Bettina Wuerth

Bettina Würth
Chairwoman of the Advisory Board of the Würth Group. (Photo: Wolfgang Uhlig)

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear readers,

We want to keep things “simple”. Strange. In the past, back when – at least as we think back on it today – everything was so simple, (economic) miracles could not happen quickly enough. Nowadays, with digitalization and technology making seemingly anything possible, we are longing to return to a simple life, to shift down a gear, without giving up the comforts to which we have become accustomed. The tricky thing is also that a “simple” life means something different to everyone.

Simplification that is useful for everyone is based on dealing with what is possible in a responsible manner. As a company, this is something of which we are aware. We do not need to turn everything that is feasible into a reality, but rather wish to offer everything that serves each one of our customers best. We also want our employees to find exactly the form of simplicity that suits them. The Würth Group can look back on a fantastic year: sales of EUR 12.7 billion and an operating result of EUR 780 million. This was something that we were only able to achieve because we turned things that seemed complicated into something simple.

Work of the Advisory Board

The Advisory Board of the Würth Group held three extensive meetings in 2017. These meetings were based on the reports from the Central Managing Board members on the business situation, projections, and opportunity and risk management. All transactions subject to approval pursuant to the company statutes were submitted to the Advisory Board for approval in good time and considered at length; in urgent cases, resolutions were passed by means of circulars.

In 2017, the work of the Advisory Board was shaped to a considerable degree by the strategic developments within the Würth Group and by the provision of advice to the Central Managing Board on these strategic matters. The Advisory Board also addressed issues related to digitalization and acquisition strategy in detail.

The Advisory Board has set up three committees: a Personnel, Audit and Investment Committee. Each committee met three times in 2017. These meetings serve to increase
the efficiency of the Advisory Board, carrying out preparatory work on complex issues.
The committee chairs each report regularly and in depth to the Advisory Board as a whole about the work of the committees.

On 24 April 2018, the Advisory Board’s Audit Committee took an extensive look at the 2017 consolidated financial statements, including the Group management report, as well as the audit report prepared by Ernst & Young, in which an unqualified opinion was issued. The Audit Committee examined these documents and approved them. The Audit Committee’s work in 2017 also focused on the compliance management system and the impact of legal developments on future audits of the annual financial statements.

The Advisory Board’s Investment Committee assessed the investment projects that are subject to approval and classified them according to urgency and significance. In addition, the Committee took an in-depth look at measures to refine the investment planning and investment controlling process. The Würth Group will remain true to its investment culture as a prerequisite for the company’s growth, meaning that the investments approved for the 2018 fiscal year will be at a similar level as previous years in relation to the sales growth of the Würth Group. The Advisory Board approved the investment and financial plan of the Würth Group for the 2018 fiscal year at its meeting on Friday, 8 December 2017 based on the proposal submitted by the Investment Committee.

The Advisory Board’s Personnel Committee dealt with all personnel measures falling within the Advisory Board’s area of responsibility at its meetings. The Committee focused on HR development and succession planning for managers, as well as on the structure of the company’s incentive and remuneration systems. The Personnel Committee has the power to pass resolutions regarding employment contracts and management remuneration.

The Advisory Board of the Würth Group would like to thank the Central Managing Board and the Supervisory Board of the Würth Group’s Family Trusts for the good working relationship, especially Prof. Dr. h. c. mult. Reinhold Würth, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Würth Group’s Family Trusts. We would particularly like to thank all employees for their strong commitment and drive, as well as all our customers and business partners for their loyalty to the Würth Group.


Bettina Würth,
Chairwoman of the Advisory Board of the Würth Group