Faster into new tracks: Schaltbau shares: Why the rail technology specialist is now taking off | message
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by Klaus Schachinger, Euro am Sonntag
S.Circuit construction is picking up speed. The Munich-based specialist for rail technology recently presented an ambitious agenda for growth and the further development of the traditional company until 2026. Sales are expected to increase from 502 million euros in 2020 to 750 to 800 million euros over the next five years, with annual increases averaging eight percent.
Schaltbau’s market value in the Prime Standard of the German stock exchange corresponds to around 60 percent of sales for 2020. Since October, the share has increased by around 45 percent. If Schaltbau stays on course with its goals, this trend should continue.
Decades of experience with direct current is also the key to new, additional markets for the manufacturer of electromechanical components for long-distance and local trains, for underground and suburban railways, as well as signaling technology for controlling and locating trains. Because direct current also flows through the components that will be used in the next generation of battery packs in the premium segment of electric cars, as well as in electric vehicles in municipal companies, in stationary charging stations and in systems for solar and wind energy.
The competence of the Munich-based company for robust switches that reliably handle high currents and large temperature fluctuations, as well as the corresponding accessories, is also a competitive advantage: “The products of Asian competitors have not yet been designed for higher currents, they are less robust and their energy efficiency is lower” says boss Jürgen Brandes in an interview with € uro am Sonntag.
Traditional competitors of Bavaria from the rail technology are not present in the markets for renewable energies, fast charging technology and energy storage, reports the doctorate engineer.
Growth in new markets
Brandes has officially been managing Schaltbau since the beginning of the year. Together with CFO Steffen Munz, who moved from battery specialist Varta to Munich, Brandes wants to make Schaltbau much more profitable by 2026. “The focus is not only on growth, but above all on improving profitability, return on investment and the inflow of funds from the business in order to finance future growth,” says CFO Munz. The product range, the logistics and the network of suppliers are to be optimized and the added value expanded. The operating return (EBIT) of 4.3 percent in 2020 should be “high single-digit percentage” in 2026. The proceeds from the new markets should then provide 40 percent of total sales. Bayern currently do 32 percent of the business outside of rail technology.
Schaltbau wants to grow on its own. For example with components for battery management systems in electric cars. The next generation of batteries for premium cars with electric drive will be optimized for fast charging technology and will consist of individual packs, explains engineer Brandes.
Up to 100 euros per e-car
For this purpose, several electromechanical switches for direct current, so-called contactors, are installed in the battery management. The value share for these components can be up to 100 euros per e-car. The qualifications of the Schaltbau components for the various platforms of the car manufacturers are currently underway. Schaltbau does not expect the first noteworthy sales in the E-Mobility Automotive sector to start in 2024 at the earliest.
The new, largely automated Schaltbau factory Nextfactory in Velden an der Vils in Lower Bavaria, which is expected to start production in autumn 2022, will then run at full speed. Nextfactory is to almost double Schaltbau’s component revenues of 160 million euros by 2026.
The financing of the location was secured with the capital increase in February, which brought in 60 million euros. The manufacturing technology should correspond to the digitization standard Industry 4.0. The factory is also intended to demonstrate the benefits of Schaltbau’s technology. The energy and heat required are therefore largely self-generated using solar cells, combined heat and power and electricity storage systems.
Drive: Has been since the end of October the share gained almost 50 percent. The resistance at 35 euros should soon be overcome.
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Image sources: Julian Mezger for Finanz Verlag, Schaltbau AG