KÄRCHER INCREASES SALES AGAIN IN 2022
Stable development despite market decline
Despite a difficult environment, Kärcher was once again able to increase its sales slightly in 2022: At 3.161 billion euros, sales were 2.2 percent higher than in the previous record year. Although major challenges had to be overcome, Kärcher's subsidiaries in all regions of the world managed to make their contribution to the company's success; the foreign quota was 86 percent.
"Staying the course in stormy times is only possible if everyone pulls together. Disruptions in the supply chain, rising material and energy prices, inflation, and the effects of the Ukraine war have made for developments that were almost impossible to predict. The fact that we were once again able to increase sales slightly and gain market share is something Kärcher has achieved as a family-owned company with global operations. Now we must not let up in order to continue to be successful."
Hartmut Jenner, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Management
New companies and a strong brand
New additions to the group of companies are national companies in Oman and Morocco, which means that the Kärcher Group now comprises more than 150 companies in 80 countries. In addition to investing 170 million euros in infrastructure, product development and organizational projects, Kärcher has expanded its workforce by more than 900 to 15,330 employees worldwide, more than 1,000 of whom work in in-house research and development.
Whereas in the corona pandemic the end-customer segment had compensated for weaker demand in the Professional segment, 2022 saw the opposite development: Falling consumer demand among private customers was offset by higher sales in the commercial/industrial sector - as a result, the contribution of the two business units to sales success is once again evenly distributed, as is the basic orientation of the company.
The brand's strong position is reflected in current consumer surveys: according to market research institute YouGov, Kärcher is one of the top 10 brands in Germany in 2022, and in terms of credibility of the company's purpose (Purpose), Kärcher also occupies a top position according to the latest study by management consultants Globeone. As a further step, the cleaning specialist took 2022 to focus on preparing a new employer brand campaign, which will run under the slogan "Wanna WOW with us?". "We want to grow further this year, for which we are looking for more than 300 new employees in Germany alone," says Hartmut Jenner. "With our new 2023 campaign, we will show what we stand for, what is important to us - and that we offer an appreciative culture and a modern working environment."
The KIRA B 50 scrubber-dryer robot is the first fully automatic scrubber-dryer from Kärcher.
Cordless for more freedom of movement: The new wet/dry vacuums from Kärcher are versatile.
Doing business sustainably: conserving resources, preserving heritage
In the future, Kärcher will generate even more energy for its own consumption and is currently expanding its infrastructure for this purpose, including an investment of several million euros in photovoltaic systems for the roofs of sites worldwide. The increased use of modern recycled plastics and pilot production without plastic waste are also to be implemented by 2025. All these measures run under the company's central sustainability strategy and are aimed at a responsible approach to the environment and resources. This approach was honored with the German Sustainability Award 2022, as well as the Sustainability Heroes Award from the German Society for Quality and the Environmental Award from the German state of Baden-Württemberg.
As part of its cultural sponsorship for the preservation of historical monuments, Kärcher 2022 carried out cleaning activities at the Berlin Cathedral and at the Cenotaph in Kingston (St. Vincent, Caribbean). The outstanding activity was the substance-preserving restoration of the 3,300-year-old obelisk on the Place de la Concorde in Paris, which Kärcher fully financed, coordinated and implemented through the necessary cleaning work.
Outlook 2023: Product strategy, sites and investments
The outlook for 2023 is cautiously optimistic in view of the successes achieved and the general development. "We will continue to be exposed to many incalculable influences, but at the beginning of the year the signs are a little more relaxed," says Hartmut Jenner. Thanks to a development strategy geared to the market and customer benefits, there are products in the pipeline that target current trends: In the end customer segment, these include numerous new appliances, all of which are battery-powered. For example, the SE 3-18 Compact washing vacuum, with which textile surfaces can be cleaned fiber-deep thanks to the spray extraction method. The FC 2-4 and FC 4-4 hard floor cleaners with replaceable batteries pick up dry and damp everyday dirt and mop the floor in just one operation. DIY and vehicle care users will be attracted by the new WD 2-18 and WD 3-18 wet/dry vacuum models. The RCV 3 and RCV 5 vacuum robots with mopping function work systematically, quickly and efficiently. With the app connection, it is also possible to customize cleaning processes, save maps of the rooms and individually schedule cleaning appointments.
In the Professional segment, the KIRA B 50 autonomous scrubber-dryer will continue to be fully robotized in 2023. The model addresses the need for automated solutions so that cleaners can devote themselves to other, more complex tasks. It has been safety-certified by DEKRA and SySS both in terms of public access and against hacker attacks. In addition, the current year will see a focus on digitization tools for commercial cleaning. The core product, high-pressure cleaners, will feature both new cold and hot water models, which will be launched on the market in numerous performance classes and equipment variants. In order to serve customers in the professional segment even more comprehensively from a strategic point of view, Kärcher recently added in-house financing solutions to its portfolio by founding Kärcher Financial Solutions GmbH. In addition to the existing rental offering, commercial customers can now also lease the cleaning equipment they need, finance it via installment plan, or use it in pay-per-use mode.
Major investments such as the new service center in Ahorn and the expanded high-bay warehouse at the Obersontheim logistics center will be completed in 2023. Likewise, the newly built headquarters of the Ukrainian sales company in Kiev is to be occupied this spring. A further 200 million euros are planned this year for, among other things, a new high-bay warehouse at the Bühlertal plant and expansions of the Romanian production site in Curtea des Arges and the Italian plant in Quistello.
On the Caribbean island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Kärcher cleaned the Kingstown Cenotaph as part of its cultural sponsorship.
A new high-bay warehouse was installed at the logistics center in Obersontheim.
This is the second time Kärcher has been involved in the facade restoration of Berlin Cathedral as part of its cultural sponsorship. After the cleaning of the prominent southwest tower was carried out in 2020, Kärcher, in cooperation with the cathedral's construction office, subjected the figures of the prophets Moses and John the Baptist to a comprehensive restoration cleaning.