Waiblingen, 4/25/2023 | Company press release

STIHL achieves record revenue and focuses on dual technological leadership

  • STIHL aims for top position in the cordless market
  • STIHL is investing in the future viability of gasoline-powered products and focusing on e-fuels
  • Economic and geopolitical challenges slowed sales growth

The STIHL Group closed the challenging 2022 fiscal year with record revenue of 5.5 billion euros, equating to year-on-year growth of 8.6 percent. As an international business, the company generated 90 percent of its revenue outside its domestic market of Germany. The rise was attributable in particular to currency effects, inflation-related price adjustments, and stronger demand for higher-priced professional products. If currency effects are excluded, revenue would have grown by 3.1 percent. As at December 31, 2022, the STIHL Group employed 20,552 people; a year-on-year increase of 2.3 percent. Michael Traub, Chairman of the Executive Board of STIHL, commented: “Our sales remained high in fiscal year 2022. However, we recorded a slight decline in demand compared to the high growth in previous years. This is because 2022 was dominated by economic and geopolitical challenges such as disrupted supply chains, material shortages, war in Ukraine, the energy crisis, and inflation. We also felt this in the business development.” Sales growth was slowed by factors including weak economic performance in US and Western European core markets, declining purchasing power, and eased Covid restrictions powering a marked shift in consumer spending to other areas of life such as traveling and restaurants. Although the trend toward cordless products persisted, the STIHL Group saw a slight decline in the gasoline-powered segment. Michael Traub: “The shift from gasoline-powered to cordless products is in full flow. STIHL is actively shaping this transformation by focusing on dual technological leadership. We are systematically making significant investments in cordless technology while continuing to work hard on the sustainable and environmentally friendly advancement of our gasoline-powered products.”

Changed consumer behavior, drought, and supply bottlenecks slow sales development

The ending of most Covid-related restrictions also weakened the “cocooning effect” – the name given to the tendency for people to stay at home and pursue interests such as gardening and home improvement. Instead, consumers spent more money on tourism, culture, and eating out, which impacted STIHL global sales development as well. Effects such as weak economic growth, inflation, and the energy crisis also added to consumer restraint. At the same time the market supply situation remained very challenging in 2022 due to material shortages and supply bottlenecks, which were further exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. To improve its ability to supply products and increase production capacities, STIHL invested 404 million euros into its global production, distribution, and logistics sites. 

Overview of STIHL market development:

  • In its domestic market of Germany, STIHL generated sales growth and revenue in excess of 500 million euros in 2022. Demand was high both among professional users in forestry, construction, horticulture, and landscaping, and domestic customers.
  • Western Europe was affected by drought, inflation, and changes in consumer behavior. Accordingly, sales fell slightly, though demand for cordless tools was at the same level as the previous year.
  • Eastern Europe excluding Russia developed positively despite the difficult political situation. Nearly all markets recorded sales growth. STIHL stopped supplying STIHL power tools to Russia and Belarus immediately after the start of the war.
  • The trend is moving towards cordless products in North America. While demand for cordless tools rose, sales of gasoline-powered tools fell slightly.
  • Markets in Latin America developed positively, with Colombia, Mexico, and Argentina even recording double-digit growth rates.
  • Africa is an important future market for STIHL, but this year endured major challenges such as drought. Despite these difficult framework conditions, sales in South Africa were at the previous year’s level.
  • Asia saw a positive trend overall. In China, one of the largest Asian markets, STIHL recorded double-digit growth. The increasing degree of mechanization in India also had a positive effect on development.
  • In Oceania, demand was down year-on-year. This was due to factors including unfavorable weather conditions, high inflation rates, and weaker economic activity.

STIHL aims for 80 percent cordless products by 2035

Cordless products represent the fastest-growing market segment for STIHL. Currently the STIHL product range includes more than 80 cordless tools for domestic and professional use, and 20 percent of STIHL power tools sold globally are driven by battery power. By 2027 STIHL plans to increase this share to at least 35 percent, with a goal of 80 percent for 2035. Michael Traub commented: “The aim is for STIHL to take a position at the head of the cordless market. To this end, we are prioritizing investment in developing and producing innovative and powerful cordless products.” The cornerstones for the advancement of STIHL cordless technology are green electricity, high-performance long-life batteries and chargers, and high-efficiency electric engines. STIHL cordless products are currently manufactured at the STIHL sites in Austria and the United States. From 2024, STIHL will also start making cordless products at the head office site in Waiblingen, Germany, as well as at its new production site in Oradea, Romania. 

Today’s STIHL combustion products are already “e-fuels ready”

As well as cordless technology, STIHL is also investing in further development of combustion engines, particularly with respect to sustainability. Traub explained the strategy: “We are consciously focusing on dual technological leadership. That’s because we systematically align our activity with the needs of our customers. Cordless tools are the future; that said, there are still many applications and regions of the world that require products powered by combustion engines. For those customers we are developing future-focused, environmentally friendly solutions.” In this area STIHL is counting on biogenic fuels and e-fuels. With its in-house-developed MotoMix Eco, STIHL has already brought to market a fuel that is 10 percent composed of materials from regenerative sources, such as wood scraps from forestry and non-edible plant parts. MotoMix Eco helps reduce carbon emissions by at least 8 percent compared with STIHL MotoMix, a conventional specialty fuel for two-stroke engines. Now STIHL is going a step further with e-fuels. E-fuels are synthetic fuels made from green hydrogen and carbon dioxide (CO2) and produced using wind energy, to make them almost carbon-neutral. Today’s STIHL products are already “e-fuels ready”. This means that all STIHL products with a combustion engine can be powered with these alternative, environmentally friendly fuels, with no need for technical alteration. This is a great benefit, as even 10- or 20-year-old chainsaws, along with all other STIHL power tools, can be operated almost carbon-neutrally using e-fuels. The consequent reduction in carbon emissions from the use of combustion engine products happens immediately, without customers having to invest in new products. STIHL is targeting widespread use of e-fuels in its power tools from 2027 onward. 

