Solid results in a difficult environment
MUMBAI, April 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Freudenberg, the global technology group, performed well in the 2019 financial year, in spite of the difficult economic and geopolitical market environment. At ₹74,583 crores (or €9,467.8 million), sales in 2019 were at about the same level as in 2018 (₹76,235 crores or €9,455.4 million). Freudenberg also performed strongly in India, with sales growing by 5.7 percent to ₹2,533 crores (or €321 million). This rise is the result of continuous investments in existing and new projects.
"We once again focussed heavily in our future, in machines, equipment, acquisitions and, above all, in the three focus areas of our 2018 to 2020 strategic planning period: Mobility, Digitalization and Sustainability," says Georg Graf, Freudenberg´s Regional Representative in India.
Freudenberg's seven Business Groups in India have a total workforce of some 2,844 employees at around 50 locations - running six R&D centers and 16 production sites with state-of-the-art shop floors.
Managing innovations successfully
In the 2019 financial year, Freudenberg conducted research and development activities in the amount of ₹3,789 crores or €480.9 million (previous year: ₹3,582 crores or €444.3 million). That figure is equivalent to 5.1 percent of sales (previous year: 4.7 percent). Freudenberg measures the effectiveness of its R&D activities as the share of new products (those less than four years old) in total sales. This share globally rose to 34.7 percent (previous year: 33.6 percent).
Especially noteworthy are Freudenberg's increasing investments and activities in e-mobility. Innovations from Freudenberg in India have been showcased at the Auto Expo Component 2020. Klueber Lubrication, a part of the Freudenberg Group, for example introduced a series of lubricants for electric vehicles. "We are very happy to be one the first movers in the industry to have successfully solved the lubrication requirements for electric vehicles," says Graf. As a reliable partner to its customers, the Group is working hard on future-oriented innovations for all types of drive, including hybrids, fuel cells and internal combustion engines.
In a volatile environment, it is beneficial to be a broadly diversified company. Freudenberg reduced risk by strengthening the various business areas through additional acquisitions in 2019. One of many examples: At the beginning of 2019, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies increased its stake in XALT Energy, LLC to more than 50 percent. Among other products, the company headquartered in Midland, Michigan, USA, develops and produces lithium-ion technology solutions for heavy-duty mobility applications.
Freudenberg's commitment to corporate social responsibility extends beyond the value chain. In 2019, many Group companies, sites and employees volunteered for small initiatives and complex projects. The e² (education and environment) program, with a budget of €14 million globally, has been a key element of their corporate citizenship activities since 2015. The goal is to provide people with access to education and employment and support environmental protection.
In 2019, Freudenberg turned 170 and the Freudenberg Training Centre (FTC) in Nagapattinam completed 10 years of existence. The Group celebrated these anniversaries by planting trees at the site in Nagapattinam and a ceremony involving students, local school principals, faculty members, business group representatives and global representatives. More than 700 students have been trained successfully at the FTC so far. Most of these students work in multinational companies based in Chennai and other locations. Some of them are now working in the Freudenberg NOK India site at Chennai.
"Following the coronavirus-related complete shutdown, our companies in India will work hard to reach normal operating levels again," says Graf. "Together with our colleagues, customers and partners; we are doing our part to pave the way for long-term growth. We continue to provide world class products made by the dedicated workforce to the Indian community aligned with our vision of long-term commitment and supporting the 'Make in India' initiative". All considered, Freudenberg expects the environment to remain challenging in the 2020 financial year. The economic and geopolitical uncertainties are unlikely to ease.
Against this backdrop, Freudenberg is planning cautiously for the coming year and expects business developments in the markets relevant for the Group to be subdued. Freudenberg intends to continue investing in long-term projects. The mobility transformation, digitalization and an expansion in sustainable solutions will remain central components of Freudenberg's strategy.
About Freudenberg in India
Freudenberg has held business ties with companies in India for more than 90 years. The Group employs some 2,844 associates at 50 locations. Freudenberg in India recorded sales of ₹2,533 crores in 2019.
About the Freudenberg Group
Freudenberg is a global technology group that strengthens its customers and society long-term through forward-looking innovations. Together with its partners, customers and research institutions, the Freudenberg Group develops leading-edge technologies and excellent products and services for about 40 markets and for thousands of applications: seals, vibration control components, technical textiles, filters, cleaning technologies and products, specialty chemicals and medical products.
Innovation strength, strong customer orientation, diversity, and team spirit are the cornerstones of the Group. The 171-year-old company lives by its core values: a commitment to excellence, reliability and pro-active, responsible action.
In 2019, the Freudenberg Group employed some 49,000 people in around 60 countries worldwide and generated sales of ₹74,583 crores. For more information, please visit www.freudenberg.com.