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durkoppWarehouse automation supplier KNAPP AG has acquired the leading German overhead conveyor systems specialist, Dürkopp Fördertechnik, strengthening the group’s position to supply integrated solutions to the fashion industry. Austrian-owned KNAPP is also celebrating a major order from Hermes Fulfilment, part of the Otto Group.

In a deal sewn up at the end of June, KNAPP AG has bought Dürkopp Fördertechnik GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dürkopp Adler AG. This strategic move enables KNAPP to supply comprehensive warehouse automation solutions to clients in the fashion industry, optimising handling efficiency for both hanging garments and flat-pack items. Commented David James, Managing Director of KNAPP UK Ltd: “This is a very exciting and welcome development for our company. The benefits to our customers are immediately obvious, and we are already working together with our new colleagues at Dürkopp on a variety of opportunities.”

KNAPP has already installed numerous systems for well-known customers in the fashion industry, including Bonita, QVC and John Lewis Partnership. With the acquisition of Dürkopp Fördertechnik, KNAPP significantly expands its sales offer and service portfolio. KNAPP will take over all 160 members of staff at Dürkopp Fördertechnik, with product development and manufacturing continuing at the site in Bielefeld, Germany. Dürkopp Fördertechnik has an excellent order book, which KNAPP will fulfil in the coming months and years, to the usual high quality.

Acquisition boosts sales growth

KNAPP enjoyed a prosperous business year in 2009/10, with sales revenue of 204.6 million Euros and increased market share. The first few months of 2010/11 have already shown a pleasing order intake and, prior to the take-over, the group’s management was anticipating organic growth of 5 to 10% for the current business year. After the acquisition, sales are expected to increase by 15%. Commenting on the effect of the take-over on KNAPP’s position in the fashion sector, CEO Eduard Wünscher said: “While the share of sales in the fashion sector was at 4% in business year 2009/10, this share will be expanded to some 20% of total sales within the next two business years. Due to our wide-ranging product portfolio, we are now the first point of call worldwide for innovative logistics systems for fashion businesses.”

KNAPP lands major order from Hermes Fulfilment

KNAPP is also celebrating a major project win. The group has landed the order to install the world’s largest OSR Shuttle™ system for Hermes Fulfilment – part of the leading retail and services group, Otto. The system, which will feature some 176,000 storage locations, will be installed in Hermes Fulfilment’s distribution centre in Haldensleben, Germany, with system start-up scheduled for autumn 2010. The OSR Shuttle™ will be the heart of a new automatic returns system, with a storage capacity of approximately €1 million products. Supplying 30 workstations on two levels, the highly dynamic OSR Shuttle™ will process up to 15,000 items per hour at peak times.

Commenting on the order, KNAPP CEO Eduard Wünscher said: “For this order we were successful with technology that has been at the centre of our research and development for years. We have already installed over 5,000 of our OSR shuttles at 100 customer sites, making us the market leader in this field. With further development of this system in the past business year, we have achieved even more significant results that will lead to a number of new installations in the upcoming business year.”

KNAPP UK Ltd

Mr Craig Rollason, Head of Sales & Marketing

Tel: 01844 202149

Email: craig.rollason@KNAPP.com

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