STIHL parent company in Germany generates higher revenue

The German parent company, ANDREAS STIHL AG & Co. KG, achieved record revenue in 2022 of 1.78 billion euros, corresponding to an increase of 11.9 percent. The number of employees increased by 3.8 per cent to 5,968 as at 31 December 2022. Of these, 4,210 employees are in Waiblingen, 486 in Fellbach, 246 in Ludwigsburg, 940 in Weinsheim and 86 in Wiechs am Randen. Plans are in place to grow the workforce further, with around 360 positions at the parent company currently being advertised, particularly in future-focused technologies such as batteries, software, IT, and digitalization. At 136.4 million euros, investment significantly exceeded depreciation and amortization. This included investments in new production facilities and buildings, among others. One flagship construction project, which is set to open officially in July 2023, is the STIHL Brand World at the head office in Waiblingen. Michael Traub: “The STIHL Brand World is far more than a museum and brings the STIHL brand to life. We will also provide a comprehensive knowledge platform about forests, a topic that is very close to our hearts. This is not only because STIHL has its roots in forestry, but also because nature is the foundation for our life and work and as such is a highly valued part of our sustainability strategy.” In future, visitors to the STIHL Brand World will be able to find out more about topics such as the forest ecosystem, ancient woodlands, and sustainable forestry. 

STIHL product innovations for professional and domestic applications

In addition to a new generation of the iMOW robotic mower and a variety of new cordless products, STIHL also presented the latest gasoline-powered products at the balance sheet press conference. “Our new products once again underscore our commitment to being a dual technological leader,” emphasized the STIHL Executive Board Chairman.

The new generation of STIHL iMOW robot mowers will be available right on time for the start of the gardening season. The six new power tools feature powerful lithium-ion batteries plus intelligent driving and charging behavior. They can be intuitively operated using the newly developed MY iMOW app and are designed for lawn areas up to 5,000 square meters.

The STIHL AP cordless power system, which features 36-volt lithium-ion battery technology designed for the requirements of professional applications, is being expanded again and now includes around 40 power tools:

  • The STIHL BGA 300 cordless blower offers 26 newtons of blowing power to horticulture and landscaping professionals and public authority cleaning operations alike, as well as very comfortable work while maintaining large areas. Its innovative STIHL Noise Reduction System substantially cuts noise emissions to under 94 decibels, with its muffling function ensuring a more pleasant, consistent sound pattern.
  • Together with in-vehicle equipment manufacturer bott, STIHL has developed the bott vario3 powered by STIHL van racking system, to enhance solutions in the area of energy and charge management. It is based on a standard shelving system, and can be configured to fit a wide range of enclosed vehicle models. Depending on the equipment version, the system provides up to 56 battery slots in the stowage compartment. This means that gardening and landscaping companies as well as caretaker services and local authority buildings facilities can benefit from a vehicle that is designed for transporting batteries from the AP cordless power system, facilitating reliable charging at the place of use. 

The AK cordless power system from STIHL, which is geared toward domestic users as well as janitorial services and similar, is being expanded:

  • The STIHL MSA 60 C-B and  MSA 70 C-B cordless chainsawsare two entry-level power tools suitable for grounds maintenance, wood processing, and straightforward trades jobs. They are equipped with a high-quality cutting attachment as standard, start at the touch of a button and impress with their ease of use.
  • The STIHL HSA 50 and HSA 60 cordless hedge trimmers make it possible to maintain even larger hedges. With a cutting length of 50 cm (HSA 50) or 60 cm (HSA 60) and laser-cut, diamond-ground and hardened STIHL quality blades, they guarantee clean cutting and rapid work progress.
  • The STIHL BGA 60 blower has up to 15 newtons of blowing power available, so it makes fast work of cleaning areas and paths. Despite its strong performance, this power tool 60 weighs just 2.3 kilograms; even when used with the recommended STIHL AK 30 battery its weight is still just 3.5 kilograms, which makes work much easier.

With the STIHLMS 172, MS 182 and MS 212 gasoline-powered chainsaws STIHL is showcasing three new entry-level models. The compact and versatile machines are equipped with a STIHL 2-MIX engine which provides up to 1.8 kilowatts of power, depending on the model. These power tools are suitable both for domestic use – for example pruning trees in your own garden or for creating firewood – and for professionals in horticulture and the trades, for felling and delimbing smaller trees or for building with wood.

People who love to spend time gardening or enjoying nature need the right equipment, both in terms of power tools and the clothing they wear. That’s why the STIHL
Brand Shop
offers effective protection from ticks, with special “ANTI-INSECT” technology built into the new “Worker” boot socks. The material is treated with a substance that deters insects without harming them. The STIHL Brand Shop also has new kids’ toys options, such as a children’s workbench made of FSC-certified wood.

STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® World Championship in Germany

The 2023 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® World Championship in Stuttgart, not far from the German head office in Waiblingen, is set to be a homecoming event to remember. Following the 2013 and 2016 events held in the Porsche-Arena in Stuttgart, the 18th edition is scheduled to return to the venue on November 3 and 4. More than 120 extreme athletes from over 20 nations will face off for the team and individual World Championship titles in lumberjack sports. Public demand for the event makes it clear that the return is long overdue: Despite a larger number of available tickets than in previous years, both days of the competition are already virtually sold out. On June 10 in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, 16 exceptional international athletes will kick off the season at the World Trophy, the toughest tournament in the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® series. Various national championships around the globe will complete the event calendar.

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