Massive Investments in Digital Business Models

Wuppertal, May 23, 2019 – The Group’s growing success in China, significant investments in digital applications and the new Research and Development building and new motor production facility at its production site in Laaken, Wuppertal, were the key focuses of the Vorwerk Group’s annual press conference.

Vorwerk & Co. KG Managing Partner Reiner Strecker and Dr. Hendrik Wehr, Senior Vice President of Production at Division Engineering, welcomed the members of the press to the new building on the Wupper River.

 In the last financial year, 2018, both business volume and consolidated sales were marginally down on the previous year at 3.6 billion and 2.8 billion euros, respectively. 

Taking a look at the latest figures and business at the start of 2019, Reiner Strecker placed particular emphasis on the lively demand for the new Thermomix TM6. “We made a promising start in 2019, which is why we expect to see the business grow this year,” said the Managing Partner.

“We already began investing heavily in our infrastructure and in digital business models several years ago, using only our own resources. This realignment of the business will cost us a total of up to 500 million euros,” explained Reiner Strecker. The company’s intention is clearly set out: “We want not only to produce high-quality household products, but also to develop and sell the best digitally supported products to give our customers added value every day.”

In 2018 alone, Vorwerk released 40 million euros for digital development. That sum is made up of staff as well as operating and project costs. It does not include investments in infrastructure, such as the new buildings in Wuppertal.

Dr. Hendrik Wehr detailed those investments in his address: We at Division Engineering have invested 100 million euros in our sites,” says the Senior Vice President of Production. Digitalization and flexibility were of the utmost importance here. “Flexible work methods and digital processes already define our day-to-day activities,” he continued, and was backed up by Reiner Strecker, who added: “We know that customer demands are changing fast and also that we have to speed up our processes and make them more efficient. And we believe we are well on the way to achieving that.”

Where the international markets were concerned, Reiner Strecker made a point of mentioning developments in China: “With the Thermomix, we have clear growth rates in excess of 100 percent there and for 2019, we expect to see revenues in the region of 200 million euros – an amazing development! Our business in China has gone from strength to strength since we opened there six years ago.“

A brief summary of the individual business segments – Facts and figures:

With sales totaling 1.1 billion euros, the Thermomix Division once again remains the biggest earner in the Vorwerk Group, despite a slight decrease in revenues compared with the previous year (3.6 percent down). 

The Kobold Division’s sales also fell slightly to total 757 million euros (4.5 percent down). 

JAFRA Cosmetics reported total sales of 336 million euros, slightly down on the 363 million euros of the previous year. The decline is chiefly due to the adverse effects of the Mexican peso exchange rate. 

Vorwerk flooring generated a sales volume of 49 million euros, a decrease of 16.2 percent in line with the negative market trend. 

The akf group reported revenues equal to those of the previous year and upped its new business to 1.3 billion euros. 

For the financial year 2019, the Vorwerk Group expects a growth in sales.

About Vorwerk

The Vorwerk & Co. KG family enterprise was founded in 1883. The holding company’s registered office is located in Wuppertal, Germany. Vorwerk’s core business encompasses both the production and sale of high-quality household products (Thermomix kitchen appliance, Kobold vacuum cleaner, Temial Tea Maker) and cosmetics (JAFRA Cosmetics). As a direct sales company, Vorwerk always seeks direct contact with its customers. Here, the advisor is at the center of activities and serves as a central point of contact for the customer. The Vorwerk family also includes Neato Robotics, the akf bank and its sister group, HECTAS. Worldwide, there are more than 590,000 people working for Vorwerk, some 578,000 of whom are independent advisors. Vorwerk generated consolidated sales of 3.2 billion euros (2020) and operates in more than 60 countries.

Media Contact

Vorwerk & Co. KG
Michael Weber
Head of Corporate Communications
Phone.: +49 202 564 1247
E-Mail: Presse(at)vorwerk.de

Publication free of charge – Specimen copy requested


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