The company has issued a statement in which it said that difficult economic conditions and continuing structural change in the graphics industry, resulting in a reduced customer-base, had resulted in the group suffering “massive” revenue decline in the last four years.
It also cited the strength of the Swiss Franc as a “detrimental impact on profit margins”.
As a result it said that it is looking at a “fundamental restructure” of its global operations over the coming months, including the option to consolidate its two main sites, Zofingen and Felben in Switzerland, which “are not operating at sufficient capacity”. A decision is expected in the next few months.
In September last year PrintWeek revealed that the family-run business, which employs around 2,500 worldwide, was in the early stages of moving away from a local operating structure, with its 40 global subsidiaries to be grouped under eight regional divisions.
Under the new structure Muller Martini UK will be grouped with the Northern Europe division, headed by the former Muller Martini Benelux managing director Dirk Deceuninck, to whom around 100 staff will report. As a result Müller Martini UK managing director Andreas Schillinger departed the company in November.
In its latest statement regarding the restructure the company said: “The aim of the reform is to preserve the company’s future role as a leader in the shrunken global graphics industry through innovative printing and print finishing products together with a high-quality customer service, and to put the company on a sustainable and future-oriented foundation.
“In addition, Muller Martini must adapt the size of the company to a scaled-back market to enable it to continue investing in future-oriented product developments.”
The firm has manufacturing facilities in Switzerland, Germany, China and the US that produce a range of post-press equipment and narrow-web presses. It also offers an advisory facility across its global network, MM Services, which it markets as a comprehensive customer support and advice service.
Group chief executive Bruno Müller said: “In order to survive in strong shape, we cannot avoid the need to operate on a smaller scale.
“However, by concentrating our forces, we will do our utmost to continue to intensify the comprehensive advice we provide to our customers on new investments and in particular in the service area.
“Our sales and service network regionalisation program, which was initiated last year, gives us a good starting point in this context.”
A source close to the company said: “Scary times for many at Müller Martini. This is a difficult one to turn around and to put on a secure footing.”