7. Employee Benefit Expenses
Employee benefit expenses amounted to EUR 163,589 thousand in the first six months of 2023 compared to EUR 157,531 thousand in the same period of the previous year, an increase of EUR 6,058 thousand. This increase resulted from an increased need for overtime as part of the reduction of production backlogs, a global increase in the number of employees compared to the first half of the previous year, and an inflation-driven increase in labor costs. Currency effects in the US dollar region reinforced this development even further.
In relation to total operating performance, employee benefit expenses increased from 25.2% in the first half of 2022 to 26.2% in the first half of 2023. The increase in employee benefit expenses could not be compensated for by the increase in sales revenue.
The average headcount was 6,131 in the first six months of 2023 (H1 2022: 6,263).