WMF Group increases operating profit (EBIT) and plans investments at Geislingen HQ12/02/2015
Geislingen/Steige: In 2014 the WMF Group recorded dynamic growth on the basis of its international growth strategy. The main focus in the 2014 financial year was on the ongoing implementation of key steps of its strategic transformation programme to strengthen the international competitiveness of the WMF Group in the long term. In spite of the necessary restructuring measures associated with the transformation, WMF increased its turnover by 3 percent to EUR 1024.3 million when adjusted for the sale of the electronics brand Princess in 2013. The WMF Group’s earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) increased significantly, growing by 18 percent to EUR 55.9 million.
"The positive business developments in 2014 show that we have made great strides in the consistent realignment of the WMF Group and that the measures introduced to increase our domestic and foreign growth in the long term are starting to bear fruit," says WMF Group Chairman Peter Feld. "In addition to strong sales in Europe, we have made excellent advances in China in particular."
Overall, he added, the company had seen stable development in all three of its business divisions. The WMF Group was able to increase sales in its Global Coffee Machines division by 8 percent year-on-year to EUR 348.8 million (2013: EUR 324.1m). Domestic sales rose by 12 percent and foreign sales by a sizeable 5 percent. Meanwhile its Global Hotel Business division recorded total sales of EUR 78.6 million (2013: EUR 77m). This reflects a 2 percent growth in turnover, achieved largely though strong domestic sales. Sales by the Global Consumer Business division (consumer goods, branches and consumer electric goods) remained more-or-less stable, at EUR 594 million (2013: 593.7m, when adjusted for the sale of Princess), in spite of the branch closures and streamlined product range imposed as part of the transformation programme. One particularly encouraging sign for this division was the positive consumer reaction to WMF's new range of consumer electric devices.
In 2014, the WMF Group was particularly successful on the Chinese market, where sales by its consumer business division increased by about 40 percent. In the long term, the WMF Group wants foreign sales to make up a far larger proportion of overall turnover in all its divisions. They currently account for 46 percent of overall sales.
The Executive Board expects the positive developments to continue in the current business year. The WMF Group believes both its Global Coffee Machines and Global Hotel Business divisions in particular will generate slightly higher sales. The company plans targeted investment in its headquarters in Geislingen. One part of the long-term investment plan is the modernisation of existing buildings to increase energy efficiency, and the creation of new open office environments which will enable employees to work even more closely together. "Although we're still in the preparatory stage, we want the optimization to be particularly sustainable and provide an open architecture. This investment underlines our commitment to Geislingen and supports the cultural change we are undergoing within the WMF Group," says Peter Feld.
About the WMF Group
The WMF Group is one of the leading premium manufacturers of cutlery, tableware, kitchen products and professional coffee machines. The Group offers its customers high-quality, innovative products that are distinguished by their sophisticated design and outstanding functionality. The company sets standards with its many innovations and is an important source of inspiration within the market. WMF is an organisation with a long tradition, having been founded in 1853 in Geislingen/Steige. It now operates on an international scale, employing almost 6000 people at more than 40 locations around the globe.