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Press release

Körber with new Group Executive Board Member

After more than 15 successful years, Christopher Somm, Chief Sales Officer (CSO) and member of the Group Executive Board of Körber AG, will retire as of the end of September 2019.


The Supervisory Board of the Körber Group has meanwhile appointed Rami Jokela as his successor in this position. Rami Jokela will take office on September 1, 2019.

With an incoming orders amounting to €2,657 million (previous year: €2,901 million), sales of €2,546 million (previous year: €2,609 million) and EBITA of €228 million (previous year: €239 million) the reporting year 2018 was one of the most successful in the history of the Körber Group, when considering the sale of the Business Area Machine Tools mid-way through the year. As in the previous year, return on sales was 9 percent.

Körber shapes technological change through innovations

The Körber Group sets forth its strategic development with focus and consistency. “We are implementing our aspirations for market leadership through technological leadership by playing a prominent role in actively shaping industrial and technological change”, emphasized Stephan Seifert, Chairman of the Executive Board of Körber AG. “One of the guiding principles of our founder Kurt A. Körber was: ‘To be the first to do the right thing at the right time’. This fundamental entrepreneurial attitude to be the first to recognize, address, and shape changes and opportunities is more important for us today than ever bevore. With this in mind, we will offer our customers a genuine future-focused competitive advantage in the long term. The year 2018 was shaped by the guiding principle ‘We are innovation.’ Together with our customers, partners, and employees, we have once again propelled an extremely diverse range of ideas and innovations to broad-based market success and success for our customers.”

Among other things, the focus on innovations was reflected in the Group’s expenditure for research and development (R&D). This once again saw a clear increase in 2018 and amounted to €151 million (previous year: €138 million). This corresponds to 5.9 percent of revenue expenditure for R&D (previous year: 5.3 percent).

Group expands ecosystem with acquisitions and investments

Further acquisitions and investments highlight Körber’s ongoing development in the area of cutting-edge technologies (including digital technologies): With the acquisition of the British Centriq Group, Körber is putting stock in the increasing significance of voice control. This, coupled with the existing strong North American voice control business in its Business Area Logistics Systems, means Körber ranks among the leading global providers in this sector. With the acquisition of Connyun as well as the investments in Magazino and the Next Logistics Accelerator, Körber is consistently consolidating its digital technology skills and expanding its ecosystem.

“We always were and continue to be a leader in the development of innovative machines and systems for our customers. In addition, we have been successfully building on our software skills for several years now,” Seifert stressed. “Now we will integrate further new technologies and digital skills in a way that generates value, thus offering our customers a unique, holistic concept. To this end, we are increasing the involvement of external partners and making strategically prudent investments in established companies and start-ups worldwide.”

“Our extremely solid and stable financial situation allows us to grow internationally while also consistently investing in new business models and ideas,” adds Stefan Kirschke, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Körber AG.

In the scope of its strategic focus, in 2018 Körber sold the Business Areas Automation and Machine Tools to investors, who offer the companies further opportunities for development and growth.

Press release June 3, 2019

After finishing his M.Sc. studies in Electrical Engineering at the Helsinki University of Technology in Finland, Rami Jokela started his career at ABB Drives in Helsinki. Over the course of his career, he held various international and global leadership positions. As part of this, Rami Jokela has been working and living in Finland, China and Switzerland. He established the ABB Marine business in China, lead the Rolls-Royce Marine Division in Asia, and as Group Vice President of the ABB Marine & Ports business he took global responsibility for business development and technology as well as for the digital solutions business. Currently he is Group Vice President at the ABB Group.

Richard Bauer, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Körber AG emphasizes: “Rami Jokela brings to Körber a substantial and proven expertise in global sales, business development and technology management. His broad and solid experience in developing and implementing digital market and sales strategies will further strengthen our global market positioning with regards to market leadership through technology leadership. Together with his colleagues on the Group Executive Board, Rami Jokela will continue to successfully implement and execute key components for our global growth strategy – especially thanks to his broad experience on selling complex technology applications in Asia and his background in developing and implementing global digital market strategies.”

Bauer continues: “Together with my fellow members of the Group Supervisory Board, I would like to take the opportunity to express our sincere thanks once again to Christopher Somm for his contributions to the successful development of our Business Area Tobacco as well as the whole Group. For this new chapter in his life, we do wish him all the best. At the same time, we do wish Rami Jokela good luck and success in his new position at Körber.”

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