In spite of challenges in a number of export markets, the German motor oil and additive specialist LIQUI MOLY has reported increased sales during the past year. Sales increased slightly by one percent to 421 million euros. “This means we have succeeded in steering our LIQUI MOLY ship through all storms,” said Ernst Prost, LIQUI MOLY business manager.
In the U.S., growth was considerably higher at 21 percent. Here, LIQUI MOLY says it has been particularly successful in the German import car sector because these cars need motor oils officially approved by the car manufacturer. And, this is one of LIQUI MOLY’s strong points, Prost adds.
In the meantime, LIQUI MOLY says growth in its home market in Germany is so strong that further growth is becoming increasingly difficult. Here, turnover stagnated during the past year. “Our locomotive for growth is our export business, which, in the meantime, has reached 60 percent of our total turnover. LIQUI MOLY is sold in over 110 countries. However these also include several countries making headlines as trouble spots: Syria, Iraq, Libya and Ukraine. At one time, Ukraine was one of LIQUI MOLY’s three largest export markets; however, in 2014, the turnover dropped by one-half,” Prost said.
“Compared with the suffering experienced by the people there, this is only a trifle, but, naturally, it has left its tracks in our balance,” Prost added. For this reason the export business was not as strong as planned.
“Failure to meet planning is never good, but turnover without profit is not what we are looking for. We want healthy growth,” he said.
In spite of the reduced growth, LIQUI MOLY has continued to invest in personnel and material. The number of employees increased during the previous year by 50 for a total of 696.
The company is pushing its export business and, in addition to major markets such as the U.S., China and India, is also consciously focusing on smaller countries such as Kazakhstan, Uruguay and Cambodia.
Prost added, “For our major competitors these countries are frequently not lucrative enough, reducing the pressure from competition. But drivers there also want top-of-the-line motor oils from Germany.”