Rational expects its global headcount to grow by as much as 170 this year as it seeks to keep up with demand for its ovens from around the world.
The company created 170 new jobs during the course of 2017, with 70 of the positions based at its headquarters in Germany. The majority of the appointments were in sales and sales-related functions.
In a recent statement outlining its financial performance, Rational said it intends to create a “similar” number of new jobs in 2018.
If it’s successful in achieving its target, the manufacturer’s global headcount will exceed 2,000 people this year for the first time in its history.
The rate at which it is recruiting can be tracked to the huge growth it is seeing in emerging and untapped markets, where there is ample room for the company to increase penetration. America and Asia were particularly fruitful hunting grounds for the business last year.
It also sees opportunities to expand its multifunctional cooking business, particularly now it has been rebranded from Frima to Rational. That business grew 22% last year prior to the name change.
“The successful performance of our more recent markets, the Americas and Asia, and that of our established markets as well as the unbroken growth in eating-out trends make us very confident that we will be able to continue on our expansion path with high single-digit growth rates and good profitability in 2018,” commented CEO Dr Peter Stadelmann.
Rational’s global sales increased 15% to €702m (£613m) in 2017, while EBIT climbed 13% to €188m (£164m).
Rational invested €43m (£37m) in non-current assets last year, including real estate and technical equipment worth €37m (£32m). It is also in the process of expanding production space by 16,000 square metres to boost capacity.
Mr Stadelmann said 2018 would bring a similar level of capital expenditure. “This is a sign of our great confidence in the future performance of the company and will form the basis for growth in the coming year,” he stated.