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Hansgrohe Group: Successful 2020 Financial Year

With Impressive Team Spirit, Hansgrohe Emerges Strongly from the Pandemic-Induced Crisis
Schiltach, April 2021. Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hansgrohe Group finished the 2020 financial year successfully. Based in Schiltach, Baden-Wuerttemberg, the manufacturer of high-quality faucets, showers, and shower systems generated sales of €1.074 billion, which is a slight drop of 1.4 percent compared to the previous year. Adjusted for currency effects, sales were 0.3 percent lower than in 2019 (€1.088 billion). The operating profit rose to €197.0 million, an increase of 9 percent compared to the year prior (€180.6 million) – the result of one-time effects. For example, marketing and sales-related costs decreased in 2020 due to the pandemic, resulting in a profit ratio of 18.3 percent (2019: 16.6 percent). At the same time, the equity ratio increased to 54 percent in the year under review (2019: 52 percent).

“The past year has taught us a great deal,” says Hans Juergen Kalmbach, Chairman of the Executive Board, Hansgrohe SE. “Thanks to the extraordinary dedication of all our employees, Hansgrohe was able to overcome the challenges and has emerged from this crisis mode in a stronger position. Around the world, people in our company have enabled a new way of working in this unusual situation and achieved outstanding results with our customers. We even managed to set new sales records for a few months, for which I would like to thank the international Hansgrohe team and the Hansgrohe business partners also on behalf of my colleagues on the Executive Board. But the figures aren’t the only indicators of successful business activities. Together we have all developed a new sense of community. We can feel the necessity to break new ground and sensibly exploit new technologies. And we have become much more aware of our social and corporate responsibility,” the CEO of the Hansgrohe Group emphasizes.

Team-Oriented Crisis Management

Around the world, 4,714 employees helped to ensure company success in the last financial year (2019: 4,711). On December 31, 2020, 2,971 of them worked in Germany (2019: 2,964), and 1,743 at the international locations of the Hansgrohe Group (2019: 1,747). From the very beginning of the pandemic, our top priority was to protect the health of all Hansgrohe employees and their families. At the same time, the Black Forest-based company was able to maintain normal operations, as well as continue serving all customers and supplying them with the usual Hansgrohe service. The employees compensated for the inconsistent volume of orders, which fluctuated from one month to the next due to the pandemic, using accrued overtime, flextime, and vacation days, and structured their work with great flexibility during these months, resulting in record sales toward the end of the year. And within a very short period, Hansgrohe made it possible for employees to work from home wherever possible. As a thank-you for everyone’s dedication and flexibility, the company rewarded the outstanding performance of its national and international teams with a COVID-19 bonus totaling €3 million. The Top Employers Institute put the Hansgrohe Group’s employer qualities to the test with its certification process in 2020. The company was assessed based on a catalog of more than 350 criteria examining key questions about working conditions. In January 2021, Hansgrohe was awarded “Top Employer 2021” status in Germany for exceptional working conditions. Particularly in the areas of company values, ethics, integrity, and digital HR, the manufacturer of faucets and showers based in the Black Forest performed better than average.

Strong Growth Variance in Markets

Due to the extremely difficult economic environment worldwide, the percentage of the Hansgrohe Group’s sales generated abroad dropped from 76 percent to 73 percent in 2020. Conditions varied widely from one market to the next, prompted by the spread of COVID-19 and the countermeasures taken. The very few countries that imposed a strict lockdown at the beginning of 2020, such as China, were able to get back on course during the year, which helped the company increase sales in the Chinese market by nearly 7 percent compared to 2019, adjusted for currency effects. Other regions didn’t feel the effects of the pandemic until later. National economies therefore struggled to different degrees, with lockdowns imposed for different lengths of time. There were even some major fluctuations inside Europe. In Germany, the construction industry proved to be very stable, so that Hansgrohe’s sales increased to €291 million. With extraordinary growth of 12 percent in the domestic market, this remarkable development in sales helped the company compensate for drops in sales in other markets such as the US, the UK, and Spain.

Investments in Product Innovations and Expansion of the Product Portfolio

In late 2020, the Hansgrohe Group acquired a majority stake in the family business Easy Sanitary Solutions (ESS) B.V. in Oldenzaal, The Netherlands, thereby strategically expanding its product portfolio. ESS, the inventor of the Easy Drain shower channel, develops innovative bathroom solutions and currently employs 102 people at its two locations in The Netherlands and in Germany. Hansgrohe plans to use ESS as a center of expertise for water drainage solutions throughout the bathroom and to further develop and successfully market this category together.

