The Austrian fittings manufacturer has reported another strong year of growth and in a news release the company credits its innovative products, an international market presence, consistent investments worldwide and highly flexible employees.
Blum Group has once again seen a revenue increase during the financial year 2015/2016, despite very different performances by the individual markets. The family enterprise reports an increase of 6.5 per cent compared to the previous year.
With a revenue increase of 6.5 % to € 1.6 billion, Blum finished its financial year 2015/2016 on 30 June. Innovative products, its international market presence and consistent investments all mean that the family enterprise headquartered in Höchst (Austria) can celebrate a solid increase in revenue.
About 50 per cent of the company turnover was generated within the EU and 15 per cent in the US.
Diverging developments on different markets
In Western Europe, all markets developed in a positive manner for Blum in the financial year 2015/2016. In Eastern Europe, the fittings manufacturer is also pleased with the way business has developed in the EU member states. In Russia and in Turkey, on the other hand, revenue has decreased drastically due to economic sanctions and political instability. Business in North America continued to flourish, while the tense economic situation in South America, particularly in Brazil had an impact on business there. In the Asia-Pacific region, most markets continued to grow, and Blum also registered growth figures in the Middle East and in Africa.
Employees – the basis of success
"The high level of motivation of our worldwide team and the excellent cooperation of all departments and organisations within our group are an essential building block of our success," says Blum CEO Gerhard E. Blum, summing up the fundamental importance that Blum attaches to its employees. During the past financial year, Blum had on average 6,849 employees worldwide, an increase of 334 compared to the previous year. On Sept. 1, 80 new apprentices will start their technical training at Blum Austria. This means that from September 2016, the Blum Group will employ 306 apprentices, 13 of whom are based in the U.S.
Investments during the financial year 2015/2016
During the past financial year, Blum Group invested a total of € 173.64 million. At the Austrian site, a three-storey manufacturing building and a fully automated high-bay warehouse at Plant 4 in Bregenz will commence operation in September. An additional high-bay warehouse is currently under construction and is scheduled to be completed next spring. Construction work for a new, eighth plant in Durbin has already begun. The plan is for a stamping centre with a high-bay and strip steel warehouse to be operational by summer 2018. In March 2016, Blum started to build an office and warehouse complex in Greece, scheduled for completion by the end of the year. A new central warehouse was opened in China, and projects to expand the high-bay warehouses in Australia and Poland are set to commence this autumn. With its commitment to environmental networks and the use of alternative forms of energy in manufacturing and building activities, Blum strives to use resources carefully and responsibly, in all areas of the company.
New products and services
Blum also continued its strategic focus on the development of new products and services. In line with the current design trend that focuses on kitchens and furniture pieces with handle-less fronts, Blum offers sophisticated solutions in all three product groups (lifts, hinges and pull-outs). This includes box systems and runner systems for wooden drawers, but also the lift and hinge systems. The new motion technology Tip-On Blumotion combines mechanical opening with gentle, quiet closing and was a feature in many of the show kitchens presented at this year's Milan Furniture Fair. Blum's product range is completed by different services such as the Online Product Configurator that allows users to find the right fittings in a speedy and uncomplicated manner, as well as the mobile app for manufacturers and fitters that facilitates dimension calculations and product adjustments. The service range for customers and partners with its focus on assembly, marketing and logistics is expanded continuously.
Outlook for the upcoming financial year 2016/2017
It is difficult to assess what the upcoming financial year has in store. The UK referendum result that is in favour of leaving the European Union has created large-scale insecurities with regard to the future of Europe, both from a political and an economic perspective. The problems arising from the sanctions imposed on Russia and the effects of the unstable political situation in Turkey will continue to make themselves felt. Blum hopes that the economic situation in North America and the Asia-Pacific reason will remain stable. In South America, particularly in Brazil, there are few indications of economic recovery. However, Blum remains convinced that their family enterprise will be able to make a positive impact during the financial year 2016/2017, based on innovative products, international market presence and outstanding staff.