Waiblingen, 4/27/2021 | Company press release

STIHL Group achieves a significant increase in unit sales and revenue in 2020

  • Worldwide sales growth due to strong demand for gardening products
  • Strengthening cordless expertise: A dozen new STIHL cordless products for professionals
  • STIHL transformation also targets medium- and long-term growth

In the 2020 fiscal year, the STIHL Group achieved revenue of 4.58 billion euros. This corresponds to growth of 16.5 percent compared to the previous year (2019: 3.93 billion euros). 90 percent of the revenue was generated outside Germany. Excluding currency effects, revenue would have increased by 20.8 percent. In line with the positive business performance, staff numbers increased by 9 percent to 18,200 employees worldwide (as at December 31, 2020). The capital structure of the corporate group remains very solid, with a high equity ratio of 69.6 percent. As a matter of policy, investments continue to be financed from the Group’s own liquid funds. As in previous years, investments significantly exceeded depreciation and amortization. In 2021, STIHL expects further growth in unit sales and revenue – including as a result of numerous new products.

Worldwide growth in sales and revenue through increasing focus on domestic gardens and new products, and also due to favorable weather conditions

In 2020, the STIHL Group achieved sales and revenue growth in almost all markets. The company recorded the highest growth percentages in the cordless segment. Cordless products as a share of overall sales is now at 17 percent and continuing to rise. There was also strong sales growth in the gasoline-powered segment, with unit volumes far higher than in the cordless segment. Demand for gasoline-powered tools showed positive development in North America in particular. “At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, despite pessimistic forecasts, we decided to continue producing at a high level and in compliance with the most demanding infection protection standards, so we would be able to supply our customers. In March and April 2020, when many dealers were forced to temporarily close their businesses due to the coronavirus pandemic, we recorded sharp losses. However, the demand for STIHL products rose noticeably from May onward, so we were quickly able to more than compensate for the initial losses,” reported Dr. Bertram Kandziora at the company’s balance sheet press conference. Newly launched products in particular contributed to strong sales growth. For example, the STIHL GTA 26 garden pruner for garden maintenance as well as the STIHL HLA 66 cordless long-reach hedge trimmer and the STIHL MS 400 C-M gasoline-powered chainsaw – both for professional use – proved extremely popular. As such, there was strong demand for STIHL products both among domestic customers and also among professional users in the fields of horticulture, landscape gardening, agriculture, forestry and road maintenance, who had to continue working despite restrictions during the pandemic. The “cocooning effect” was also positive. Many customers spent noticeably more time at home last year, working in their garden. In addition, the weather last spring was very good, resulting in high demand for STIHL gardening tools.

High level of health protection and comprehensive planning of
production & logistics

“Effective health protection, proactively safeguarding supply chains, and continuing production at a high level were the central pillars of our strategy in the past year. As a family-owned company, we bear a great deal of responsibility toward our employees, dealers, and customers. For this reason, we developed and implemented a wide range of measures in various areas of the company at an early stage,” emphasized the Chairman of the STIHL Executive Board. The highest priority was an effective hygiene concept, implemented in close cooperation with the responsible authorities, to protect the health of our employees. At the same time, the company delivered all of the parts stocks available in the plants to the assembly plants ahead of time, or had them delivered there by suppliers. Dr. Kandziora: “In this respect we benefited from the advantages of our in-house production network as well as the strong partnerships with our suppliers. However, we still had to adapt assembly plans flexibly in various ways.” The company supported STIHL dealers with measures such as extended payment periods. Comprehensive and anticipatory planning of both production and sales logistics enabled STIHL to maintain supply chains to the greatest possible extent and to largely fulfill high customer demand. “However, we also experienced some supply delays for products that were in especially high demand,” added Dr. Kandziora.

2020 was a successful and
challenging year in the German market

STIHL achieved a significant increase in unit sales and revenue in the German market in 2020 and was able to exceed the 400-million-euro revenue mark for the first time. The cocooning effect was also noticeable in Germany. Customers dedicated more time and purchasing power to their own house and garden. However, strong demand combined with simultaneous bottlenecks in the supply chains created a few challenges and difficulties with deliveries. This development continued during the first quarter of 2021, so sometimes customers had to wait for products they had ordered.