The Hansgrohe Group is highly innovative, which is also a growth factor. In 2020, the ingenuity of the 120-year old company, was recognized once again in the “Top 100” competition as one of the most innovative small and medium-sized enterprises in Germany. Practical products such as the new hansgrohe DogShower contribute to brand awareness and company growth, just like the high-tech, digital hansgrohe RainTunes shower system. The collaboration of the company’s design brand AXOR with renowned international design studios, and the joint creation of new successful faucet collections also do their part. This commitment to innovation is expressed in the amount invested in 2020: €46.8 million (2019: €53.7 million). The largest portion of the investments went into tools for new products, as well as machinery. Investments in IT and digital processes were increased compared to the previous year.

Ambitious Goals

Strengthened by the Hansgrohe Group’s continued growth over the decades, the company’s management is also setting ambitious goals for the years to come. The Executive Board has coined the term “HansgroheNo. 1” for all of the teams as a strategic focus. This goal should be visible in all areas of the company, embodied by internal development initiatives, and reflected externally in all markets. The “HansgroheNo.1” goal encompasses outstanding innovation, close proximity to customers, growth potential, perception as the “Best Employer,” and responsible operations.

With the founder’s son Klaus Grohe at the helm, Hansgrohe acquired its green brand logo as a symbol for a “Green Company” in the 1980s. The resulting commitment of all the employees has shaped the sustainable focus of the company’s values. During this decade, the Green Company goals are centered around the climate compatibility of locations and products. The German locations shall be climate-neutral by the end of 2021, with all Hansgrohe locations around the world to follow in 2022. The goal is to make the entire company, including all its products, climate-neutral by 2030.

A Look Ahead

The pandemic will continue to shape the current year, 2021. “COVID-19 remains a challenge, and the situation volatile. However, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, despite all the trials and tribulations associated with containment,” says CEO Hans Juergen Kalmbach. “The signs have been very positive during the first few months of the current year. Overall, the market is developing in a positive direction, even if the increasing prices of raw materials have a negative impact. We’re extremely confident about further development of all digital processes, whether it’s in production, logistics, administration, or customer communication (e.g. the Hansgrohe AquaDays, an on-demand platform that has already provided more than 170,000 visitors with an overview of 2021 product innovations). The COVID-19 crisis has been an unthinkable challenge for all of us. But from a positive perspective, it has served as a catalyst and offers opportunities to significantly accelerate long-term processes and further prepare the Hansgrohe Group for the future.”

​​​​​​About the Hansgrohe Group – Setting the Beat of Water. Since 1901.

​​​​​​​With its brands AXOR and hansgrohe, the Hansgrohe Group, based in Schiltach/Southern Germany, enjoys a reputation as a leader in innovation, design and quality within the bath and kitchen industry. Founded in 1901 in the Black Forest, the company gives water form and function with its faucets, showerheads and shower systems. The 120-year history of the company is marked by innovations, such as the first hand-held shower with multiple spray types, the first pull-out kitchen faucet, and the first wall bar to hold a hand-held shower. The company holds more than 15,000 active property rights. The Hansgrohe Group stands for long-lasting quality products and for responsibility towards people and the environment. Sustainable production of resource-conserving products is central to the company’s business activities around the globe. With 32 subsidiaries and 22 sales offices supplying products in more than 146 countries, the globally active company in the sanitary industry is a reliable partner to its customers in all regions of the world. The Hansgrohe Group, its brands and products have won numerous awards, including more than 600 design prizes since 1974. The products of the Hansgrohe Group are found worldwide: on renowned cruise ships, in luxurious 5-star and boutique hotels, in international metropolitan cities, in extraordinary spas, exclusive bathrooms of lodges and luxury villas, public facilities, as well as in countless private homes. The Group’s high-quality standards are ensured by five wholly-owned production facilities: two in Germany, one each in France, the United States and China. In 2020, the Hansgrohe Group generated a turnover of EUR 1.074 billion. It employs more than 4,700 people worldwide, about 60 percent of whom work in Germany.

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Press Officer Jörg Hass.
Jörg Hass
VP Corporate Communications