GN today announced that they are combining their two headset businesses, creating the world’s largest manufacturer of headsets for hands-free communication. The new business area will employ about 1,800 people and expect revenues for 2006 of approx. £220 million in the former GN Mobile and at least £147 million in the former GN Netcom.
“Some years ago, we set out our vision for the future; one in which everyone will be using wireless headsets whether they’re in the office, at home or on the move. This announcement is part of the changes we are implementing in order to make our vision a reality,” said Hans Henrik Lund, President of the new headset business.
The global market for headsets is booming and is expected to grow by around 25% per annum until 2010, primarily driven by the rapid increase in demand for Bluetooth enabled products that consumers are using in a wide variety of ways including fixed line and cell phones, MP3 players and portable games.
In 2005, GN Netcom and GN Mobile reached the number one position with a global market share of 35%, manufacturing a total of 25 million headsets, amplifiers and other accessories, an increase of 50% from 2004. The products were sold under GN’s own brands, Jabra and GN Netcom, as well as to global cell phone manufacturers under OEM contracts.
To date, GN Netcom and GN Mobile have successfully operated separate sales, marketing and development departments while sharing the same production and other supply chain functions as well as corporate functions such as HR, Finance and IT. GN Netcom has focused on selling solutions to professional users in offices and contact centres while GN Mobile has concentrated on the mobile consumer market.
Jabra and GN Netcom products are distributed through 90,000 sales channels all over the world, including carriers and system integrators as well as leading consumer electronics chains and cell phone specialists. Joining forces will enable the new company to sustain high growth and innovation leadership.
“Combining our two business areas will help us become an even more effective organisation. We will take advantage of our strong market presence and brands and track record in innovation,” said Hans Henrik Lund, President of GN Netcom. “It will also help us meet the needs of our distributors and retailers who are increasingly demanding single-point access to our headsets and other products.”