Exchange rate fluctuations proved a burden in the past year. “In 2013, the euro appreciated by more than three percent against the dollar year on year,” says CEO Andreas Sennheiser. “We still raised our export ratio to more than 85 percent, which is to say the world values quality and design made by Sennheiser, and is accepted that these come at a price.”
Stable growth in all regions: market leader in Europe in 2013, continued strong growth in Asia-Pacific:
Sennheiser Group sales grew 1 percent to 590.5 million euros in 2013, which is equivalent to an exchange-rated adjusted figure of 606.9 or a growth rate of 3.9 percent. Asia-Pacific recorded the strongest advance as revenues increased by 6.6 percent, topping 100 million for the first time (100.3, 2013: 95.0). North and South America remained essentially unchanged at 147.1 million (2013: 146.5), while Europe confirmed its status as the group’s largest region by sales with constant revenues of 342.1 (2013: 342.9) million euros. Sennheiser is responding to expanding business in Asia-Pacific as reported here and is investing in its sales network. In 2013, this included the opening of sales offices in Australia and New Zealand.
A breakdown of sales figures by business divisions shows a solid increase in Consumer Electronics, where sales grew more than four percent to 300.5 million euros as Sennheiser continued to hold its own thanks to its clear focus and first-class audio quality, technological competence and excellent customer service in an environment otherwise marked by an increasing number of competitors. Consumer products accounted for more than half of Sennheiser Group’s revenue in 2013. The Integrated Systems Division reported substantial growth of two percent to a total of 92.7 million euros, while the Professional Systems Division contributed 197.2 million euros or 33 percent to the Group’s total revenues. The Group, in other words, continues to enjoy a well-balanced business.
Investment in innovations and in talent:
Sennheiser is also expanding its research and development activities. Expenditures in this area amounted to 40.6 million euros, up by 2.1 million, while headcount in R&D rose by almost 12 percent to 323. “More than one in eight of our staff works in R&D today,” says CEO Daniel Sennheiser. “This is evidence of our sustained approach to innovation.”
This year, Sennheiser will be inaugurating its Innovation Campus, an innovation and development center at the company’s headquarters in Wedemark in northern Germany. The Campus will offer opportunities for wholly new forms of cooperation. “The Innovation Campus embodies our commitment to our long-term oriented strategy based on sustainable growth and independence,”
Emphasis on sustainability:
Sennheiser has a crucial step forward in protecting global resources and joined the Phonebloks alliance. “Phonebloks is committed to developing a modular smartphone with components that can be individually interchanged. This will extend the working life of the overall system and it will protect the world’s resources,” says Daniel Sennheiser, CEO. “Sennheiser has begun developing audio modules for this new system. We can imagine these including wind-resistant microphones, which could turn this smartphone into a tool for journalists on the move. Another option might be opening up our new streaming technology to the Phonebloks project. In any event, we will make sure that the sustainable smartphone of the future will feature perfect sound.”
Streaming technology facilitates inclusion:
Another focus area this year will be the launch of Sennheiser’s new streaming technology mentioned earlier, which will enable individuals to enjoy art offerings regardless of language or hearing or seeing ability. The application easily integrates into existing systems. It runs as an app and provides acoustic support and audio description in real time via the user’s smartphone, making it easy to operate for the user. Sennheiser has founded a new company dedicated to developing this and other innovative streaming solutions: Sennheiser Streaming Technologies (SST).
2014 outlook: emphasis on securing sustainable growth:
“Sennheiser as a family-owned company has a long-term strategic focus, and that is the creation of groundbreaking audio products and exceptional sound experiences for the user. Our vision is to actively shape the future of audio, and this builds on a company history that stretches back almost 70 years, a marked innovation culture and a passion for excellence.”
Andreas and Daniel Sennheiser are confident about the future of their company: “We are very well positioned to continue to create value for our customers. This will extend our ongoing growth in both sales and profits.”
Sennheiser Group based in Wedemark near Hanover, Germany, was founded in 1945 and has gone on to become a world-leading manufacture of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems. Sales in 2013 totaled 590.4 million euros. Sennheiser employs more than 2,542 staff worldwide and operates plants in Germany, Ireland and the USA. The company has a worldwide network of subsidiaries in France, Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, Germany, Denmark (Nordic), Russia, Hongkong, India, Singapore, Japan, China, Canada, Mexico, USA as well as Australia and New Zealand. It also has long-established trading partners in other countries. Georg Neumann GmbH, a maker of studio microphones and monitor speakers based in Berlin, and Sennheiser Communications A/S, a joint venture making headsets for PCs, offices and call centers, are also part of Sennheiser Group. More up-to-date information about Sennheiser is available on the internet at www.sennheiser.com.