Bosch announces 2014 growth and future focus

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According to preliminary figures, the Bosch Group has announced an increase in sales for 2014 of 6.2%, to €48.9bn (US$55.5bn). After adjusting for exchange-rate effects, sales growth was 7.2%. Sales results were negatively impacted by exchange-rate effects to the tune of nearly €500m (US$567m). The supplier also improved its earnings situation in 2014. According to preliminary figures, Bosch Group earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) came to nearly €3bn (US$3.4bn), with an EBIT margin of roughly 6.1%. This is roughly one percentage point better than the value for 2013, adjusted for one-off and extraordinary effects. “Despite difficult economic conditions, we managed to meet our business targets for 2014,” says Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch. “Our innovation strategy is paying off. Our business success over the past year is proof of this. In 2014 we further improved our market position and competitiveness in many areas.” In addition, the acquisition of BSH Hausgeräte and the planned full acquisition of ZF Lenksysteme will enable Bosch to strengthen its position in the two growth areas of smart homes and automated driving.

In Europe, the sales of the supplier of technology and services grew by some 2% in spite of the economic difficulties the region is experiencing.

Worldwide, the Bosch Group’s workforce totaled some 290,000 associates on December 31, 2014. That is approximately 9,100 more people than in the previous year.

According to preliminary figures, the mobility solutions – formerly automotive technology – business sector was able to grow more than twice as fast as the automotive market with its comprehensive portfolio of components, systems, and services. Energy and building technology sales in 2014 were roughly on a par with the previous year. In consumer goods, Bosch enjoyed a successful 2014 with power tools for professionals and measurement tools. The overall sales of the industrial technology business sector were lower than in 2013, after adjusting the 2013 sales figures for consolidation effects, the latest figures are slightly higher.

In the years to come, the Bosch Group is aiming to target business opportunities in the areas of connectivity, automation, electrification, and energy efficiency, as well as focusing on the increasing importance of emerging markets. “We want to play an active part in shaping the wide-reaching and profound changes to our market and technological environment, and we want to prepare for a connected world,” Denner says. This is particularly true of the mobility solutions business sector. “We see ourselves as a supplier of solutions for the mobility of the future, which will be automated, connected, and electrified,” Denner continues. “That includes components, systems, and software solutions as well as services. Combined with our systems integration competence, this means we are better positioned than almost any other company to develop innovative mobility solutions for our customers.”

In developing its innovative solutions, Bosch still places great importance on local development expertise in emerging markets. “In 2015, too, innovations will be major drivers of our sales growth. Local developments for each market are especially important,” says Denner.

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Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards.

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