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Stemmer Imaging expands with US distributor

04 Apr 2024

Acquisition of New York's Phase 1 Technology meets customer demand for a physical presence in North America.

Germany-based machine vision technology provider Stemmer Imaging is making a significant move to expand its business globally, with the acquisition of New York distributor Phase 1 Technology.

The acquisition, slated for completion by the end of June, will complement existing Stemmer activity in Mexico and Latin America, with the firm announcing:

“Stemmer Imaging is meeting the demand of significant existing customers for a physical presence in the US. At the same time, the company is counting on above-average growth prospects for its value-added offerings in both industrial and non-industrial application areas.”

Consolidation process
Founded by Rusty Ponce de Leon - a former chair of the Association for Advanced Automation - Phase 1 describes itself as a “vertically integrated distributor of customer-tailored solutions with an extensive inventory of the industry's premier manufacturers of CCD and CMOS cameras, imaging sensors, cables, image acquisition boards, lenses, camera mounts, enclosures, industrial monitors, and software products”.

“Personally, I am very pleased that we as Phase 1 Technology are now the platform to actively drive the consolidation process in the North American vision market, which has long been seen as an inevitable occurrence,” commented Ponce de Leon.

“We are convinced of Stemmer Imaging’s systems house concept as an innovative value-added offering and see it as an excellent basis for our customers and suppliers to achieve joint success.”

Stemmer CEO Arne Dehn added: “We see our current entry into the North American market at exactly the right time, as the increasing regional fragmentation of the global economy is creating enormous openings. To seize these opportunities, we look forward to working with the experienced team led by Rusty Ponce de Leon.”

Challenging market
News of the pending acquisition came as Stemmer confirmed its preliminary financial results for 2023, in which its sales revenues dropped 6 per cent from the 2022 total, to €146.3 million.

Industry de-stocking and inflationary effects have hit Stemmer’s outlook for 2024, with annual order intake of €130 million down 20 per cent year-on-year. The decline appears to have accelerated in the closing quarter of last year, with orders of €25 million down more than 30 per cent on the same period in 2022.

“The assessment of the current market situation for the upcoming financial year continues to be clouded by de-stocking aftereffects and the general inflation-related reluctance to invest in the company's key end markets,” commented Dehn and colleagues.

They are now expecting something of a flat year in 2024, with sales revenues somewhere in the €140 million-€157 million range. By 2026, the company is aiming to hit a target revenue of €240 million.

As well as the US expansion, Stemmer is also relocating its headquarters from its current location in Puccheim. By the end of this year it expects to have moved into new office premises close to the center of Munich.

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