Waiblingen, 9/13/2023 | Company press release

STIHL plans further growth despite a challenging financial year

  • Entry into EC engine production – commitment to the German head office
  • Further growth in the cordless segment
  • A high number of new cordless products for professional and domestic applications

The STIHL Group looks back on a challenging eight months. The company achieved revenue of 3.84 billion euros in the period from January to August 2023, corresponding to a decrease of 1.5 percent compared to the same period in the previous year. If foreign exchange rates had remained unchanged, revenue would have grown by 0.9 percent. As at the reporting date of August 31, 2023, headcount fell by 0.5 percent to 20,311 employees worldwide. The reasons for this subdued business development are multifaceted: With the discontinuation of coronavirus measures, more consumer spending is once again being directed into areas such as tourism, culture and restaurants. In addition, economic slowdown, inflation and energy price trends are generally leading to restrained consumer behavior. In addition to worldwide spending restraint, stockpiles at specialist dealers are also having an impact on unit sales development for STIHL.

Michael Traub, STIHL Executive Board Chairman, emphasized: “After several years of strong growth, our markets are in a phase of temporary consolidation in 2023. But STIHL has sufficient experience of responding to fluctuations in operational business over its almost 100-year history. Our family-owned company has a long-term focus, and we are confident about the future.” At the press conference which took place as part of the International STIHL Media Day on September 13, Traub went on to say: “We are pursuing ambitious growth plans and continuing to invest at a high level, particularly in the future-focused technology of cordless products and in our global production and sales network.” This is how STIHL will further expand its German parent company. In addition to new cordless power tool production, the company is planning its own EC engine production for professional cordless products in Waiblingen. This step also further increases the depth of added value for cordless power tools.

Growth in cordless segment despite difficult market environment

“We are pleased to report that our cordless strategy is proving successful and that our customers around the world continue to show a high level of interest in battery-driven STIHL products. Compared to the same period last year, we have achieved positive growth rates for cordless chainsaws, other cordless power tools and our iMOW robotic mower,” said Michael Traub. “Some regional markets are also developing well. Nevertheless, we are seeing a worldwide decline in unit sales across all drive types.”

Overview of global markets:

  • Western Europe is below the previous year’s unit sales volume. Demand in the German market was marked by a delayed start to the season, with a wet, cold spring and subsequent drought. Accordingly, unit sales declined and revenue remained at the level of the previous year. Demand has also fallen in Eastern Europe
  • Unit sales in North America have fallen. This also applies to the USA as the largest single market. Latin America, on the other hand, is at the previous year’s level. Brazil, the largest STIHL market on the southern continent, achieved slight gains in unit sales.
  • Africa continues to grow and is experiencing unit sales growth. South Africa in particular is developing positively.
  • Asia recorded an overall decline in unit sales compared to the previous year. However, the individual market of India is slightly above the previous year’s level.
  • Oceania sales are below last year’s level, with New Zealand achieving growth.

STIHL remains optimistic and plans further growth in the medium and long term

“As an independent family-owned business with a high equity ratio of over 60 percent, we can continue to act and plan with a long-term perspective, despite short-term market development challenges. As such we are expecting further growth, especially in the cordless segment, and are investing heavily in the worldwide STIHL Group,” explained the STIHL Executive Board Chairman. Examples of measures here include:

  • The expansion and renewal of the STIHL product portfolio, both for domestic use and professionals
  • Development of powerful charging solutions for cordless products, especially for the professional segment, to facilitate smooth working throughout the whole day and to make battery-powered work in and with nature even more convenient.
  • Expansion of global sales channels with e-commerce solutions and expansion of the global dealer network
  • Development of special products for emerging markets to better leverage the market potential there

In-house production of EC motors: Increase in vertical integration and strong commitment to the German head office

From mechanical components such as the bar, chain, sprocket cover and housing to electronic components such as the battery pack and cable harness, STIHL already develops and produces many components for its own cordless products itself. For the first time, the company will now produce its own EC engines too. In-house production of the electric engine, which STIHL is already developing, will enable it to be even more effectively tailored to the complete product. This is a step that further improves the performance and quality of cordless products. Production will be based at the German head office in Waiblingen, and is initially set to comprise the production of EC engines for professional cordless products. It is planned that operations will start in 2025. The investment amount is around 17 million euros.

Michael Traub commented: “With production of the EC engine, we are now also making the core of the cordless power tool ourselves. This is an important strategic step in our transformation. With this move we are increasing our depth of value creation in the future-focused field of cordless products, strengthening our resilience in the supply chain and expanding our expertise. Last but not least, the decision to build up the company in Waiblingen is a clear commitment to our German head office, via which we will secure jobs in Germany in the long term.” The company currently manufactures mainly professional gasoline-driven power tools as well as components such as guide bars and plastic parts as well as battery packs in Waiblingen. STIHL will also be starting production of professional cordless power tools in Waiblingen from 2024.

