Oil and additive specialist closes 2016 with a sales record—over 40 percent growth in U.S. market.
German oil and additive manufacturer LIQUI MOLY increased its sales by 11 percent to EUR 489 million in 2016, setting a new record as in the years before. “As an SME, we’ve not only stood up to competition from the big multinationals, we’ve actually taken market shares away from them,” says Ernst Prost, CEO and managing partner of LIQUI MOLY.
In 2016, LIQUI MOLY produced almost 80,000 tons of lubricants and filled more than 14 million cans. The number of employees increased by 60 to a total of 791. “They’re the key to our success,” says Ernst Prost. “You can only do what we’ve done with people who are motivated to move the company forward on a day-to-day basis. We’re more than just a family business,” says Prost. We’re the LIQUI MOLY family.”
A key factor for the company in 2016 were heavily fluctuating oil prices, which doubled from January to December. “This doesn’t make our business any easier,” says Prost. “That’s why our strategy is to pursue sustainable, qualitative growth rather than go for a short-term flash-in-the-pan in terms of sales figures.”
Sales in Germany increased by 7 percent last year. This was more than expected: in its home market, LIQUI MOLY has a large and long-established share of the market that is seen as difficult to expand. The export situation was better, with sales increasing by 15 percent. Sales in key markets such as the U.S. (40 percent growth) and China (70 percent growth) made a significant impact.
LIQUI MOLY also says it has seen a turnaround in Russia. After sales collapsed in 2015, they witnessed a recovery last year, despite the country’s ongoing economic problems.
Currently, LIQUI MOLY generates two thirds of its revenue abroad—and the trend is seen as upward, due to its 51 employees in the export department. Ernst Prost: “Our Export Area Managers spend half their working hours on site with our customers, supporting them in implementing concepts and strategies. And our back office ensures that hundreds of containers are sent out all around the world every month.”