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© bosch Business | February 02, 2016

Bosch CEO Denner: 'We have achieved our business targets'

In 2015, the Bosch Group recorded sales of over 70 billion euros for the first time, according to preliminary figures. The company succeeded in increasing revenue by approximately ten percent last year.
Earnings also further improved. Including extraordinary effects, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose to around five billion euros. Adjusted for extraordinary effects, earnings totaled roughly 4.5 billion euros. EBIT margin from operations was approximately 6.5 percent, which is higher than the previous year when calculated on a comparable basis.

Equity ratio remains sound and liquidity remains high despite the billions spent on the acquisitions of BSH Hausgeräte GmbH and Robert Bosch Automotive Steering GmbH. “Thanks to our innovative strength, we were able to successfully continue our growth trend in a challenging business environment and a number of stagnating markets in 2015. A major driver of this positive business development was an increasing number of solutions for the connected world,” said Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH.

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Business performance in 2015 by business sector

Sales developments in 2015 varied across the four business sectors. As Dr. Stefan Asenkerschbaumer, the CFO and deputy chairman of the board of management, explained, “In 2015, we further improved our market position and competitiveness in many areas, and gained market share.” Despite only anemic growth in global vehicle production, the Mobility Solutions business sector succeeded in significantly increasing sales, according to preliminary figures. Overall, sales grew by twelve percent to 41.7 billion euros in 2015.

Among Bosch’s most successful products last year were gasoline and diesel injection systems, driver assistance systems, and infotainment systems. The Consumer Goods business sector also recorded very robust growth. Here, Bosch was able to increase its sales by 9.3 percent year on year to 17.2 billion euros. This sector’s best-selling products included cordless power tools and household appliances such as a connected range of stoves.

The Energy and Building Technology business sector recorded growth of eleven percent, which was considerably higher than the previous year. The sector generated sales of 5.1 billion euros. This success can be primarily attributed to services, security systems for large infrastructure projects, and connected smart-heating solutions. The Industrial Technology business sector continues to be affected by weakness in the global mechanical engineering segment. Sales fell by 1.7 percent year on year to 6.6 billion euros. The Drive and Control Technology division suffered further collapses in important segments of the mechanical engineering market in 2015.

Business performance in 2015 by region

Bosch’s business in Europe developed encouragingly in 2015. Sales growth in the region was considerably stronger than in 2014: according to preliminary figures, Bosch increased its sales by 4.2 percent to 37.5 billion euros. Sales developed positively in Germany as well. Bosch recorded a particularly sharp sales increase in North America. There, the technology and services company’s revenues grew by a significant 24 percent to 12.6 billion euros.

In South America, the situation remains difficult. This is reflected in the Bosch Group’s sales development as well. According to preliminary figures, sales of 1.4 billion euros were recorded in 2015, which is 13 percent less than in the previous year. In Asia Pacific, Bosch recorded sales growth of 16 percent to 19.1 billion euros. Bosch sees long-term potential in Africa. In 2015, the company continued expanding its activities there.

Headcount increase in Europe, Asia Pacific, and the U.S.

Worldwide, the Bosch Group employed some 375,000 associates as of December 31, 2015. Overall, headcount increased by 17,600 in 2015. The largest increases were in central and eastern Europe, Germany, Asia Pacific, and the United States. IT specialists were particularly sought after.

2016 – cautiously optimistic outlook

For 2016, Bosch is forecasting only moderate growth of 2.8 percent for the global economy. “We also have to prepare ourselves for stronger fluctuations in our markets, both regionally as well as in specific industries,” Asenkerschbaumer said. Geopolitically, the situation in 2016 will remain complex and characterized by considerable uncertainty. Regardless of this, Bosch wants to continue its growth trend in the current year and to grow faster than its various markets. Despite enormous investments to secure the company’s long-term viability, result and EBIT from operations are to be further improved.
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