Oberderdingen (Baden-Württemberg/Germany), 10 May 2011. The Blanco Kitchen Technology Group, Germany’s biggest manufacturer of kitchen sinks and one of the world’s leading suppliers, enjoyed significant growth in the 2010 fiscal year, as the company reported at its annual press conference. Blanco achieved consolidated net sales of € 242 million euros, which represents a more than 9-percent increase in revenue on the previous year (€ 222 million). Additional market shares were won on the domestic market in Germany. Blanco achieved double-figure growth on many foreign markets, and its export share in total sales increased to 62 percent. Blanco and its 1200-strong workforce had a good start to the 2011 fiscal year.
Blanco continued its previous year’s growth in Germany, the company’s biggest market. Last year, the kitchen technology specialist managed to convince even more customers of the benefits of its sinks in easy-care Silgranit, and also to sell more ceramic sinks. Blanco has benefited from the continuing trend for coloured sinks, achieving above-average growth in this segment. In the area of kitchen mixer taps, the company, which, according to surveys by the market research institute GfK, has been the market leader since 2003, also continued in its lead position from the previous year.
The international markets are all extremely varied and highly volatile. Growth in Central European countries such as Austria, Switzerland and Belgium remains positive. In Russia, too, more money is being spent on kitchen technology. North America, Scandinavia, Southern and Eastern Europe remain problematic, though. Overall, the international markets recovered slightly in 2010. The sink specialist Blanco continued to develop its international activities under these difficult circumstances, even managing to achieve double-digit growth in many countries. “Blanco is generally on a solid course for growth. It is most pleasing that we have been able to increase turnover in many important countries – in some instances even against the market trends. We have increased our market shares in many countries. However, we believe the path is going to remain tricky in the countries whose kitchen markets are influenced by real estate activities,” Achim Schreiber, chairman of the management board, sums up the situation.
Blanco produces sinks in the three main materials stainless steel, granite and ceramic, and so is in an excellent position for satisfying individual consumer wishes. The company has enjoyed particular success in the marketing of its Silgranit sinks. Last year, production at the two Silgranit plants increased by more than 100,000 items to over 550,000 sinks.
As the result, Blanco regards itself worldwide leading in granite sinks. Blanco also remains on course for success in kitchen mixer taps. Customers acknowledge and appreciate that Germany’s market leader observes the highest standards of hygiene and safety for its mixer taps. Only the highest quality, absolutely safe materials are used, and particular attention is paid to water-bearing components. Voluntary certification by the DVGW (certification centre of the German Association of Gas and Water Supplies), which goes beyond the comprehensive internal quality assurance measures, underpins the company’s high awareness of its responsibility towards the consumer. However, the dramatic increases in the prices of raw materials are causing Blanco serious concern. Copper is at an all-time high, which is reflected in dramatically higher prices for the brass for mixer taps. High nickel prices are making the production of the stainless steel sinks more expensive.
The investment volume in 2010 of € 8.6 million was slightly higher than that of the previous year. This moderate increase took place against the background of unstable market developments. Investments were made primarily in the development of new products and in the German manufacturing locations of Sinsheim (Silgranit) and Sulzfeld (stainless steel) to improve the company’s sustainability. In Sulzfeld, a number of manufacturing processes were made more efficient. As the result, two previously separate production areas were merged at the parent plant.
The figures for the first months of 2011 have put Blanco in a positive mood for the current financial year. The tremendous success of the innovations presented at the IMM / LivingKitchen (Cologne), the new international kitchen trade fair, was a good start to it. Although some foreign markets continue to give concern with marked fluctuations, the company believes that overall, it is in a strong position. “We continue to put our trust in innovative, design-orientated products, quality and reliability. Our highly motivated staff in particular are essential to the company’s continued success,” Achim Schreiber looks to the future with optimism.
BLANCO GmbH + Co KG has its headquarters in Oberderdingen (Baden-Württemberg, Germany) and is one of the world’s leading suppliers of kitchen technology, offering a comprehensive range of high-quality products such as functional sinks and kitchen taps, waste separation systems and accessories. It has subsidiaries all over the world, including the USA, Canada, Western and Eastern Europe. Blanco has approx 1,200 employees in total. The company has manufacturing plants in Sinsheim, Sulzfeld (both Germany), Istanbul (Turkey) and Toronto (Canada). The company was founded in 1925 by Heinrich Blanc and is now part of the E.G.O. Blanc and Fischer Group, which has a controlling interest. In 2007, the “Catering + Medical Systems” division was transferred into an independent new company, BLANCO CS GmbH + Co KG. Both BLANCO companies belong to the Caux Round Table (CRT) and are committed to observing ethical business principles.