VIKING expansion in Germany pays off

VIKING reports growth in the German market, expands local servicing capabilities and completes the recent merger with Hygrapha.

Esbjerg, Denmark, May 2011: Within six months of merging marine safety equipment trader Hygrapha GmbH into its German operations, VIKING Life-Saving Equipment A/S has reported significant growth in the market.Ruediger Steinbach, managing director for both Hygrapha and VIKING Germany, attributes the growth in sales to two major influences. “First it’s due to the success of VIKING’s customizable fixed price Shipowner Agreements, which have been exceptionally well received by German customers,” he said. “And second, through the ability of the two businesses to act as a ‘one-stop shop’ for shipowners seeking a comprehensive solution with a single point of contact for efficient servicing.”

But things haven’t just been busy on the sales front for the marine and fire safety equipment manufacturer. To meet rapidly growing demand for Shipowner Agreements, the company has recently doubled the capacity of its Bremerhafen servicing station. The full-service station can handle everything from marine evacuation systems and liferafts to marine fire equipment and lifeboats, hooks and davits, meeting the needs of shipowners around the globe for consolidated servicing capabilities. Simultaneously, VIKING has opened a new servicing station, integrated with the company’s offices at Hamburg, a major, centrally located port and the container shipping capital of the world.

VIKING CEO Henrik Uhd Christensen: “It’s very satisfying to see growth in both sales and capacity, especially when it comes so closely on the heels of a merger between two previous competitors. I believe it means we’ve got the formula right for shipowners, and the number of Shipowner Agreement sign-ups is testimony to that fact.”

Ruediger Steinbach agrees. “VIKING is pursuing an aggressive growth strategy. Part of that strategy is to be close to our customers, covering all types of marine safety in the right locations around the world. Integrated servicing and cost predictability are key drivers of this growth, because that’s what our customers are demanding time and time again. And naturally, we’re increasing capacity across the board, particularly in our managed service offerings, to continually improve the benefits for our customers. Happily, the more agreements we manage, the more we expand our knowledge of how to optimize servicing.”

Completing the merger, VIKING Germany and Hygrapha have now joined forces, consolidating at one location. The move was accompanied by expanded management capabilities and further expansion in staff numbers.