June 2, 2022: Banner Batterien reported an uptick in sales to €286 million ($307 million) in annual results published on May 24 despite a what it described as a challenging year.
The Austria-based group said it had sold 4.2 million starter and electrical system batteries — its core business — in the financial year ended in March, with the 6% increase in sales over the previous year giving the firm “cautious optimism”.
Group commercial CEO Andreas Bawart (pictured) said: “The decisive factor in this positive development was the strong demand for our quality products in the North American and Asian markets.”
Bawart said the lead batteries group had seen double-digit growth on the Iberian Peninsula and in Asia over the past year, which “continued to underline its export strength”, while activities in Russia had ceased entirely.
However, Bawart warned shortages in semiconductors and wiring harnesses, plus rising energy and raw material costs, risked sending the OEM market into decline.
“In this situation, the supplier industry would expect much stronger support, but for the carmakers it is more important to convince shareholders with record profits,” he said. “This is highly detrimental to the supplier industry, which is struggling to survive.”
But Bawart said Banner still intended to expand further and increase battery sales by a further 200,000 over the year ahead.
On February 22, Banner said it had secured a contract extension worth €50 million ($56 million) to supply lead batteries to a major German car manufacturer.
On April 11, the group announced the formal opening of its €10 million ‘energy solutions production centre’ in Austria, where operations started in June 2021.
Energy solutions business unit head, Josef Berger, said the new facility would provide products for a wide range of applications and Banner had an open mind with regard to its potential use of lithium technologies.