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Press Release

VORWERK INNOVATIONS GENERATE SURGE IN SALES
2014 fiscal year successfully concluded / Continued expansion of production capacities

Wuppertal, 21. May 2015

Wuppertal, May 21, 2015 – Vorwerk is looking back on an extremely successful fiscal year 2014: In the 131st year of the company’s history, the Vorwerk Group closed with a consolidated sales volume of 2.8 billion euros, representing a year-on-year increase of 5.8 percent – a new best result for the Wuppertal-based, family-owned company. The current year also got off to a promising start with sales at the end of the first three months of 2015 already up 19 percent on the corresponding period of the previous year.

The Vorwerk Group also generated a clear increase in its business volume, which also takes new akf group business into account, of 6.8 percent to 3.3 billion euros. “2014 was an entirely successful year,” as Managing Partners Reiner Strecker and Frank van Oers announced today at the financial press conference. “In all of our segments, we are right where we belong with our high-ticket products: in people’s homes.”

With revenues totaling 2.3 billion euros, the Group’s core business – direct sales of premium products – once again proved to be a growth driver. Sales were up 5.9 percent in this segment. For the first time in the history of the company, the Thermomix Division was the highest-earning, direct-selling division with sales volume totaling 920 million euros, placing it ahead of Kobold (898 million euros), JAFRA Cosmetics (427 million euros) and Lux Asia Pacific (28 million euros). From Vorwerk’s point of view, the highlights of the year included the successful launch of the Thermomix TM5, the Kobold VG100 window cleaner and the Kobold VR200 robot vacuum cleaner.

As a family company, the Vorwerk Group pursues a long-term strategy focused clearly on sustainable and profitable growth. “Our ten-year comparison illus-trates the consistent success of this strategy in recent years: We were able to increase our sales volume by a clear 75 percent between 2004 and 2014 – from 1.6 billion to 2.8 billion euros,” the Managing Partners explained.

In the fiscal year 2014, the Group’s investments were focused on further developing its business model, opening up additional sales markets, and developing and manufacturing new products. Investments in the company’s own production facilities took priority. The Executive Board also plans to continue developing its various divisions in the future. “The strong growth of the Thermomix and Kobold Divisions directly leads to a clear increase in invest-ments,” the Managing Partners explained at the financial press conference. 

Vorwerk has already earmarked investments to the tune of 128 million euros for major infrastructural measures, the expansion of production capacities and the design of innovative new products. The favorable trend also resulted in the creation of new jobs in the production plants of Vorwerk Engineering; nearly 100 new employees were recruited at the Wuppertal facility alone, the Vorwerk Group’s largest production plant.

THE VORWERK DIVISIONS AT A GLANCE

One bowl, one knife, 12 functions: The Thermomix Division continued its success of recent years in 2014. With the worldwide launch of the new Thermomix appliance, the TM5, Vorwerk rolled out a modernized version of its classic product in 2014.  The innovative recipe chips with integrated cookbook, the touchscreen for even simpler operation, and the guided cooking function with step-by-step instructions all broke new ground. With sales up by a clear 15 percent, the division generated total revenues of 920 million euros. Germany was once again able to defend its position as the highest-revenue market, with sales up by 10.2 percent to a record 225 million euros. Completing the quartet of “major” Thermomix countries, the sales organiza-tions in Italy, France and Spain continued their positive, high-level development. However, all of the other international subsidiaries contributed with two-digit growth in sales to the division’s overall success. There are many reasons for these excellent results. In addition to the people all over the world showing a growing interest in a healthy and balanced diet, digital services, such as online recipe portals and the Thermomix communities, as well as the growing number of Thermomix representatives are all reasons for this positive trend. On the average, around 34,500 representatives worked for the division in 2014, 13.5 percent more than in the previous year.

