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BSH Hausgeraete (Germany)

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BSH Group is among the world's top three manufacturers of domestic appliances, and the undisputed #1 in its domestic market of Germany as well as in Western Europe as a whole. Worldwide it ranks as the #3 behind Whirlpool and Electrolux. For almost 50 years it was an equal joint venture between automotive components company Robert Bosch and engineering firm Siemens. In 2014, though, the partners agreed to dissolve that partnership, with Bosch taking full control of the business in January 2015.


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Brands & Activities

With 42 manufacturing facilities in 13 countries around the world, BSH makes a huge range of everyday appliances ranging from washing machines and cookers to vacuum cleaners and air conditioners, as well as small electrical appliances such as kettles and hair dryers. Its principal worldwide brands are Bosch and Siemens. Siemens is the leading household appliances brand in Germany; Bosch in Europe as a whole. In order to differentiate between the two marques, Siemens is more focused on the cooking and laundry sectors, while Bosch is best-known for fridges, freezers and dishwashers. The group retains rights to the Siemens brand under license following the Bosch buyout.

The group also owns high-end international kitchen appliance brand Gaggenau (acquired by BSH in 1994) and built-in kitchen specialist Neff (acquired in 1982). Both those brands have a long history, initially as makers of coal stoves. Gaggenau can trace its history as far back as the 17th century, Neff to the 1870s. German subsidiary Constructa, a specialist in washing machines, was the first company to introduce a see-through porthole (in 1951), a feature now adopted by virtually all other manufacturers. Viva is a newer brand, launched in several European markets since 2005, and positioned as a value-priced entry-level range. BSH makes Tassimo single-serve coffee machines for food giant Mondelez, as well as its own line of coffeemakers.

Other brands have been added through acquisition, either to flesh out the profile or to establish a presence in new markets. The group's regional products include Pitsos in Greece (its first international acquisition, back in 1976), Profilo in Turkey (acquired 1995); Spanish small appliances market leader Ufesa, as well as Lynx, Balay and Superser (all acquired 1988); and Coldex and Continental in Latin America (acquired 1994). The group took its first steps into China in 1996 with the creation of a joint venture with Wuxi to make washing machines, and later refrigerators. A presence was established in the US in 1997, with the purchase of classic American kitchen appliances brand Thermador. In 2002 the company established a joint venture with Hitachi to manufacture appliances for the SE Asian market under the Bosch, Siemens and Hitachi brand names. One of the newest additions to the portfolio is Polish manufacturer Zelmer, being acquired in 2013.

Group sales in 2014 were €11.39bn, a best performance to-date. Net income jumped by 45% to €447m after a poor performance the year before as a result of an exceptional charge to fix a potential safety issues in some dishwashers. Europe as a whole remains the group's biggest region by far, accounting for almost 77% of revenues in 2013. Germany alone contributes nearly 21% (or €2.2bn). China is the #2 market with 15% (€1.8bn). Sales in the Americas, especially Latin America, are low, accounting for just 5% of the group total. During 2014, Bosch and Siemens agreed to dissolve their near-50 year partnership, with Bosch buying out its partner for around €3bn. The deal was completed at the beginning of 2015.

Parent company Robert Bosch is a leading provider of technology and services, established by the eponymous founder in Stuttgart in 1886 as a workshop for precision mechanics and electrical engineering. Prior to the consolidation of the household appliances business, there were four main divisions of mobility solutions (led by automotive components and accessories), industrial technology, energy & buildings technology and power tools. Appliances and power tools were combined under the heading of consumer goods. Group revenues jumped 44% in 2015 to €70.61bn, partly as a result of the consolidation of BSH. Combined revenues from consumer goods were €17.14bn, making it the second largest business within the group after mobility solutions (at €41.6bn). EBIT was €2.2bn. No split was disclosed between household appliances and power tools, but the latter generated revenues of around €4.2bn in 2014. The group is privately owned by a charitable foundation overseen by the Bosch family. Volkmar Denner is group chairman; Uwe Raschke is board member for consumer goods, comprising power tools and the household appliances division.

Last full revision 16th December 2016

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