Waiblingen, 9/17/2019 | Company press release

The STIHL Group increases revenue

  • Challenges: Weather, global politics and changing customer requirements
  • STIHL invests in transformation and strengthens online business
  • Full throttle for gasoline and battery: STIHL presents numerous new products

The STIHL Group achieved revenue of 2.8 billion euros in the period from January to August 2019. This corresponds to growth of 6.1 percent compared to the same period in the previous year. If the effects of fluctuating exchange rates were excluded, growth would have been 4.8 percent. “The increase is mainly the result of stronger demand for higher-priced products. Total unit sales developed less dynamically. Nevertheless, we were able to further increase market share in the gasoline segment,” explained STIHL Executive Board Chairman Dr. Bertram Kandziora at the company’s press conference on September 17.

Unit sales of cordless power tools saw double-digit growth, while demand for gasoline products decreased slightly. “While we are not compromising by even a millimeter on development of gasoline power tools, we are simultaneously accelerating our work on cordless products,” stressed Dr. Bertram Kandziora. Business was detrimentally affected by unfavorable weather conditions in the past year, with some key regions experiencing extremely high temperatures and very little rainfall, as well as by the difficult global economic situation and trade barriers. “Many dealers were still fully stocked from the previous year. As such, orders for this year were rather moderate,” said the Executive Board Chairman.

Worldwide unit sales up slightly

“In total, in the first half of the year we achieved only a slight increase in unit sales due to challenging framework conditions. The weakening global economy, increasing trade restrictions and still-unclear Brexit regulations are not exactly beneficial for our business. However there is some divergence from this in individual markets,” reported Dr. Kandziora. Western Europe, as well as Eastern Europe excluding Russia, recorded positive growth. Here, unit sales of cordless products were particularly significant, though gasoline products also contributed to this development. Lower sales in Russia were mainly due to high inventory levels from the previous year. This is due to the dry summer of 2018, along with continued weak purchasing power. Unit sales in the North American market were slightly above the previous year’s level. For the STIHL Group, Africa is a growth market with long-term prospects – however at present, it is at a very low level in absolute terms. The company intends to further intensify its sales activities in Latin America. In 2020, STIHL opened its own sales company in Peru. As at August 31, 2019, the number of STIHL employees worldwide totaled 16,823.

Revenue in German market higher than last year

In spite of continuing effects of the 2018 drought, STIHL recorded higher revenue in the German market in the first eight months of this year than the same period last year. “It is encouraging to see growth in unit sales of cordless power tools and gasoline chainsaws. Unit sales of STIHL iMOW robotic mowers and pressure washers were also up. Looking ahead to the fall, we are confident of further growth if weather conditions are in our favor, and with the support of attractive advertising campaigns,” explained Dr. Kandziora. The German market is supplied by the STIHL sales company in Dieburg, Hesse, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in August. The company has grown rapidly in the past few years: STIHL Dieburg’s revenue has increased by 60 percent since the last extension to its logistics facility in 2009. In light of this continuing growth and the increasing requirements of the German market, STIHL is investing more than 25 million euros in expanding the site and constructing a new logistics building which is due to start operations at the end of 2020.

Revenue and employment up at German parent company

The revenue of German parent company, ANDREAS STIHL AG & Co. KG, rose by 2 percent to 816 million euros. Headcount rose by 1.5 percent. As at August 31, 2019, the parent company employed 5,032 people. Of that total, 3,564 work in Waiblingen, 381 in Fellbach, 258 in Ludwigsburg, 757 in Weinsheim and 72 in Wiechs am Randen. “Our employees are foundational to the success of our business. That’s why we invest heavily in voluntary employee benefits for our workforce and in training and further learning at the parent company,” said Dr. Kandziora. In 2019, the company increased the number of trainees from 187 to 210. STIHL has also expanded its dual study program to include the new subjects of Computer Science and Digital Business Management.

Long-term growth, but cautious optimism in the short term

Referring to the business outlook, Dr. Kandziora summarized: “In our strategic planning, we are assuming further growth in the long term. In the context of growing competition, a weakening global economy and global trade conflicts, we are only cautiously optimistic, especially about short-term prospects. In Germany, STIHL is looking to recruit skilled workers in the areas of electrical engineering and telecommunications, information technology, software/hardware development, battery and product development, and IT. The parent company currently has around 350 vacancies. As far as production is concerned, the company does not expect to hire any new staff in that area in Germany this year.

