The company, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2015, grew in all regions worldwide – and Sennheiser significantly increased its sales in Asia and Australia in particular. With this further increase in sales revenue in fiscal year 2014, the Sennheiser Group is sustaining the continuous rise in sales seen in recent years.
“We are very pleased to see a new record result,” said Dr. Frank Heinricht, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co. KG. “The positive sales development in all regions has once again confirmed the strategic orientation of the company.” The CEOs of Sennheiser GmbH & Co. KG were also delighted by the figures: “This excellent result is the consequence of our long-term strategy which we aim to continue in the future,” said Dr. Andreas Sennheiser. “We would like to thank all our employees for their commitment. It is them who have made this success possible,” Daniel Sennheiser added.
Worldwide growth – strong APAC region
Sales at the Sennheiser Group increased in all regions worldwide. More than half of the company’s total sales in fiscal year 2014 were generated in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa), which recorded stable growth of 2.1 percent. Business in the Americas region (North, Central and South America) also saw a positive development – in this region, sales increased by 4.0 percent. Having grown by 30.9 percent, the APAC region (Asia and Australia) made a significant contribution towards increasing overall sales. In addition to the newly formed sales subsidiary for Australia and New Zealand, the region benefited to a large extent from the Digital Dividend in Japan, where public funds were made available to convert wireless microphone systems to enable them to use new frequency ranges.
Overall, the company generated around 85 percent of its total sales revenue outside the German market. The Sennheiser Group currently has 21 subsidiaries, of which 18 are sales subsidiaries, in more than 50 countries worldwide. Further expansion of its global business activity will continue to be one of the audio specialist’s strategic objectives in the future.
The Consumer and Professional Systems Divisions are almost equal in their proportion of total sales. The Consumer Division had sales totalling 322.0 million euros, while the Professional Systems Division was only slightly below, at 312.8 million euros. Compared to the previous year, both divisions enjoyed a further significant rise in sales, increasing by 7.1 percent and 7.9 percent respectively.
Compared to the previous year, investment in research and development in 2014 rose by 6.4 percent to 44.3 million euros. This equals 6.8 percent of the total sales revenue of the Sennheiser Group. Increased investment in this sector was also reflected in the number of employees. Compared to 323 employees worldwide in 2013, the number of people employed in this sector rose by 4.6 percent to 338 in fiscal year 2014. This means that around 13 percent of the total workforce is employed in research and development. “For us, this is a clear sign of our commitment to further strengthening innovative capacity at Sennheiser,” said Dr. Andreas Sennheiser. “As a family business, we have the advantage of being able to pursue a long-term and sustainable strategy.”
One focus of the current research activities at Sennheiser is on the further development of “3D Immersive Audio” technology, which provides a unique spatial sound experience. As part of these activities, several classical recordings and sound installations were carried out during the year, in addition to other projects.
Product developments reflected the latest trends in the audio sector and were oriented essentially towards the customers’ needs. In particular, Sennheiser’s new product worlds are characterized by wireless technologies, multiconnectivity, system integration and intelligent audio connections as well as high-definition audio and individual audio solutions.
In order to further promote the spirit of innovation and cooperation between teams throughout the company, Sennheiser is increasingly focusing on the further development of internal working structures and processes. One flagship project is the recently inaugurated Innovation Campus at the company’s headquarters in Wedemark: with 7,000 square meters of usable space, it is the largest and most modern innovation center in the audio industry. Since March 2015, it has been providing interdisciplinary teams with space for joint research on pioneering audio solutions. “Our new Innovation Campus enables us to set new standards in the audio industry,” explained Daniel Sennheiser. “In this environment we develop audio solutions that are optimally tailored to meet the individual wishes of our customers.”
With the new formation of Sennheiser Streaming Technologies GmbH (SST), the Sennheiser Group is also expanding its core business with the addition of a Competence Centre for the development of innovative streaming solutions.
At the end of 2014, the Sennheiser Group had around 2,700 employees – the average figure for the year was 2,600. Approximately 51 percent of the workforce is employed at the companies located in Germany, while 41 percent is employed at the companies abroad.
Sennheiser continued to invest in a family-friendly working environment for its employees in 2014. In August, the audio specialist opened the company’s own child day-care center (called “Ohrwürmchen”) at its headquarters in Wedemark. The day-care center provides a total of 30 spots for children from the ages of six months to three years, available to both employees and families outside the company. “We consider it our responsibility to support our employees in improving the compatibility of work and family life,” said Dr. Andreas Sennheiser. “This not only contributes to a better working atmosphere but also improves our performance.”
Outlook for 2015
Overall, the Sennheiser Group expects fiscal year 2015 to show a further increase in sales revenue and an ongoing positive development in net earnings compared to the previous year. “We began 2015 very successfully and have already been able to present the first product highlights to our customers,” said Daniel Sennheiser. These include, among others, the new generation of the successful MOMENTUM range and an extension of the URBANITE product family as well as the evolution wireless D1 digital microphone series for the live music sector, SpeechLine DW for speech applications and AVX for crystal-clear video sound recordings. “It remains our mission to market pioneering products in technological perfection which are optimally tailored to the needs of our customers,” explained Daniel Sennheiser. “Our existing product portfolio and our targeted investment in the innovation of new technologies ensure that Sennheiser is ideally equipped to achieve this objective.”