Biggest turnover in the company's history / Strong growth at home and abroad / Position as world market leader for granite sinks developed / Extensive investment in Germany as a location
Oberderdingen, 22 May 2014. Blanco, one of the leading manufacturers of sinks and mixer taps for domestic use, has ended the 2013 business year with record sales. The company achieved consolidated net sales of € 293 million worldwide and increased its revenue by € 19 million (7.1%) over the previous year. Both in Germany and abroad, the specialist in sinks and mixer taps developed well above the market average and managed to acquire further shares in the market, the company reported at this year's press conference. In Germany, the company achieved a highly satisfactory increase in sales of 4.3% to € 109 million. Blanco turned over € 184 million on its international markets, which in comparison with the previous year represented even stronger growth of 8.7%. And with it, the company's foreign proportion in its overall sales increased to 63%. The number of staff increased to 1300 worldwide.
CEO Achim Schreiber took the occasion of the publication of its annual figures as an opportunity to honour and acknowledge the performance and achievements of its workforce: "A company can only achieve this level of success with a motivated and committed team. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to every single member of staff for their excellent performance over the past business year."
Blanco made a positive start to the new year thanks to the impetus from the previous year. And to ensure it was perfectly prepared for further growth, the company invested well over € 30 million in new technologies and equipment at its sites in Germany and Toronto (Canada) as well as in the further optimisation of its delivery service, which was also put on a new structural basis with the expansion of its European logistics centre in Bruchsal.
2013: strong growth at home and abroad
After a somewhat reserved first half of the year, which was dominated by the long, harsh winter, there was a significant revitalisation of the economy in the second half. Under the line, though, the development of the German kitchen market was weaker than in the previous year. In this environment, Blanco managed to increase its marketing successes, acquire further market shares, and generally developed its leading roll. With numerous innovations that the company presented at the international IMM/LivingKitchen trade fair in Cologne early in 2013, the sink and mixer tap specialist provided kitchen and furniture specialists with attractive, market-appropriate products.
The situation on international markets remained extremely mixed. The unexpected and significant recovery of the US real estate sector after years of stagnation was extremely stimulating. Development on the Asian markets was equally positive. By contrast, growth in Russia slowed down, and the stagnation in consumption was accompanied by a decline in building activities. Northern and southern European markets suffered greatly from the continuation of their financial and economic problems and their consequences. Against this background, Blanco managed to achieve an extremely pleasing growth in sales internationally. This was due to the double-digit increase in growth, but also - and in particular - to the achievements of its subsidiaries in the USA, the UK and Russia. "Overall, our development abroad was significantly above that of the markets, and we were able to improve our competitive position yet again. As every country has its own kitchen culture, it is a tremendous challenge to remain successful on such varying markets for the long-term. We have developed the matching products for the various market requirements - and that is acknowledged," explained CEO Achim Schreiber.
Global leadership in granite sinks further developed
With its very broad range of sinks in the three key materials stainless steel, granite and ceramic, and mixer taps and waste systems, the manufacturer is very well positioned. The very highest standards for materials, comfort, design and service apply in every product area of this full-line provider. The sub-brand Blanco SteelArt serves exclusive customer requirements with exceptional design solutions ranging from hand-made bowls to customised stainless steel worktops with integrated functional areas.
"The strongest growth drivers in this very successful business year were once again the Silgranit sinks and mixer taps," stated Achim Schreiber. This modern sink material that is used to create attractive concepts and shapes is exceptionally resilient, and its excellent care properties, pleasant feel and the attractive range of colours delight more and more customers. Thanks to the increasing turnover, Blanco has again been able to develop its position as the world leader for granite sinks.
The development in the mixer tap division was equally positive. With an extremely comprehensive programme that is tailored to the requirements of its various markets, Blanco achieved significant growth last year, and in fact was able to develop its market leadership in Germany for the 13th year. The latest survey by Heinze Sanitärpanel (2013) confirms Blanco's leading position.