As in previous years, the Kobold Division also succeeded in significantly boosting sales in 2014: A clear increase of 4.8 percent brought the total sales volume to 898 million euros. The division’s growth is due to the efforts of a number of international subsidiaries. Once again the division’s strongest performer, Vorwerk Folletto in Italy generated sales of almost 504 million euros, and the German sales organization was also able to sustain its extremely gratifying trend of recent years with sales totaling 246 million euros (an increase of 8.7 percent). The multichannel system, with its balanced mix of direct selling through sales advisers as well as the Vorwerk online shop and bricks-and-mortar shops in good inner-city locations, has again proved that it meets the needs and wishes of the customer. In addition to Italy and Germany, the “smaller”– in terms of sales – international subsidiaries also made positive progress. The greatest leap on this score was made by the French sales organization, with growth at an impressive 42.1 percent generating total sales of 23 million euros. 

The akf group positions itself as a classic finance partner for small and medi-um-sized enterprise. Market players for over four decades thus far, akf bank, akf leasing and akf servicelease tailor their product portfolio to the financing requirements of SME clients. It spans innovative types of credit, capital-friendly leasing options and flexible lease purchasing. The group’s clients come from the metal, plastics and wood-processing industries as well as the automotive industry (cars and utility vehicles), yachts and agricultural technology. All areas of akf bank have developed favorably, and significant growth in new business brought total revenues in 2014 to 925 million euros; that’s a year-on-year increase of 7 percent. The bank’s balance sheet total rose by an impressive 307 million euros in 2014 to 1,633 million euros. .

For the 2014 fiscal year, the sales volume of JAFRA Cosmetics, the Vorwerk cosmetics division headquartered in the U.S.A., stands at around 427 million euros, 7.2 percent down on the previous year. This development is due largely to the generally unsatisfactory economic situation in Mexico, which is JAFRA’s strongest market. In the U.S.A., revenues totaled 51 million euros. JAFRA BRAZIL, operating in what is now the division’s third-largest market, was able to keep sales figures stable in local currency, but closed 8.7 percent down on the previous year in euros. The established European sales organizations (in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Italy) also reported a fall in sales and together generated revenues totaling some 27 million euros. 

The Vorwerk Group sells high-quality water purifiers, air filters and vacuum cleaners under the brand name of Lux Asia Pacific in the states of Southeast Asia. The division generated total sales of 28 million euros in the reporting year, less than in the previous year. In its largest market, Thailand, the division succeeded in maintaining the same sales volume as in the previous year: 13 million euros. 

In the reporting year, Vorwerk flooring was able to resist the renewed slightly negative industry trend of recent years and generate a significant increase in sales revenue of 28 percent to 88 million euros. A key contributor to this positive result was the division’s takeover of the brand and distribution rights and production facilities of the former Norddeutsche Teppichfabrik GmbH (brand name “Nordpfeil”). What’s more, by producing superior-quality and innovative products in line with a target group-driven brand strategy, Vorwerk also succeeded in taking first place in the BTH Heimtex/B&L-Kundenbarometer wholesalers’ survey for the tenth time in a row. Vorwerk flooring won gold in the Architects’ Darling Award 2014 in the category Textile Floor Coverings and bronze each for the categories Best Company Magazine and Elastic Floor Coverings. Vorwerk flooring launched a whole range of new products in the reporting year: New additions were made to the RE/COVER green line of hard floor products, for instance, the carpet collections for the contract market were updated, and key development projects for new collections were begun.

ABOUT VORWERK

Vorwerk & Co. KG is a family-owned company that was established in 1883. The Holding Company is headquartered in Wuppertal, Germany. The Group is headed by Managing Partners Reiner Strecker and Frank van Oers. Vorwerk’s core business is the worldwide direct selling of premium household products (Kobold vacuum cleaners, the Thermomix kitchen appliance, Lux Asia Pacific products) and cosmetics (JAFRA Cosmetics).

The other members of the Vorwerk family are the akf group, Vorwerk flooring and the Vorwerk Group’s sister company, the HECTAS Group. More than 603,000 people around the world work for Vorwerk, some 591,000 as independent sales partners. Vorwerk generates consolidated revenues of 2.8 billion euros (2014) and operates in over 70 countries.

Media CONTACT

Vorwerk & Co. KG
Michael Weber
Head of Corporate Communications
Tel.: +49 202 564-1247
Email: michael.weber@vorwerk.de

Publication free of charge – voucher copy requested

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