Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Posted by March 28, 2017

Maritime Propulsion

The Switch Returns to Profitability

Image: The Switch

Advanced drive train technology specialist The Switch said it has seen a sharp jump in growth over last year, increasing its net sales from $43 million to more than $78 million, and returning to profitability after several years of losses. 

 
“The Switch financials finally started to improve briskly in the right direction,” said Dag Sandås, The Switch CFO. “We are no longer dependent on just one big client, but we have more clients in different parts of the world, from Asia to Europe. This growth was driven organically, thanks to our new products and customers.” 
 
The company’s designed and manufactured permanent magnet generators and power converters are used in wind power generation, marine and other industrial applications, such as in papermaking machinery. Nearly all of The Switch production is exported.
 
“Most our products – about 75 percent – go to wind power production. For example, the Chinese wind power market as well as the European offshore business are driving significant growth for us. Just recently, we started to deliver the world’s largest offshore wind power generators to the U.K.,” Sandås said.
 
The Switch has high growth expectations for marine applications. Last year, backed by its Japanese parent company Yaskawa, the company acquired Wärtsilä’s marine power drives business for megawatt-class applications to help strengthen The Switch marine permanent magnet shaft generator business. With this acquisition, the company said it is now able to benefit from a range of benefits, including a stronger machine and drive package offering, a broader product range and a wider market access. The Switch strives to be the industry’s best in providing drive train components to future-proof vessels.
 
“Our sales of products for marine applications have increased notably, especially considering the fact that the shipbuilding industry has been fairly quiet in general lately,” Sandås said. “Nevertheless, we see growth opportunities in this sector in the coming years. Therefore, our acquisition of the Norway-based business is clearly a good investment in the future.”
 
The Switch currently employs about 200 people in its factories in Vaasa and Lappeenranta in Finland and Stord in Norway.
 
“With our ambitious growth goals, we plan to hire more people in the future. The aim is to grow both organically and through possible acquisitions backed by our parent company Yaskawa. The competition in the sector is tough, but we are sustainably building up our brand all the while. We are known for being innovative and have the ability to apply new technology that brings true benefits to our customers,” Sandås concluded.
 
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