We are delighted to say that our family company achieved a record turnover in the last financial year. The majority of our divisions performed extremely well, with the result that, at the year end, turnover stood at €9,845 million. The continuing recovery in the extraction industry was particularly encouraging. Consequently, there has been a promising improvement in our Mining division's order books.
Our success in the 2017 financial year shows that our company is charting a stable course into the future. We are particularly indebted to our customers for this pleasing performance. At this point, we would like to thank them most sincerely for the trust they place in us and for what are often long-standing partnerships. We will continue to work hard to offer high-quality products and solutions with tangible added value and – if necessary – redefine the limits of what is possible.
We would be unable to live up to such an ambitious claim without our highly qualified and motivated workforce. We would therefore also like to extend our heartfelt thanks to our 44,000 employees. Day in, day out, they approach their tasks with enthusiasm, commitment and imagination.
We have our sights set firmly on the future. This is evident from the various trail-blazing development projects that we pressed ahead with in 2017. We continued to focus on issues such as increasing energy efficiency, networking, automation and lightweight product design. At Bauma 2019, our soLITE® high-strength fibre rope will open up a new chapter in crane technology in terms of lightweight design and durability. In the aerospace segment, we have stepped up our basic research in the field of fully electrical components for the aircraft of the future. The first prototypes of electrical air-conditioning and de-icing systems have already been developed. Progress has also been made on the development of the largest crane Liebherr has ever built. This HLC 295000 heavy-lift crane is intended for use in the installation of wind farms and the dismantling of offshore installations.
We have always pursued the goal of making a decisive contribution to shaping technological progress in sectors relevant to us. The strategic integration of innovation in the company is enormously important to us in this regard. We are therefore delighted that last year our Domestic Appliances division was awarded the "European Innovation Impact Award" in the "Best Innovation Management" category for its work in this area.
As an independent family company, we think and act long-term. In the past financial year, we have ensured the continued success of our Group with investments totalling €749 million. Our new production site for refrigeration equipment in Aurangabad will give us easier access to the promising Indian market. Furthermore, a new production facility for components such as hydraulic cylinders and dampers is being established at our site in Oberopfingen (Germany).
In order to be a reliable partner for our customers, in 2017 we once again invested in the expansion of our global distribution and service network. New subsidiaries have been established in the Kuzbass region in Russia, as well as in southern France. We have also further expanded our footprint in the USA.
We are looking forward to 2018 with great confidence. Global economic growth will continue, and the markets relevant to us will see renewed growth. This year we will also be launching onto the market a large number of new products, technologies and solutions which live up to our aspirations to deliver top quality for the benefit of our customers.
In view of the favourable economic climate and our full order books, we anticipate a further rise in turnover in the current financial year, coupled with a slight increase in the number of employees.
We are therefore looking forward with great confidence to 2018, which will be another successful year for the Liebherr Group.
Dr. h. c. Dipl.-Kfm. Isolde Liebherr, Dr. h. c. Dipl.-Ing. (ETH) Willi Liebherr
Presiding Committee of the administrative board of Liebherr-International AG