The German parent company, ANDREAS STIHL AG & Co. KG achieved revenue of 1.11 billion euros in the period from January to August 2023, corresponding to a decrease of 7.1 percent compared to the same period of the previous year. The workforce increased by 2.6 percent to 6,004 employees. Of that total, 4,266 work in Waiblingen, 460 in Fellbach, 259 in Ludwigsburg, 921 in Weinsheim and 98 in Wiechs am Randen.

STIHL Media Day 2023
STIHL is continuously expanding its cordless expertise: From 2025, the core of the cordless power tool, the EC engine, will be produced in-house in Waiblingen.
Many new products for professional and domestic applications

At the International Media Day, STIHL presented many innovations and new products that make it easier for customers to work in and with nature. The cordless portfolio in particular is being significantly expanded.

The following products are among those being brought to market for professional use:

  • With the STIHL FSA 200, the company is presenting the most powerful cordless brushcutter in the STIHL AP cordless power system. This new product facilitates straightforward and effective mowing of long grass and tall scrub in garden and landscape maintenance, or green area maintenance by local authorities. The STIHL FSA 200 is equipped with an ergonomically shaped bike handle system and has an anti-vibration system that reduces vibrations on the handles.
  • With the STIHL HTA 150 cordless pole pruner, STIHL is offering its first forestry maintenance saw specially designed for forestry maintenance work: For precise cuts, the power tool has a very lightweight, hollow shaft and a powerful EC engine. In conjunction with the STIHL ADVANCE X-TREEm HT forestry harness, this facilitates precise guidance of the powerful forestry maintenance saw and efficient work when maintaining young stands or managing mixed growth in the forest.
  • The STIHL HTA 160 is the most powerful cordless pole pruner in the STIHL range. This means that branches and dead wood at great heights from the ground can be safely and comfortably removed in the course of professional tree maintenance.
  • The new STIHL KMA 120 R cordless KombiEngine can be equipped with a dozen tried-and-tested STIHL KombiTools by means of a practical quick-release coupling, to facilitate a wide range of applications.
  • STIHL presents the new STIHL TS 710i and TS 910i gasoline cut-off machines with electronic fuel injection for cutting tasks on construction sites: These universal-use machines with STIHL Injection are the most powerful cut-off machines in the STIHL range. Their electronically controlled fuel injection ensures optimum engine performance and perfect running characteristics. Demanding cuts in mineral or metallic construction materials can be made precisely, ergonomically and with low emissions, while an anti-vibration system minimizes vibrations on the handles.

The following cordless products for domestic garden maintenance are being launched:

  • With the STIHL HSA 30 and HSA 40 cordless hedge trimmers, STIHL is offering entry-level power tools for smaller gardens that are lightweight and very easy to guide, and also deliver impressive cutting performance.
  • The new STIHL FSA 30 cordless trimmer for smaller gardens has a working area that gets started where lawn mowers cannot reach. The STIHL FSA 30 is not only lightweight, but also flexible: It is quick to convert from a grass trimmer for horizontal work to an edge trimmer for cutting close to edges, without the use of tools.
  • The new STIHL FSA 80 cordless clearing saw, equipped with a grass-cutting blade as standard, is ideal for mowing grass and smaller garden lawns. However, the power tool can also be operated with other cutting tools such as mowing heads or grass-cutting blades. The STIHL FSA 80 R variant features a wraparound handle and line mowing head, for a power tool that impresses with its high maneuverability.
  •  Covering an extensive range of models, the completely redesigned Series 2 and 4 STIHL cordless lawn mowers offer the right tool for every requirement: Whether with or without wheel drive, whether with a grass catcher box or mulching unit, with side or rear discharge and featuring cutting widths of 41, 46 and 51 centimeters, the Series 2 and 4 offering is wide and prioritizes comfort as much as performance.
  • The new STIHL KMA 80 R cordless KombiEngine is a real all-rounder, whether you are cleaning paths and surfaces, loosening soil, trimming green areas or pruning hedges and trees: Twelve different, tried-and-tested KombiTool attachments such as brushcutters, pole trimmers and long-reach hedge trimmers ensure that work around the outside of house is quickly taken care of.

The STIHL Brand Shop toy range is also complemented by an attractive new product developed in collaboration with Playmobil: The special STIHL PLAYMOBIL “STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Edition” set. This set consists of two PLAYMOBIL athlete figures performing the “Hot Saw” chainsaw discipline and the “Standing Block Chop” axe discipline as well as a PLAYMOBIL cameraman. Bands, spotlights and displays in STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® design round off the competition scenario and prepare fans of all ages for the sporting highlight of the season: The STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® World Championship in Stuttgart in November.

STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® World Championship in Stuttgart

Following the 2013 and 2016 events held in Stuttgart, the 18th edition is set to return to the city. The rush for tickets makes it clear that this return is long overdue: The Porsche Arena is expecting 13,000 spectators and sold-out stands at the competitions on November 3 and 4. Only a few tickets are still available. More than 120 extreme athletes from over 20 nations will face off in team and individual events in November, showcasing the highest level of extreme sports.

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