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News   February 1, 2011   by Auto Service World

Bosch Reports Return to Growth, Best Sales in 125 Year History

Consistent with rebounding markets, The Bosch Group reports a return to its growth, and has already regained the level of sales seen in 2007, prior to the financial crisis..
According to preliminary figures–final figures will be released in April–in fiscal 2010, Bosch generated sales of 47.3 billion euros, 24%t more than in the previous year (2009: 38.2 billion euros).
“This is the highest level of annual sales in the 125 years of our company’s history,” said Franz Fehrenbach, the chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. The earnings situation of the Bosch Group also improved significantly. Indeed, for pre-tax result, the company returned to its target corridor of between 7% and 8% of sales in 2010, following a loss of 1.2 billion euros in the previous year. The final figures will be announced at the annual press conference on April 14, 2011.
The main drivers of this upswing at Bosch are the global economic recovery, the steep rise in global automotive production, and increased demand in mechanical engineering. In addition, significant progress has been made in restructuring loss-making areas, and the profit threshold has been regained in North America, says the company.
Notably, in Asia Pacific, Bosch achieved a nominal year-on-year sales increase of 42% percent, generating sales of more than 10 billion euros in this region for the first time. In South America, the company was able to grow 36%.
North American sales increased by 27% and European sales by 16%, albeit from an extremely disappointing prior-year level. To quote Fehrenbach: “In Europe, it will likely be 2012 or 2013 before we regain the pre-crisis level of 2007.”
“We continue to benefit from the steady growth of the Asian and South American emerging markets, where we have been expanding our presence for many years now. This has enabled us to keep our core team on board during the recession, also in Europe and Germany – a fact that is currently all too often overlooked,” Fehrenbach said.
Last year, in line with the sectoral and regional recovery, all three business sectors grew significantly. Automotive Technology recorded the highest sales growth – growth of 29% to some 28 billion euros (previous year: 21.7 billion euros). Industrial Technology was also able to boost its sales considerably. From their prior-year level of 5.1 billion euros, they rose by more than 27% to over 6.5 billion euros. More than 500 million euros of this increase is due to the first-time consolidation of the majority shareholding in aleo solar AG, which Bosch acquired at the end of 2009. Consumer Goods and Building Technology, which was less affected by the recession of 2008 and 2009, discloses significant growth of roughly 10%  to some 12.5 billion euros (prior year: 11.3 billion euros).
Owing to the good result for fiscal 2010, the company will pay non-exempt associates in Germany a performance-related bonus amounting to roughly half a month’s salary. This is the highest bonus Bosch has paid for many years. In addition, all associates worldwide will receive a one-off loyalty bonus to mark the company’s 125th anniversary. The amount of the bonus will depend on their years of service. The total bill for the anniversary bonus comes to some 180 million euros.
For 2011, Bosch expects the global upswing to continue. However, it will lose some of its pace, resulting in a global growth figure of some 3.5%. The greatest impetus will continue to come from the emerging markets, with more than 6% growth on average. The European economy, by contrast, will grow by just 1% to 2%, although Bosch expects growth of at least 2% for Germany.
For the U.S. as well, the company is increasingly confident. Due to increased exports, higher employment, and greater domestic demand, Bosch expects to see growth of more than 3% in the United States. The company sees the main risks in the consequences of the financial and economic crisis, which have not yet been overcome, as well as in the development of exchange rates.
In 2011, the Bosch Group is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founder’s birth, its own 125th anniversary, and the 75th anniversary of diesel technology for passenger cars. There will be many celebrations worldwide, including some 200 events for associates. Economically, the company expects to see sales growth and a positive result repeated in the new fiscal year, in all business sectors. “In 2011, Bosch sales will surpass the 50-billion-euro mark in sales for the first time,” Fehrenbach said, “always assuming that there are no unexpected downturns in the global economy.”

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