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Miele tops EUR 3 bn turnover mark for first time
Turnover increases by 3.1% / Strong growth above all in Central and Northern Europe, USA and Asia / EUR 150 m investments at Central Headquarters
"This growth in sales is even more positive than it first appears given the continuing inclement economic backdrop in many of our important markets", says Olaf Bartsch, Director of Finances, Controlling and Administration. "Current growth is above all driven by Germany, Austria, China and the US", Bartsch continues. On its German home market, Miele grew turnover by EUR 47 m to EUR 912 m, up 5.5% over the previous year. Germany's share of total Miele turnover now stands at 30.2% (29.6% in previous year). Across product groups, high-end built-in kitchen appliances, in particular, experienced above-average growth.
'Moderate growth' in 2012/13 business year
Looking forward to the 2012/13 financial year, the five-strong Board of Directors, which alongside Bartsch includes the two Managing Directors and Co-Proprietors Dr. Markus Miele and Dr. Reinhard Zinkann as well as Dr. Heiner Olbrich (Marketing/Sales) and Dr. Eduard Sailer (Technical Affairs), expresses 'cautious optimism'. In view of the still volatile framework conditions as manifested in the debt crisis in southern Europe for which sustainable solutions have not yet been tabled, it is hardly possible to hazard a forecast which will hold water. Miele Management nevertheless forecasts 'moderate growth' without any further specifications. "A positive asset under such conditions is the charisma of our brand as people turn to quality, lasting values and dependability more than ever in times of economic uncertainty", forecasts Reinhard Zinkann. Only recently, consumers in Germany, Austria, Portugal, Belgium and the Netherlands once again voted Miele 'Most Trusted Brand' of domestic appliances. In the brand ranking managed by GfK, Germany's leading market researchers and other partners, Miele came in third in the 'Best Product Brand' category (behind only Apple and Nivea). "With our current product portfolio including new entries in the short- and medium-term pipeline, our company is in an excellent position moving forward and well able to grow throughout all phases of the economic cycle", Markus Miele confirms. With a comprehensive lineup of premium domestic appliances covering the kitchen, laundry care and floorcare, the Miele Group is already market leader in many instances in the top price segment. This range is augmented and enhanced by Miele Professional, a division demonstrating strong growth and offering washer-extractors and dishwashers for heavy-duty applications alongside washer-disinfectors and sterilisers for reprocessing medical instruments and laboratory glassware.
Strategic expansion at Miele Professional
At EUR 393 m, business in Miele Professional including services is approaching the EUR 400 m mark (up 5.9%). Medical technology, in particular, created impetus and represents a field in which Miele has successfully made the transition from being machine manufacturer to full-line supplier to hospitals and surgeries. This comprises the planning of entire central sterile supply departments as well as the equipment needed at all stages of instrument reprocessing including chemicals, documentation software, instrument management systems and after-sales service. The first CSSDs fully designed and equipped by Miele are now up and running for example in Brunswick (Germany), Salzburg (Austria) and Eindhoven (Netherlands). In the field of laundry technology, Miele Professional scores with the fastest commercial heat-pump tumble dryers on the market.
On the domestic side, tumble dryers, ovens, steam cookers, cooker hoods and refrigeration products demonstrated above-average growth. In all these categories, Miele's growing market success is not least attributable to sophisticated and strong flagship models. Only recently, vacuum cleaners provided a compelling illustration of the productive efficiency, maturity and elegance of Miele technology: Only several weeks before the launch of the S8 high-end series, the previous S5 flagship range was crowned best appliance in a test by Germany's leading consumer watchdog body Stiftung Warentest for the fourth time in the five years since it was first introduced. And, to keep the ball rolling, the S8 has undergone further improvements in terms of cleaning capacity, user convenience and energy efficiency compared with the S5, resulting in it being awarded the coveted 'reddot' design award even before it was launched.