The German STIHL sales headquarters in Dieburg was able to continue operating without interruption during the pandemic. Sales headquarters employees worked virtually from home while logistics and other relevant departments continued to work on-site. Events for dealers – such as the STIHL “Treff” – and training seminars are also offered in digital formats and ensured continued dialog with dealers. The new finished goods warehouse went into operation on schedule in spring, making logistics even more efficient.

STIHL’s own online store www.stihl.de was successfully launched on the German market in March 2020. The store enabled customers to order STIHL power tools online and have them delivered directly to their door. The e-commerce offering also strengthened the company’s authorized servicing dealers because customers are recommended a nearby dealer with every purchase in the STIHL online store. As previously established, this dealer serves as their personal point of contact, providing on-site advice and professional servicing. For providing these services, the local dealer receives a payment from STIHL for every online purchase. The company has strengthened its e-commerce business and is gradually expanding the online store internationally. After its introduction in France in fall of last year, Spain, Portugal, Benelux, Italy, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia will follow this year.

German STIHL head office: Record revenue and high investments

ANDREAS STIHL AG & Co. KG, the German parent company of the corporate group, achieved record revenue of 1.38 billion euros in 2020. This corresponds to growth of 14.3 percent compared to the previous year (2019: 1.21 billion euros). The export ratio remained at a high level of 89.2 percent. Staff numbers increased by 3.4 percent, to 5,262 employees. Of these, as at December 31, 2020, a total of 3,777 people worked in Waiblingen, 235 in Ludwigsburg, 386 in Fellbach, 797 in Weinsheim, and 67 in Wiechs am Randen. The Chairman of the STIHL Executive Board emphasized: “In the past year, our employees have shown a very high level of commitment and flexibility. Being able to meet the high demand for STIHL power tools required exceptional dedication – including additional shifts and working on Sundays. I would like to thank all employees for their excellent work and personal commitment.” To express gratitude for this strong commitment, STIHL is sharing its business success with the head office employees by distributing an annual bonus of 69 percent of a monthly salary. In addition, a coronavirus bonus was paid out in the past year. The investment volume at head office remains high at 155 million euros. The majority of the investments are funding construction projects such as the building complex consisting of the STIHL Brand World, administrative buildings, and a canteen at the company’s head office in Badstraße, Waiblingen, the Mia Stihl Kindertagesstätte – a childcare center in Waiblingen – and also expanding the logistics in Waiblingen-Neustadt with offices for the Manufacturing and Materials department. There has also been increasing investment in research and development, the IT infrastructure, and production technology.

STIHL is shaping the transformation and expects further growth

“In the past year, we were able to strengthen our leading position in the world markets. We will also have to overcome challenges in the supply chain and material flows this year. Furthermore, it is important to ensure that the STIHL Group secures its future over the medium and long term. That’s because our industry is in the midst of a major transformation – driven by increasing digitalization and decarbonization. In the markets, we can see increasing competitive pressure in the cordless segment, with changing customer requirements as well as new information and sales channels,” explained the Chairman of the STIHL Executive Board. The company has initiated a series of projects to manage this transformation. This process will put an even greater focus on future market requirements and the customers themselves. “The STIHL corporate group will also have the strength to grow over the medium and long term. For the ongoing 2021 fiscal year, I am optimistic and expect growth in sales and revenue,” continues Dr. Kandziora.

STIHL is committed to the Paris Climate Agreement and is becoming climate-neutral

“STIHL has had a connection with nature since the company was founded. The roots of our company are in forestry, and our products can support responsible use of the environment, as well as its maintenance and protection,” explains the Chairman of the STIHL Executive Board. STIHL is committed to the Paris Climate Agreement goal of limiting global warming to less than two degrees Celsius. One component of the STIHL climate strategy is that STIHL has been climate-neutral in Germany since January 2021. The worldwide production companies will follow in 2022 and the international sales companies by 2028 at the latest. The focus is on direct and indirect carbon emissions (Scope 1 and 2 as per the Greenhouse Gas Protocol) that can be directly influenced. For example, all of the electricity needs in Germany are covered through the procurement of 100 percent green electricity. In the short term, STIHL is offsetting those carbon emissions that cannot be avoided by supporting international climate protection projects certified with the internationally recognized and independent “Gold Standard” quality label. Sustainable energy efficiency measures will further reduce emissions in the long term. In addition, in-house generation of green energy is being expanded in order to continuously reduce the carbon offsetting amount.

