Vorwerk reports highest sales ever

Mercredi, 29 Mai, 2013
The Vorwerk Group has a highly successful year to look back on in 2012 with total year-on-year sales up ten percent to just under 2.5 billion euros. After an excellent start to 2013, the Managing Partners are now anticipating a gratifying trend in Vorwerk’s 130th year and planning investments to the tune of 130 million euros.
“2012 was a very good year for the Vorwerk Group.” This is the joint conclusion the Vorwerk Managing Partners, Walter Muyres, Reiner Strecker and Frank van Oers. The Vorwerk Group generated 2.494 billion euros in revenue, the highest total net sales ever, 814 million euros of which in Germany. The total business volume including new business of the akf group climbed to 2.8 billion euros. Partners’ equity now stands at 64 percent, so that Vorwerk has 884 million euros in cash and cash equivalents at its disposal.
“For the current, 130th fiscal year, we expect our business volume to exceed the 3-billion-euro mark,” say the Managing Partners. Their forecast is based on the continued favorable trend of the first four months of this year. Between January and April 2013, the Group reported growth in sales of ten percent over the corresponding period of the previous year. 
As a family-owned company, the focus at Vorwerk is to secure long-term, profitable growth. “If we take a look at our performance between 2002 and 2012, a period during which total sales doubled, we can clearly see just how consistently successful this strategy has been in the past,” the Managing Partners explain.
In 2012, the Group fundamentally boosted the profiles of its parent and subsidiary brands by introducing innovative new products and features and placing the emphasis on modern product design. By pursuing this tried and tested strategy, Vorwerk plans to continue capitalizing on its strengths in the future, to which end a sum of 130 million euros has been earmarked for investment in various areas of the Group in its anniversary year; 30 million alone will go to the production plant in Wuppertal.
There are just under 623,000 people working for Vorwerk around the world today, some 610,000 of whom are independent sales partners – that is roughly 20,000 more than in 2011. Vorwerk products and services can be purchased in 75 countries around the globe from the Group’s own sales organizations in Europe, Asia and the Americas, and from its extensive network of distributors.
The Vorwerk Divisions at a glance
The Kobold Division reported a significant increase in sales in 2012 and a total business volume of 810 million euros, over 11 percent more than in 2011. Kobold vacuum cleaners continue to be the biggest-earning product segment within the Vorwerk Group. The oldest international subsidiary, Folletto in Italy, celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. With an increase in sales of roughly 9 percent to 491 million euros, Italy remains the division’s Number One sales organization. In Germany, too, the second-largest market, the division achieved growth in sales for the first time in a number of years: Kobold Germany reported business volume totaling 202 million euros, almost 19 percent more than in 2011. The positive results show that the new developments at Kobold are bearing fruit. Product innovations and additional sales channels are bringing the sales organizations new customer contacts. Vorwerk’s success endorses the combination of all direct selling distribution channels as the most advanced sales method in the world.
An outstanding 98 percent of customers recommend the multifunctional Thermomix kitchen appliance to their friends and family. That’s why the division has once again succeeded in growing sales by almost 16 percent to a total of 684 million euros compared with 2011. All Thermomix markets contributed to this excellent result, with France, Italy, Germany and Spain once again leading the field. Germany reported the highest growth rate among the quartet, with sales up 27 percent to a total of 153 million euros. However, the division’s mid-sized and smaller markets and distributors also boosted their sales performance. One reason for the division’s success right across the board in 2012 was – in addition to the excellence of the product – an increase in the number and quality of staff at every level. Worldwide, a total of almost 28,000 people already work as Thermomix representatives – and their number is growing all the time.
The akf group has been offering financing and tailor-made leasing products to medium-sized businesses for over four decades. Its portfolio spans retailer purchase financing, sales financing and the direct financing of assets. In addition to these, akf also offers consumer financing in Germany, Spain and Italy within the context of purchase financing for the Kobold and Thermomix direct sales organizations. In 2012, all areas of akf group business reported a gratifying trend, resulting in total growth in new business to 687 million euros. Year-on-year sales have also risen seven percent to 408 million euros.
JAFRA Cosmetics, the Vorwerk Group’s U.S.-based cosmetics division, grew sales by around six percent in the reporting year to almost 466 million euros. The lion’s share of this result was generated by the Mexican sales o rganization. JAFRA Mexico reported total sales of just under 362 million euros in 2012, almost six percent more than in the previous year. In the U.S.A., the second-largest JAFRA market, sales revenues totaled over 54 million euros to achieve a year-on-year increase of almost seven percent. JAFRA Brazil once again reported clear growth of around 20 percent with sales in excess of 16 million euros. The established European JAFRA companies are all on a very sound footing, reporting an aggregate sales volume of nigh-on 30 million euros, 3 percent up on 2011. A further sales organization in Indonesia is scheduled to open before the end of this year. There are now more than 570,000 JAFRA Consultants worldwide.
In Southeast Asia, the Vorwerk Group sells high-grade water filters, air purifiers, washing machines and vacuum cleaners, as well as accessories and consumables under the brand name of Lux Asia Pacific. The division generated sales totaling 35 million euros in the reporting year to improve on its previous year’s performance by 3 percent. Lux Indonesia and Lux Royal Thailand are the division’s two biggest international subsidiaries.
Vorwerk Carpets Division stood its ground in the generally recessive textile floor coverings market and successfully countered the industry trend. Whereas sales in the tufting segment fell by ten percent among the members of the German home textile industries federation (Verband der Deutschen Heimtextilien-Industrie) in 2012, Vorwerk Carpets reached its previous year’s performance with sales revenues exceeding 74 million euros. In 2013, Vorwerk Carpets launched its very first design floor covering when it added to its portfolio a range of hard floors. The ecofriendly, castor oil-based production of innovative, hard floor covering is its unique selling point.
The Vorwerk & Co. KG family enterprise was founded in 1883. The holding company’s registered office is located in Wuppertal, Germany. At the head of the corporate group are Managing Partners Walter Muyres, Reiner Strecker and Frank van Oers. Vorwerk’s core business is the worldwide direct sale of high-quality household products (Kobold vacuum cleaner, Thermomix kitchen appliance, various Lux Asia Pacific products) and cosmetics (JAFRA Cosmetics). The Vorwerk family also includes the akf group (banking), Vorwerk Carpets and the sister company HECTAS (facility management). Worldwide there are almost 623,000 people working with Vorwerk, some 610,000 of whom are independent sales partners. Vorwerk generated consolidated business volume of 2.494 billion euros in 2012 and operates in more than 70 countries.