KRONEN GmbH achieves a historic sales record in the business year 2022
For the previous business year, KRONEN has recorded a sales record of 19.4 million euros. It achieved this despite the fact that the general global circumstances are anything but easy following the Covid-19 pandemic and in the light of rising costs and challenging supply chains. In 2022, the globally operating food technology manufacturer based in the German town of Kehl by the river Rhine benefited from factors such as its largest-ever order. At the same time, it also invested in the future, namely in sustainability, digitalization and further development at its sites in Kehl-Goldscheuer and Achern. Last year, the family-run medium-sized company additionally honored a number of its long-standing employees. It is now offering new training positions for 2023.
The prevailing basic conditions, the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the general supply chain problems resulting from the long lockdown in Asia, and huge cost increases caused by the war in Ukraine pose a major challenge for most companies, KRONEN GmbH included. Nonetheless, the medium-sized family company with headquarters and a production site in Kehl am Rhein, Germany, was able to record the highlight turnover in its corporate history, a total of 19.4 million euros, in 2022. This represents a slight increase compared to the previous year, which was already a strong success. One of the main factors behind this improvement was the largest order in the company’s history, a 3.2-million-euro order placed by a customer from Great Britain. Aside from this, KRONEN can also build upon an excellent order situation on the whole.
“The multitude of crises currently present in the world represents a demanding challenge for every individual, including us as a company. Although we achieved record sales, the high costs did indeed have a negative impact on our annual result. The international situation is disrupting the value chain. By working in cooperation with our partners, we have been able to secure our production activities and supply availability,” states Stephan Zillgith, Managing Partner of KRONEN GmbH. “The Management Board would like to say a huge thank-you to the entire KRONEN team for working together as a united entity, even in difficult times. Corporate success is always a team effort, and we therefore highly value the commitment and dedication of our employees.”
International sales success and the company’s own knife production facility in Achern
Last year, KRONEN yet again benefited from its large international network of sales partners, which allowed it to supply machines and processing lines to customers all over the world. Germany continues to be KRONEN’s strongest market in terms of sales, although its sales partners in Great Britain, France and the Netherlands also achieved significant sales growth. Other growth markets in 2022 were Switzerland, Canada, Australia and Finland. The company’s WS Edelstahltechnik division in Achern, which manufactures turned and milled components for the food technology and automotive industries, also made an important contribution to KRONEN’s improved sales. The Achern-based facility has additionally been producing knives and blades for KRONEN machines since 2022. As a result, KRONEN now manufactures high-quality cutting tools itself and has therefore gained independence from the supply market situation. 50 percent of the turned and milled components installed at the facility in Kehl are now sourced from the site in Achern, which the company took over in 2020.
“Last year showed that the decision to join forces with WS Edelstahltechnik was extremely important and correct,” states Stephan Zillgith. “We invested in production equipment that allows us to work even more efficiently. What’s more, we also started our knife and blade production activities, which we will continue to expand and improve. In 2022, we manufactured more than 3,000 cutting tools ourselves.”
After having to pause due to the pandemic, trade shows and exhibitions have now returned, allowing KRONEN to present itself on national and international platforms again. One of these events was the leading trade show for the fruit, vegetable and salad industry, the Fruit Logistica 2023, which took place in Berlin from February 8 to 10. Here, the stand of the company from the Ortenau region of Germany was not only visited by a multitude of international industry representatives but also welcomed Cem Özdemir, the German Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture. Özdemir made the most of the opportunity to test a new KRONEN product, the HEWA washing machine for the continuous washing of salad, fruit, vegetables and herbs.
There is strong interest in investing in such machines due to the constantly growing trend toward the automation of processes in the salad, fruit and vegetable processing industry. Given that it is becoming increasingly difficult for processing companies to find staff, they are instead intensifying their focus on using machines and systems that reduce staff requirements to a minimum. The global trend of buying more and more pre-cut or ready-to-eat fresh products is also continuing, albeit at different speeds in different regions.
A continued focus on sustainability and digitalization
KRONEN places high value on sustainability, which includes contributing to a reduction in CO2 emissions as a company. The company’s solar plant, which was installed in 2016 and expanded in 2022, enables it to generate 200 kW peak. As a result, KRONEN is able to produce a large amount of the electricity that it consumes itself. In 2022 alone, the solar plant enabled it to save approximately 300,000 kilograms of CO2. KRONEN installed its first charging stations back in as early as 2018, giving employees the opportunity to charge their electric vehicles at their workplace. Since then, it has added more charging stations and introduced electric company cars and plans to further expand its services in this area in the future. KRONEN is also committed to a number of social, cultural and sports projects in the local region and has, for example, been supporting the SOS Children’s Village Black Forest in Sulzberg for more than 20 years.
The family company is additionally investing in its own digitalization activities. Last year, it implemented a customer relationship management (CRM) system in its Sales department. This new system enables KRONEN to improve the documentation and maintenance of its customer relations. What’s more, the company has also completely overhauled its website at www.kronen.eu, the brand-new version of which went live at the beginning of 2023. The new website is designed to have a clearer layout and be even more informative, as well as being optimized for mobile devices. The design of the new website is fresh, clear, and modern and therefore perfectly reflects the new corporate design, which was also updated in 2022. The aim of the new website is to optimally transport the services and core of the KRONEN brand and to provide an authentic and precise insight into the company and its solutions.
Service anniversaries and new training positions
KRONEN now employs more than 130 members of staff. In 2022, 13 of these employees celebrated a special service anniversary. At the Christmas party in December 2022, Stephan Zillgith thanked the staff on behalf of the entire Management Board and expressed special gratitude and appreciation to the company’s long-standing employees for their loyalty and ongoing commitment:
- For 10 years at KRONEN: Thomas Groß, Bernd Konstanzer
- For 15 years at KRONEN: Thomas Braun, Gregor Egger, Andreas Ell
- For 20 years at KRONEN: Waldemar Gross, Heidi Still, Andreas Wachter
- For 25 years at KRONEN: Alexandra Göpper, Robert Lankhart, Robert Reisig
- For 30 years at KRONEN: Ute Leibinger
Such a qualified team and a value-oriented, appreciative corporate culture play a very important role for the family company. This is why KRONEN has also been offering in-house training for more than 20 years. In 2023, KRONEN is again offering seven training positions. Anyone interested in completing vocational training at KRONEN can apply here: www.kronen.eu.