Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co. KG has presented its accounts for the financial year 2011. Compared to the previous year the audio specialist has achieved a strong increase in turnover and profit. With a growth rate of 13.5 per cent, the group turnover increased significantly from 468.2 million Euros in 2010 to 531.4 million Euros. After-tax profits rose by 93 per cent in the same period from 23.6 to 45.7 million Euros.
“We are very proud of this result which was achieved across all markets and all product groups”, explains Volker Bartels, President of Corporate Services and spokesperson of the Executive Management Board. “This increase in turnover is the direct result of a clear focus within our business divisions together with careful cost management. In particular, the extraordinarily positive turnover results in our EMEA and Asia regions have more than compensated for the exchange rate challenges faced by the Dollar region.”
Headsets and microphones biggest growth drivers
The biggest share of the group’s turnover, with 32.9 per cent, continues to be the headphones business. This is followed by wireless microphones (26.4 per cent), Sennheiser Communications products (9.2 per cent) and wired microphones (7.4 per cent). Audiology products contributed 6 per cent and the share of Georg Neumann studio microphones and monitor speakers stood at 3.6 per cent. The Installed Sound product group achieved 3.3 per cent of the total turnover.
Headphones: Sennheiser remains Europe‘s market leader
The reason behind the positive development of the headphone business is the continuing trend towards large lifestyle headsets. “Despite intensified competition from the US, Sennheiser holds onto its top position as market leader with a market share of 21 per cent in Europe and a recorded stable growth of 12 per cent in 2011 as well as in 2010”, explains Volker Bartels. High-performance, top-end products for clearly-defined applications such as the CXC 700 travel headset or the HD 239 street headset contribute to this development. Sennheiser also set new standards in wireless audio transmission with the RS 220 digital wireless headphones. Also this year the company launches innovative high-end products. “In terms of headphones we are adding the HD 700 and the IE 800 to our existing HD 800 and RS 220 portfolio to reinforce our claim of ‘Perfection in sound’”, outlines Volker Bartels. “The new Amperior is also an innovative headset for the lifestyle-conscious target group – currently the strongest-growing market segment.”
Communications products enjoying strong growth
With 30 per cent growth, the highly successful Sennheiser Communications division is also benefitting from innovative developments. Last year the Bluetooth headset portfolio has been strengthened with the introduction of the award-winning VMX 200. The launch of the X 320 headset for the Xbox® developed together with professional video and computer gamers also set trends. Special Microsoft Lync certified variants in 2011 added to the DECT Wireless DW Office series which was launched in 2010. “The partnership with Microsoft is very important for us and opens up new channels and business opportunities for Sennheiser”, explains Volker Bartels.
Investment in innovation and employees
Research and development (R&D) continued to be important investment fields for Sennheiser in 2011. Spending on R&D remained high at 6 per cent of turnover in order to secure the innovative strength for the company. Sennheiser will also continue to invest in employees. Around 60 new openings are planned for 2012, mainly in technical roles. The company employs a total of 2,183 staff at present with 1,177 of these based in Germany.
Outlook 2012: Securing long-term growth
Last year the Sennheiser Group restructured its organisation into ‘Consumer Electronics’, ‘Professional Systems’ and ‘Integrated Systems’ divisions in order to service its various customer groups with more focus and more efficiently. Volker Bartels is optimistic about the company’s continued development: “We expect that the restructuring which was completed in 2011 will continue to add to our success and that focussing on our different customer groups will be sustainably strengthened. This will contribute to continued positive turnover and profit development.”