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Business: Report From Essen

2 minute read
TIME

Into the oak-paneled upper hall of Villa Hügel, the forbidding, 200-room castle outside Essen where the Krupp munitions dynasty has lived for 81 years, went 500 veteran workers one morning last week to hear a report on Krupp’s affairs. Never before had any Krupp ever condescended to report to his employees; never before had any worker been invited to the “House on the Hill.” Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, 46, great-grandson of Founder Friedrich Krupp, himself gave his workers the good news. Despite Allied restrictions, Krupp grossed $238 million last year (17.5% from exports), turned its first “satisfactory” postwar profit.

Just four years ago, released from an American military prison, Alfried Krupp got back some 30 seized enterprises worth $90 million (about one-fourth of what Krupp once controlled), and was told he could produce only products of peace, e.g., locomotives, tractors, etc. Specifically barred from coal mining and steelmaking, Krupp decided to diversify, went to work to regain his old world markets and set up a new branch (Krupp Technik) to concentrate on industrial planning and construction abroad. The strategy succeeded. Among Krupp’s current booming projects:

¶ A subsidiary to build machinery to produce rayon and other synthetic textiles. Krupp has licensed patents owned by New York’s Oscar Kohorn and Co., Ltd., will sell its textile machinery through a new Swiss corporation.

¶ Harbor installations for Chile, Bangkok, and Basra, Iraq.

¶ Smelting plants in Greece and Spain.

¶ Vegetable oil processing plants in Pakistan, Iran, the Sudan.

¶ A housing development for 100,000 in India.

High on Krupp’s list of future prospects are other big, potential customers: the Iron Curtain countries. Said one Krupp executive: “We are very eager to make sales to Communist nations—within the framework of existing embargos.”

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