Once again, the premium manufacturer more than justified its claim to offer the best quality in every segment and to delight its customers with solutions that are well-planned down to the tiniest detail. In autumn 2013, Blanco presented Blanco Durinox, the new stainless steel worktop in the exclusive SteelArt segment that sets standards all over the world. The material is more than twice as hard as normal stainless steel, scratch-resistant, and absolutely unique both in looks and feel - "a material innovation that was extremely well received by customers," Achim Schreiber continued. Countless international awards for sinks and mixer taps, including most recently the highly-regarded German Design Award for the Blanco Saga mixer tap, which received a number of awards last year, underscore the company's exceptional design and innovative strength.
Extensive investments in technology and delivery service
In order to secure its competitiveness and provide a framework for future growth strategies, Blanco also invested € 13.6 million in technology and new equipment at its sites in Sulzfeld, Sinsheim and Toronto, as well as in optimising energy efficiency. Growth in its Silgranit sinks has been strong for years, and was associated with a global extension of its product capacities. "Delivery service has the highest priority for our customers," emphasised Achim Schreiber. Now it remains to fulfil the increased requirements resulting from the successful development in business activities both at home and abroad with the optimum processes - which is why Blanco will be investing well over € 30 million in the current business year. Of that amount, € 20 million will be spent just on expanding its logistics site at Bruchsal. The most recently commenced building project would also provide Blanco with the best possible conditions for further growth, explained the management.
For ecological, economic and social sustainability
As an economically strong company that focuses on the future, Blanco stands by its responsibility to the ecological and to the social environment based on sustainable economic development. Blanco commissioned the first CHP heating plant at its Sulzfeld production site in the last business year. Thanks to its highly efficient cogeneration, this environmentally friendly energy supply saves about 370,000 kg of CO2 a year. Last year, the Silgranit sink works in Sinsheim became the first site to be certified to energy management standard DIN EN ISO 50001. The heating systems there are currently being completely redesigned and converted to the latest environmentally friendly energy and heat production. The first gas turbine CHP is to be commissioned in the late summer of 2014. Blanco's current sustainability report was again presented with details of the most recent projects and activities and its principles regarding the environment, energy, quality and occupational and health safety.
One of the best employers in Germany
Worldwide, the number of Blanco employees increased slightly to 1300, 980 of whom are in Germany and 320 in its foreign subsidiaries. Last year the company was also training 44 youngsters. As one of the biggest employers in the area, Blanco offers future-oriented professions and attractive career prospects. So that the company is able to support competent specialists from an early stage, Blanco developed a highly individualised trainee programme - "Blanco Move" - for especially talented high school graduates.
The international medium-sized family-owned company greatly values a corporate culture that appreciates every single member of staff and treats them with respect and support. Blanco also offers an extensive and diverse programme of preventative healthcare measures and supports the balance between family and career. Measures for the latter include flexible working hours and childcare. Early in 2013, Blanco the employer brand adopted a smart new appearance, and its refreshing job advertisements are extremely well received. In a nationwide survey by the news magazine Focus, Blanco was rated an excellent second in the category of medium-sized companies in the industry ranking "Finished and consumer goods", making it one of the best employers in Germany.
The company is optimistic as it looks to the current business year. The domestic economy is once again growing strongly, which, in combination with the current new building projects, is adding impetus to the German market. The company is also predicting an upturn of the international markets. Overall, Blanco believes that its international strategy leaves it well equipped and able to achieve an even greater presence in the world's kitchens in the future.
About the company:
BLANCO is based in Oberderdingen in the German state of Baden-Württemberg, and is a leading manufacturer of high quality sinks and mixer taps. Its comprehensive range also includes various practical waste systems and carefully matched accessories for the sink. Germany's biggest sink manufacturer is also the German market leader in mixer taps.
The BLANCO Group employs a total of 1,300 people, 980 in Germany and 320 abroad. The group includes numerous subsidiaries both at home and abroad, and especially in Europe, North America and Asia. In 2013 BLANCO achieved a consolidated annual turnover of 293 million euros. The company manufactures predominantly at its production facilities in Sulzfeld and Sinsheim, close to where it is based, as well as in Toronto and Istanbul. Its European logistics centre is in Bruchsal.
The company, which was founded by Heinrich Blanc in 1925, and also its sister company Blanco Professional belong by the majority to the Blanc and Fischer Group. The family-owned company is committed to observing ethical business practices and is a member of the Caux Round Table (CRT).