Record results for BSH group – as CEO steps down
BSH home appliance group has reported record turnover and sharp growth in all regions for fiscal year 2021.
BSH Hausgeräte GmbH (BSH) achieved its highest-ever turnover in the 55 years of its existence for the second consecutive year. In the 2021 fiscal year, BSH generated turnover of €15.6 billion, or a year-over-year increase of over 12%.
News of the record results have come at the same time as an announcement by group CEO and Chairwoman, Carla Kriwet, that she would be leaving the company for personal reasons. Her departure on April 30, 2022, was, she said, in order to continue her professional career outside the Bosch Group.
Gerhard Dambach, Chief Financial Officer and Member of the BSH Board of Management since 2019, will assume CEO tasks in addition to his other duties on an interim basis until further notice, and the successor to the CEO position will be announced “in due course”.
Christian Fischer, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Management of Robert Bosch GmbH and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of BSH, thanks Carla Kriwet for her engagement: “Carla has led BSH extremely successfully through the difficult phase of the pandemic and the numerous associated challenges, and has furthermore provided many new impulses. We regret her decision and wish her all the best for the future.”
Carla Kriwet explained: “I am leaving BSH for personal reasons after very successful and delightful years to take up a new challenge outside the company in the future. I would like to thank all my colleagues for their close and always trustful cooperation, and I am leaving in the certainty that BSH is excellently equipped for the future after our two record years.”
Stable growth in all regions – strong growth in emerging markets
BSH grew its turnover sharply in all regions in the 2021 fiscal year. The manufacturer benefited from global demand for high-quality home appliances, its strong global brand portfolio, and innovative digital services for consumers.
BSH remains the undisputed market leader in the Europe region, growing its turnover by 9% last year. In particular, it recorded good growth in the major Western European markets, such as Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Spain and Italy, as well as Northern Europe and Turkey.
BSH increased its turnover in the Americas (USA and Canada) by a strong 23%.
BSH posted an 18% year-over-year increase in turnover for the Asia-Pacific/Africa region as a whole. BSH was able to grow its turnover by 17% year-over-year in the Chinese market, the largest in the region. BSH remains the leading non-Chinese home appliance manufacturer in China.
“We stand on the foundation of a diverse portfolio and also aim to increase turnover in smaller markets where we anticipate a large rise in demand,” says Matthias Ginthum, Chief Markets Officer of BSH Hausgeräte GmbH. “We want to build upon our market leadership in Europe. Our growth trajectory in America is mainly predicated on being the first choice for consumers in the luxury and premium segment. We also want to further consolidate our strong market position as the innovation leader in the premium and mid-price segment in China. Africa and India are key markets for implementing our growth strategy. We’re already producing in Chennai in India, and we’re now beginning construction of a factory in Egypt, our first on the African continent.”
Growth in all product categories
The strongest turnover driver in the 2021 fiscal year was the Refrigeration product category, which posted a year-over-year growth of 20%, followed by the product category Cooking (ovens +14%, cooktops and ventilation +13%). Turnover in Laundry Care grew by 9%. Dish Care grew its turnover by 7%. Small appliances (consumer products), such as automatic coffee machines, food processors and vacuum cleaners, also performed positively, growing by 9%.
BSH’s Customer Service, which has won multiple awards, likewise increased its turnover by 4% year-over-year. The approximately 15,000 BSH customer service staff and their service partners continued supporting consumers in some 50 countries without interruption in the second year of the coronavirus pandemic.
Expansion of regional development – R&D spending at the level of 2020
By growing its local development centres in China, Egypt and Mexico, and with its expanded and new production facilities in those regions, BSH is underscoring its aim to place a stronger focus on addressing the specific needs of consumers in different markets. At the same time, regional production reduces transport routes and supply chains, thus making a major contribution to decreasing CO2 emissions.
Research and development spending in 2021 rose by €47m to €755m, or 5% of the total turnover. The focus moving forward will remain on consumer-centric innovations, IoT solutions, digitalisation of the entire value chain, and establishing a functioning circular economy.
De-carbonisation and investments in a circular economy
BSH’s development and production operations at all its locations worldwide have been carbon-neutral since 2020. Since September 2021, BSH has procured green steel from Salzgitter AG with a 66% lower carbon footprint to manufacture washing machines at its Polish plant in Łódź. In addition, BSH also aims for all of its locations to be completely supplied with green electricity by 2030.
BSH increasingly uses recycled materials to produce new appliances – its target is for the home appliances it makes to contain a minimum of 25% recycled materials by 2025. That percentage is to be at least doubled to 50% by 2030. At the same time, BSH set the goal of increasing the proportion of recyclable materials contained in its appliances to at least 80% by 2025 and at least 95% by 2030.
BSH continues to invest in new business models, such as the “Refurbished” pilot project recently launched in Austria. For the first time, professionally refurbished Bosch washing machines are offered for sale along with a manufacturer’s warranty. In addition, consumers have been able to lease home appliances in Germany and the Netherlands under the subscription model of BlueMovement since 2021. The sharing model WeWash was launched in 2016 and offers residents in large condominiums in Germany and Austria the option of booking a washing machine by app and cashless payment for each washing cycle.
Household appliance sales more than ever “a matter of trust”
In Germany, Bosch Home Appliances – part of the BSH group – have again been voted the nation’s “Most Trusted Brand” for 2022 in the home appliance category – in a survey by Reader’s Digest.
It’s the fourth time in a row and the sixth time since 2016 that German consumers voted for the brand – by a clear margin. No other brand was mentioned more frequently in this segment by the 4,000 adult participants.
Since 2001, Reader’s Digest has been determining the “Most Trusted Brands” of a year, and since 2016, the publisher has been working together with the innovation research institute Dialego. The online study is based on a representative group of women and men from the age of 18, whose average age is 50. The market researchers survey their representative selected consumer group without specifying brand names. Participants are only asked to name the brand they personally trust the most in the respective category. The result is therefore particularly significant: With 29% of the total entries, Bosch was by far at the top of its segment – as the most trustworthy of a total of 101 household appliance brands. Bosch also received top marks in its category in terms of customer service and reputation.
For the home appliance manufacturer, whose founder Robert Bosch has already stated that he would rather “lose money than trust”, and that “a strong brand core that is truly lived in the eyes of consumers is essential for maintaining its position in a dynamic environment”, the needs and expectations of households are still the core around which everything revolves.
Indeed, in what is today an uncertain world, people place even more importance on the security of the “familiar, tried and tested”.
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