A further highlight during the past financial year was the international IFA trade show held in Berlin, showcasing Miele's typical combination of product presentations with event character and cutting-edge innovative technology. The world's fastest fully integrated dishwasher with a cycle time of only 17 mins. and the fastest non-induction hob unit on the market were just two of the head-turning products on display. A veritable crowd puller was the FashionMaster, the first active steam ironing system from Miele which outstripped all expectations when it was launched in the spring of 2012. Like the S8 vacuum cleaner, the FashionMaster has also received the 'reddot' award.
Intelligent energy savings
Miele also chose IFA as the platform for presenting the world's first solar-heated tumble dryer. This machine draws the heat for drying clothes from a stratified storage tank which, in principle, could also provide other appliances with hot water. "This technology, due to go into series production during the current fiscal year, underlines Miele's leading position in the field of smart energy savings", maintains Eduard Sailer, board member responsible for technical affairs. In the field of laundry care, no other manufacturer has a comparable range of products aimed at exploiting the electricity-saving benefits of a hot-water fill, automatic detergent dispensing, a real-time display of water and electricity consumption and variable electricity tariffs. The latter is known under the buzzword SmartGrid and is now also available on dishwashers. "All this allows energy costs to be further reduced, without entertaining any compromises in terms of performance or convenience", Sailer continues.
With its 2011 Sustainability Report ("A focus on people"), Miele achieved seventh position in a ranking table run by the Institute for Ecological and Economic Research. Compared with the last sustainability report ranking in 2009, Miele managed to move 9 places up the scale. At the same time, Miele is the only domestic appliance manufacturer to feature among the Top Ten (of the 150 largest companies) – and the highest-ranked family owned business hard on the heels of 6 'Dax 30' corporations. The report is available both online (www.miele-nachhaltigkeit.de) and in printed form.
The number of employees currently stands at 16,716, 0.6% more than in the previous year (as per June 30, 2012). In Germany, Miele employs a workforce of 10,327 (10,302 in previous year). At the start of the current educational year (September 1, 2011), 496 young people were enrolled with Miele in Germany as apprentices in 35 different trades and skills. Of these, approximately 100 are engaged in a dual course of studies leading to professional qualifications as well as a bachelor degree in subjects such as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, business administration or industrial engineering. These include young Bachelors whose Master degree is supported by Miele in the form of flexible block-release arrangements and additional course content (Master@Miele).
Key foreign markets continue to grow
With sales abroad amounting to EUR 2.11 bn, Miele achieved turnover growth of 2.3% outside Germany. In part dramatic market breaks in countries such as Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy were offset by promising growth in northern Europe. High-potential markets such as the US and Russia which suffered turnover losses in 2008 and 2009 as a result of the real-estate and financial crises regained much of their dynamic drive again during the past business year. Strong impetus towards expansion is also coming from Asian markets such as China and Hong Kong.
Miele is represented in 47 countries through its own sales subsidiaries around the world and in a further 50 through distributors and importers. In more than 60 major cities around the globe, elegant showrooms referred to as Miele Galleries bring the Miele brand experience to life. The most recent additions to the growing list during the reporting period include Berlin, Vienna and the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. "Miele is continuing to pursue its strategic vision of being the most coveted domestic appliance brand or consolidating this position on all relevant markets", summarises Heiner Olbrich, board member responsible for Sales and Marketing. There is, though, still considerable potential in many markets where Miele is active. Olbrich: "It is a matter of highest priority at Miele to consistently tap this potential."
Gütersloh as focus of investments
During the past business year, the Miele Group invested a total of EUR 186 m, EUR 73 m or 65% more than in the previous year. This significant rise is above all attributable to increased investments in new products and in renewing and expanding production facilities.
The focus of investment in the past and the next two business years will be in Gütersloh. Here, more flexible production capacities within Miele Electronics, a new Training and Demonstration Centre to showcase product innovations and a new office block for 270 employees adding another 100 office desks to the existing count and offering further room for expansion are under construction. These projects are joined by considerable investments in expanding and modernising washing machine production lines. Investments over the coming period will total almost EUR 150 m to equip the company headquarters in Gütersloh, Germany, for further innovations and growth.
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