uvex increases group sales once more
Michael Winter, Managing Partner of the uvex group: “In light of global politics and the economic conditions in many countries and regions, we have been able to record satisfactory growth in our 90th anniversary year”. Difficult general conditions in both the industrial health and safety and sport and leisure sectors have meant that the group result is below our target 5% growth. As Winter explains: “Persistent currency exchange fluctuations in core markets such as Australia and South Africa, paired with the late arrival of winter for the third time in a row, pose new challenges for the group every year.” To fulfil its mission of protecting people, the uvex group has diversified broadly: the group’s product portfolio ranges from ski helmets for top skiers like Felix Neureuther, to protective gloves which can withstand the most demanding and extreme conditions and high-tech safety goggles for sports and leisure. As Winter points out: “The current year-end figures demonstrate that our business model of protecting people remains more current than ever“.
The uvex safety group recorded sales of EUR 287 million and accounts for 72% of total sales, remains the driving force of the enterprise. In major product groups, such as safety footwear, breathing protection as well as occupational health, double digit growth rates were recorded in some areas. Michael Winter explains: “The highest growth rates in regional terms were recorded in Western Europe and the D-A-CH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) region,” adding: “In the overseas markets outside Europe and in Eastern Europe we were forced to absorb sales declines in euro – due in part to currency effects.”
The uvex sports division comprises the well-known uvex and Alpina brands, along with Filtral. It recorded total sales amounting to EUR 118 million. Compared with the previous year, sales stagnated in financial year 2015/16. This was again attributable to the late arrival of winter and lack of snow. However, in the ski helmets and sports eyewear divisions, the Fürth-based family-owned company was still able to claw back market shares. On the prospects for this business division, which will be expanded over the longer term, Michael Winter comments: “We are working on innovations and on conquering new international markets so that, among other things, we are not as dependent on the European winter. We have identified great growth potential in our equestrian and cycling product ranges. These represent our summer mainstays.” Due to its innovative marketing concepts and an attractive range of sunglasses and reading glasses, our subsidiary Filtral managed to record a decent result despite declining sales.
For the current financial year 2016/17, the uvex group has once again set its sights on value-oriented global growth. Internationalisation in combination with relative independence from banks and our desire to be leaders in innovation will remain the cornerstones for the success of the group. On the personnel front, the appointment of a new Chief Digital Officer will ensure that the group is on track for the digital transformation. Michael Winter: “Beyond this, we are developing concepts for a strong employer brand in order to pre-empt a potential lack of qualified staff. Around 2,300 staff are working all over the world on innovative technologies and concepts for the development, our own production and testing of high-value products and services for protecting people. In this way, we are right on course for the future.”