STIHL invests in transformation to optimize customer benefits

Digital transformation, the increasing significance of cordless products and new customer requirements for online retail are current issues for many companies. The motorized garden and forestry tools industry is also going through a period of dramatic change. Dr. Kandziora: “We have prepared ourselves for this transformation with considerable investments in staff training as well as cordless technology, electronics and robotics. We will continue to push this strategy forward and optimize it.” STIHL also plans to implement a number of measures in terms of sales and product policy. From next spring, for example, the company will offer its customers on the German market a convenient online shop for ordering products on its website www.stihl.de. Dealers will continue to be personal points of contact for customers and provide advice, instruction and service. “In addition to that, we will further optimize STIHL products, processes and servicing in order to be equipped for the challenges posed by changing framework conditions,” said the STIHL Executive Board Chairman.

Numerous new products in cordless and gasoline segments

“To meet our customers’ multilayered needs as best possible, we will continue to concentrate on a portfolio mix of gasoline and cordless tools,” explained Dr. Kandziora. “While we are not compromising by even a millimeter on development of gasoline power tools, we are simultaneously accelerating our work on cordless products.” Several new products were presented at the STIHL press conference which took place as part of the International STIHL Media Day:

  • Three powerful models have been added to the STIHL blower range. The STIHL BR 800 C-E with 41 newtons of blowing power and a 3.2 kW higher-performance 4-MIX engine, is the new flagship in the range of STIHL gasoline-powered blowers. An innovative side starter makes it possible to easily restart the power tool after a short break without having to put the tool down. The professional blower is highly suitable for landscapers and cleaning by local authorities. The cordless segment has been expanded with the introduction of two handheld blowers, the STIHL BGA 200 and STIHL BGA 86. They are quiet in operation and can be used without limitation even in noise-sensitive locations. The STIHL BGA 200 with 21 newtons of blowing power is suitable for cleaning large areas and will be available from May 2020. The STIHL BGA 86 with 15 newtons of blowing force is up to 50 percent more powerful than the BGA 85, and will be available from February 2020.
  • The battery-powered STIHL GTA 26 garden pruner is an innovative, versatile cutting tool for garden owners and will be available from November 2019. The bar length of 10 cm makes it perfect for pruning small branches, as well as for cutting timber posts and beams. The tool is supplied with energy by a replaceable 10.8V rechargeable battery and is part of the new STIHL AS cordless power system for domestic grounds and garden maintenance. Also in the same system is the new STIHL HSA 26 cordless shrub and grass shears which will be on the market in February 2020.
  • The new STIHL MSA 220 C-B is the most powerful chainsaw in the STIHL cordless portfolio and is already available to order. With a high chain speed for rapid work progress, it is particularly suitable for woodland maintenance, building with wood, and felling and processing thinner wood
  • The third generation of the STIHL MS 261 C-M gasoline chainsaw will be available from the beginning of 2020, and offers 20 percent more cutting capacity with reduced weight. Following a comprehensive model update, the machine features an optimized engine as well as a new cutting attachment.
  • Series 4 and 6 STIHL iMOW robotic mowers have become even smarter and can now be controlled with the iMOW app via a smartwatch. Another new feature is the ability to use the innogy Smart-Home System to integrate iMOWs into your intelligent home control technology. In future, it will also be possible to use convenient voice control with Amazon Alexa.
  • The STIHL RMA 765 V is a battery-powered professional lawn mower for customers in gardening and landscaping companies as well as local authorities. The robust mower, which will be available from the 2020 season, features a durable die cast aluminum housing with polymer insert, and has a cutting width of 63 centimeters.
  • The STIHL RG weeder, available since September 2019, provides green area maintenance workers, highway maintenance crews and landscapers with a new tool for low-spin removal of weeds with clearing saws. The cutting tool comes as an add-on attachment and, unlike rotating mowing lines and metal tools, uses two oscillating blades which turn in opposite directions. This means reduced risk of damage to property from whipped-up stones and gravel.

STIHL Brand Shop to be introduced in more countries

“STIHL is one of those brands that enthuses people and inspires emotions all around the world. STIHL has established a new Brand Shop to strengthen this bond,” explained the STIHL Executive Board Chairman. In the seven collections – Heritage, Home, Urban, Wild Kids, Nature, Timbersports Fan and STIHL Fan – customers and fans will find individually designed textiles, wooden toys, historical models and collectors’ items. As a matter of principle, none of the items are off-the-shelf, but specifically created for the STIHL Brand Shop. The items are available from authorized dealers and also online at www.stihl- markenshop.de. Previously accessible only in Germany and Austria, availability has now been extended to other countries.

STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® World Championship 2019 in Prague for the first time

The world elite in the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Series will come together in Czech capital Prague on November 1 and 2 to compete in the international final of the extreme sport series for the 2019 world champion titles. The reigning team and individual world champions from Australia will fight to retain their top positions and defend them against strong competition from Europe and overseas. Czech capital Prague will host the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® World Championships for the first time in 2019, in the extraordinary and imposing venue of the historical Industrial Palace.

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