.
In 1992, Leibinger established the Berthold Leibinger Stiftung, a not-for-profit foundation that dedicates its proceeds to cultural, scientific, religious and charitable purposes. In 2000, the foundation established the internationally renowned Berthold Leibinger Innovation Prize, which is awarded once every two years.
While the funeral service will be a private ceremony for close family only, a date for a public memorial service will be announced as soon as possible.
Trumpf records most successful year in group history
Trumpf has achieved sales of €3.57 billion for the fiscal year 2017/2018 ending 30 June – the highest figure recorded in the group’s history. The results represent a 14.6 per cent increase from the €3.11 billion recorded for the previous year.
The Trumpf management board. (Image: Trumpf)
Orders received throughout the year increased by 12.5 per cent to €3.8 billion, up from €3.4 billion for the fiscal year 2016/2017. Operating income before taxes rose by 52.3 per cent to €514 million, up from €337 million last year. Lastly, the group’s net operating margin amounted to 14.4 per cent, up from 10.8 per cent last year.
The group’s laser technology division achieved sales growth of 21.5 per cent throughout the year. Sales of high-power laser systems to EUV lithography for the exposure of microchips performed particularly well, increasing by 57.3 per cent over the previous year to €250 million. Trumpf's planning for the current fiscal year envisages further noticeable growth in EUV lithography – even today sales in the business segment exceed those of most of Trumpf's foreign sales markets, according to the group.
The group's largest business division, machine tools, increased its sales by 11.3 per cent throughout the year.
When completed, this EUV lithography system will weight 17 tonnes and comprise 450,000 parts. (Image: Trumpf)
Germany remains the largest single market for Trumpf, with annual sales having increased by 15.6 per cent to €719 million, followed by China, where sales increased by 13.0 per cent to €457 million, and the United States, where sales increased by 5.4 per cent to €444 million. Additionally, for the first time, Italy became the group’s fourth-strongest single market, where year-on-year sales grew by 31.8 per cent to €173 million.
In addition to these markets, Trumpf intends to intensify its business activities in countries such as Mexico and Canada as well as in the Asian countries Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Vietnam in an effort to achieve average annual growth of 10 per cent.
In the past fiscal year Trumpf invested in emerging technologies such as EUV lithography and metal additive manufacturing, as well as driving forward its Industry 4.0 subsidiary AXOOM. The group's expenditure on research and development rose by 5.9 per cent to €337 million.
Trumpf's capital expenditure totalled €216 million throughout the year, with more than half of this concerning construction projects in Germany, such as its new headquarters building in Ditzingen and the expansion of its manufacturing sites in Teningen and Schramberg.
Investments in other European countries accounted for 13 per cent of the group's total capital expenditure, while 15 per cent concerned the Americas, where the group has established a new smart factory demonstration centre in Chicago. Another major investment project was the creation of the Trumpf Group's largest-ever production site, operated by the Chinese joint venture JFY.
The group’s workforce grew by 12.9 per cent to 13,420 employees as of 30 June 2018, with 6,778 employees working in Germany and 6,642 working in other countries. The total workforce has since exceeded 13,500. During the year, 450 young people completed a training course at Trumpf or a co-op work-study programme.