HTI looks back on difficult 2009

Upper Austrian car industry supplier HTI hopes for positive figures this year after a decline in turnover in 2009.Company boss Peter Glatzmeier said today (Fri): “The past year was a difficult year in which restructuring measures dominated our activities.”Glatzmeier added he hoped for positive business results in 2010.Turnover of the firm – based in St. Marien bei Neuhofen – declined by 16.7 per cent to 178.5 million Euros year on year in 2009.HTI, which focuses on plastics and metal processing, however managed to reduce its losses from 26.9 million Euros in 2008 to 24.7 million Euros last year.HTI is just one of many companies in the car industry still suffering from the effects of the global economic downturn, which has led to a decrease in car sales.Economic experts have been cautious in predicting a recovery of the industry.The Institute for Economic Research (Wifo) and the Institute for Higher Studies (IHS) – Austria’s two leading think tanks – only recently warned that a sustainable upward trend was not in sight for the country’s economy.Wifo said last month it had decided to lower its economic growth forecast for 2010 and 2011. It said it expected Austria’s economy to grow by 1.3 per cent this year and by 1.4 per cent in 2011. Wifo had predicted growth rates of 1.5 and 1.6 per cent, respectively, last December.IHS meanwhile said it would not change its predictions. The body has predicted 1.3 per cent growth this year and 1.7 per cent growth in 2011.The Austrian economy shrank by 3.6 per cent last year compared to 2008.Around 350,000 people living in Austria are out of work.