One speaker and 36 participants from 29 member companies – these are the key data of this year’s general meeting of the Fachverband Schloss- und Beschlagindustrie (FVSB) on 6 June in Velbert. Stephan Schmidt, Managing Director of the FVSB, together with Karl Kristian Woelm, Chairman of the FVSB, welcomed the participants to the Association’s headquarters. Although the meeting was held for the first time since the Corona pandemic as a purely attendance-based event, the number of participants remained slightly below that of the time before the pandemic. The reasons for this are manifold: legal changes such as the Whistleblower Protection Act are causing extra work, the declining order situation in the construction industry requires strategic changes in some cases – both of which tie the participants to their companies.
On the other hand, the member company representatives on site received interesting insights. For example, as a speaker, Prof. Dr. Michael Voigtländer, Head of the Global and Regional Markets Cluster, Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft Köln e.V. (IW), put the participants in the picture about the situation and prospects for the real estate market with his lecture “Between Restructuring Obligations and Interest Rate Shock”. The real estate expert had comforting news for the audience. Even though the construction industry was currently in recession, he said, increasing construction activity could be expected from 2025 onwards.
Incoming orders decline
Next, FVSB deputy managing director Holger Koch reported on the positive development in 2022 with a 4th quarter that already foreshadowed the further course with a negative trend in 2023. After many years of growth, the construction sector recorded another plus in 2022: the production volume rose by 5.9 per cent to 3.6 billion euros and developed somewhat more favourably than the other sectors of furniture and motor vehicles, which all together account for 7.6 billion euros of production.
For 2023, however, the FVSB expects a slowdown. “Due to the geopolitical situation and the decline in orders in the main construction sector, negative consequences for our industry cannot be ruled out,” Koch explained. This has already been shown in Q1 2023. In the first three months of the year, incoming orders in the lock and hardware industry in Germany fell by 20.6 percent compared to the same period last year. Although the association’s chairman Karl Kristian Woelm expressed concern about this development, he does not expect the crisis to last for long: “As Professor Voigtländer showed in his presentation, the demand for real estate is already there due to immigration. Therefore, after one or two weaker years, things will probably pick up again.” Many members share this hope, as became apparent in the concluding round of discussions.
After the discharge of the board, elections were held again this year: Karl Kristian Woelm (Woelm GmbH) was confirmed in office as Chairman, as was the long-standing Deputy Chairman Wolf Hoppe (HOPPE AG) and as Deputy Chairman Matthias Kohl (Beyer & Müller GmbH & Co. KG. Richard Rackl (CES Group) and Volker Kirchberg (Niederhoff & Dellenbusch GmbH & Co. KG), as chairmen of specialist departments, are members of the board in accordance with the articles of association. Andreas Fuhr (Carl Fuhr GmbH & Co. KG), Michael Hensel (dormakaba Deutschland GmbH), Julius von Resch (Gretsch-Unitas GmbH) and Robert Schlieper (WILKA Schließtechnik GmbH) have been added to the Executive Board. In addition, there is a co-opted board member, Martin Graé (Roto Frank AG).
Michael Meier did not stand for re-election after 21 years of board work. Instead of the long-standing Managing Director of SIMONSWERK GmbH, Michael Muhl, Regional Director Central Europe at the belt manufacturer from Rheda-Wiedenbrück, will take over Michael Meier’s seat on the Board as an additionally elected member.
In addition to reports on the activities of the past business year and current developments, the annual accounts were also on the agenda. Other items on the agenda were the presentation of the budget for the current year and the resolution on the membership fee for 2024. Finally, the new association staff member Silke Koppers introduced herself as communications and project management officer and explained her fields of activity.
The next FVSB Annual General Meeting is scheduled to take place on 20 June 2024.