The Blanco Group is looking back on 2017 as a successful business year which saw it continue along its planned growth track. The consolidated total turnover of the Baden-Württemberg-based company is up around 5.0% on the previous year, at € 379 million. As such, Blanco managed to outperform the market last year. While sales in Germany fell slightly short of the previous year’s level (-0.4%), the company achieved considerable growth in international markets. Here, Blanco grew 7.9% on the previous year, bringing in a total of € 252 million, increasing the foreign share of its overall sales to 66%. “In line with our strategic objectives, we have been able to increase growth significantly in international markets and thereby further consolidate our strong position,” reported CEO Frank Gfrörer at the annual press conference on Tuesday.
The Silgranit sink and mixer taps areas played a particularly important role in this growth. Blanco invested € 17.2 million for the purpose of increasing capacity and further strengthening its competitive position abroad. In 2017 it created around 100 new jobs. The company has once again been named one of the best employers in Germany. At present, it employs around 1,500 people worldwide.
Gfrörer said that the plan is for the company to stay on its firm growth track over the current business year. “Our customers perceive the Blanco brand to be top-performing, service-oriented and reliable. At the same time, this requires us to rise to the challenge – both in Germany, as our top-selling market, and at an international level. Going forward, we are looking to showcase even more clearly the value of having a perfectly coordinated system solution of sink, mixer taps and accessories, all from the same provider, as offered by Blanco.”
Huge international success despite volatile markets
The kitchen and sink markets have developed very differently in the various regions, and in some cases were marked by a high level of volatility. “Despite these generally challenging market conditions, we nevertheless achieved our ambitious goals,” stresses Frank Gfrörer. Outside Germany, sales increased by € 19 million to a consolidated € 252 million. “The main growth drivers were North America, Russia and China,” explains Gfrörer. In addition, the Blanco Group saw highly satisfying business growth in many EU countries.
Silgranit sinks and mixer taps as drivers of growth
Silgranit PuraDur sinks played a major role in the company’s success. This high-quality composite material also helped Blanco to expand its leading global market position in 2017. Silgranit is winning over increasing numbers of customers worldwide for its outstanding properties, such as resistance, low level of maintenance and contemporary colour palette. It offers appropriate solutions in a modern design to cater every kitchen need, all blending in perfectly with the overall interior style. Trendsetting innovations include the Blanco Artago bowl line, which has already won two awards for its striking design, including the ‘Best of the Best’ Red Dot Award: Product Design 2018, and the Blanco Collectis 6 S sink, which, together with its system accessories, offers a seamless organisation solution for preparing fruit and vegetables. “Colour is another strong trend that will continue to be important over the coming years. We have been able to boost sales both in Germany and abroad by carefully tailoring our ranges to the different regions,” says Gfrörer.
Other new products, such as the sophisticated large stainless steel Blanco Cronos sink, give kitchen planners plenty of creative freedom to meet individual customer requirements. At the same time, they showcase the high level of innovation and remarkable workmanship of the SteelArt concepts. Another major strength of the range is its accessories. They work perfectly with sinks made of Silgranit, stainless steel and ceramics, sustainably increasing product utility and comfort. Thanks to their multifunctional features they have become indispensable in many kitchens.
The range of mixer taps enjoyed equal success, allowing Blanco to confirm its leading position in the overall market. Innovations such as the Blanco Notis-S, which comes with an adapter that can be used to regulate the temperature and amount of water as required. Or the exclusive Blanco Solenta-S Senso, with its precise sensor control and innovative, easy-care UltraResist surface. These are just two of the many pioneering new products that offer attractive solutions within every segment. The Blanco philosophy of commitment to high-quality workmanship and sophisticated design has once again resulted in a raft of international awards.
Top-performing and service-oriented
Blanco places great emphasis on continuously improving its customer service. The company also harnesses the opportunities provided by digitization for this very purpose, most recently in the form of its spare parts shop, created completely from scratch, which went online at the beginning of the year. After all, original parts are still available for most Blanco products even ten years after they have been discontinued. The new platform for retailers, fitters and consumers is clear, up-to- date and, most importantly, extremely easy to use, thanks to the intuitive navigation, clear page layout, illustrations and brand new filtering process.
Blanco invested € 17.2 million last year, a large part of which went towards the expansion of its Silgranit sink production sites in Sinsheim, Germany and Toronto, Canada. The package conveyor technology at the logistics centre in Bruchsal has been geared towards the growing demand. As an economically strong and forward-looking company, Blanco is very keen to fulfil its social responsibility. “Sustainability in all of its forms is firmly embedded throughout Blanco’s entire value chain. We focus just as much on social concerns and environmental aspects, such as the changeover to modern, energy-efficient LED lighting, as we do on achieving economic sustainability goals, such as digital transformation,” says CTO Wolfgang Schneider, summing up the company's goals in the recently issued latest version of its Sustainability Report.
An employer with massive appeal
The company takes its social responsibility very seriously. With myriad voluntary benefits such as demand-oriented working hours models, holistic healthcare management and comprehensive, above-standard further training options, Blanco supports its employees in all areas. Staff turnover is low as a result, and many members of staff have been with the company for over 25 years. This also has a lot to do with the corporate culture, which is characterised by an appreciative approach, based on mutual trust and dependability, making it clearly sustainable. Following a study by the news magazine Focus, the sinks and mixer tap specialist was named as one of Germany’s top 100 employers for the fifth time in a row. “Of course, it is important to us that our employees feel good and are highly motivated. The high level of freedom that we offer, combined with significant individual responsibility, proves very attractive for applicants,” explains CFO Rüdiger Böhle. One major incentive for applicants is the exceptional career prospects, such as the Blanco-designed ‘MOVE’ programme. Böhle says that this flexible development programme for university and college graduates marks a deliberate departure from standard trainee programmes thanks to its special framework conditions. In addition, the international ‘STEP’ programme has recently been launched, opening up new prospects for Blanco employees all over the world. The potential-boosting scheme devised by HR Management is aimed at experienced employees who have a particular desire to develop their skills, and is another area in which Blanco has positioned itself as an attractive, top-flight employer not only in Germany, but around the world.
BLANCO, which has its headquarters in Oberderdingen (Baden-Württemberg), is one of the leading producers of high-quality sinks and mixer taps for domestic kitchens Its range of products also includes waste disposal systems and sink-related accessories. The company manufactures its own sinks in stainless steel, Silgranit and ceramic.
The BLANCO Group employs a total of 1,500 people, of whom 1,100 work in Germany. The group has numerous subsidiaries in Germany and abroad, especially in Europe, North America and Asia. In 2017, BLANCO achieved a consolidated annual turnover of € 379 million. Most of its production takes place at its Sulzfeld and Sinsheim sites, which are located near the company headquarters, and in Toronto and Istanbul. Its European logistics centre is located in Bruchsal (Germany).
BLANCO has a value-oriented corporate culture and has received multiple awards as an employer.
The company, which was founded by Heinrich Blanc in 1925, is today part of the BLANC & FISCHER Family Holding.
Find out more at www.blanco-germany.com