New products that have been launched since the end of 2020 and will be launched in the first six months of 2021:

  • Cordless products: Designed for professional users in horticulture, landscaping, tree maintenance and local authorities, the STIHL AP cordless power system alone has had over a dozen new power tools added to it: 4 lawn mowers (STIHL RMA 253, RMA 443 PV, RMA 448 PV and RMA 2 RV), 3 long-reach hedge trimmers (STIHL HLA 66, HLA 86 and HLA 135), 2 pole pruners (STIHL HTA 66 and HTA 86), 2 brushcutters (STIHL FSA 86 R and FSA 135), a sprayer (STIHL SGA 85, May 2021) and a KombiEngine (STIHL KMA 135 R). This KombiEngine can be equipped with a diverse range of available KombiTools – from brushcutters to blowers – further increasing the diversity of the STIHL cordless portfolio.

    The AK cordless power system for domestic garden owners and semi-professionals such as janitors has also been expanded. It now includes a lawn mower (STIHL RMA 248) with a 46 cm cutting width, and a clearing saw (STIHL FSA 60 R) which can be adapted to the specific green area maintenance task by means of various mowing heads.
  • Digital products: The new STIHL connected Box makes fleet management for power tools and batteries even simpler. Customers with large tool fleets, such as horticultural and landscaping companies or local authorities, will particularly benefit from being able to automatically read off data via the connected Box. In future, information such as battery life and location will be available on the STIHL connected platform even without using a smartphone, once a connected Box is installed in a central location at the company.
  • Robotic lawnmower: STIHL is also expanding its range of robotic mowers: The new STIHL RMI 522 C automatically mows lawn areas up to 2,100 square meters. Its intelligent programming, flexible mowing plan design and the ability to map its area of use ensure that the iMOW robotic mower only needs a brief active mowing time each week. The RMI 522 C enables users to modify mowing times, for example, from anywhere using the STIHL iMOW app on their smartphone or tablet; the current status can be queried via smartwatch.
  • Gasoline-powered products: In fall of last year, the STIHL MS 881 was added to the range of STIHL professional chainsaws. Delivering 6.4 kW, it is the most powerful series-production chainsaw in the world. In addition, it is currently the only model on the market in its performance class to meet the strict requirements of the EU 5 emissions standard, thanks to its state-of-the-art STIHL 2-MIX engine. The new FS 561 C-EM is the most powerful model among the STIHL gasoline-powered clearing saws for use in forestry and landscape maintenance. Alongside its powerful engine, it is also distinguished by its very large mowing circle (560 mm).
  • Cleaners and vacuums: Two new mid-class pressure washers (STIHL RE 150 PLUS and RE 170 PLUS) with a maximum pressure of up to 180 bar are being added to the cleaner segment. They deliver quick cleaning results for commercial and domestic areas. Two outdoor surface cleaners (STIHL RA 90 and RA 110) complement the surface care accessories range for compact and mid-class pressure washers. Among the wet and dry vacuum cleaners, the new STIHL SE 33 entry-level power tool boasts high suction power, an extensive range of standard equipment and a very good price-performance ratio.

New in the STIHL Brand Shop

The new fashion collection and a high-quality selection of accessories were available in the STIHL brand shop right on time for the start of the 2021 gardening season. The shop also has a great selection for youngsters, including a cordless toy blower and battery-powered toy clearing saw with matching accessories.

STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® with alternative formats

Though sporting events are currently facing difficulties, the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® series had a successful 2020 season with alternative formats and flexible timing. The same is also planned for 2021. The European Trophy is scheduled to take place in Munich on July 31, 2021, along with the Rookie European Championship. The German Championship in Gelsenkirchen is then scheduled for August 21, 2021. On October 2, 2021, Motorworld in Munich will host the grand season finale: The 2021 Individual World Championship. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, team championships will not be held in 2021. Changes to the TIMBERSPORTS® event schedule cannot be ruled out in the context of the pandemic. STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® is also relying on strong partners in the new season: LIEBHERR will remain a sponsor for another three years; in addition, Ford will be joining the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® series in 2021.

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