Beijing, May 8, 2014. The Freudenberg Group in China achieves another record-breaking year in sales and headcount. The basis of the Group's success in China is its long-term strategy. Compared with the previous year, sales in China rose by around 33 percent or 1.3 billion to 5.412 billion Yuan (€ 663 million). The company also increased the number of jobs by 621 to 6,305 (previous year: 5,684). "The contribution made by the China region to the Freudenberg Group's overall success continues to expand. In some areas, growth in this region is significantly higher than in our other regions. In 2013, the share of the China region in Group sales increased by approximately 2 percent," Hanno D. Wentzler, Regional Representative Asia, announced today at a press conference in Beijing. "Our products also make a valuable contribution to positive developments in China, for example in improving the CO2 balance across all sectors." Investment in business operations are an essential part of the growth strategy: Over the next two years a further 50 million Yuan (approx. €6 million) will be invested by the filtration technology Business Group alone. A new research and development center for specialty lubricants and release agents will be inaugurated in Qingpu a few weeks from now. Over the last ten years Freudenberg has invested some 2.3 billion Yuan (€240 million) in China.
In the 165th year of its history, Freudenberg was more successful than ever before. In the 2013 financial year, the international technology group reported record sales for the fourth year in succession, on the previous consolidation basis totaling approximately 54 billion Yuan (€6,622.5 million, 2012: €6,321.7 million). This represents an increase of roughly 2.4 billion Yuan (€300.8 million), or 4.8 percent. Adjusted for the effects of acquisitions and disinvestments to the amount of 1.2 billion Yuan (€148.1 million) and exchange rate effects, sales were 5.4 percent or 2.7 billion Yuan (€338.9 million) higher than the previous year. Consolidated profit ran at some 3.3 billion Yuan (€401.5 million) based on a significant improvement in business operations compared with the figure for the previous year 3.5 billion Yuan (€432.7 million), which included one-off extraordinary items. As at December 31, 2013, the Freudenberg Group employed 39,897 people (previous year: 37,453).
"Across the board, our Business Groups in China showed positive development," Bettina Schoen-Behanzin, Head of the Freudenberg Regional Corporate Center Asia in Shanghai, commented. "Their market position has improved further, and there has been significant growth in sales in almost all areas."
CO2 reduction in the automotive industry
Usually invisible, but always indispensable – Freudenberg products are part of everyday life and make a valuable contribution to many thousands of applications. One example is the Freudenberg LESS (Low Emission Sealing Solutions) program for more eco-friendly mobility. The technology company has developed product innovations that reduce friction losses in conventional drivetrain technology, optimize the combustion process, support modern downsizing concepts and start-stop systems, as well as reducing weight. In addition, Freudenberg also offers material and sealing solutions for alternative fuels and drivetrain concepts. Freudenberg's LESS program brings together all these products.
"Our sealing technology unveils new potential for the automotive industry in China," says Chen Delin, Business Unit Manager for automotive industry sales at the NOK-Freudenberg Group China (NFGC) joint venture. "Our LESS program offers our customers comprehensive solutions for all vehicle components to reduce fuel consumption and emissions." LESS program components for customers in China are manufactured in Changchun.
Freudenberg is convinced that synthetic and eco-friendly specialty lubricants make sure everything runs smoothly in modern cars. From window lifters to door seals, from brake systems to steering units – specialty lubricants made by Freudenberg guarantee comfort and at the same time play a vital role in ensuring the safety of both passengers and vehicles. "For years now, demand for high-performance lubricants and release agents has been increasing as important key industries in China continue to grow," says Shu Wang, General Manager Sales and Marketing at Klüber Lubrication. Specialty lubricants can be instrumental in improving the energy balance in industrial machinery and production plant. Compared with traditional mineral-based oils, Freudenberg lubricants can cut the energy consumption of machinery such as drives by reducing friction, thereby significantly reducing CO2 emissions.
Fight against smog
The Freudenberg portfolio also features many other innovative solutions for a better quality of life and enhanced environmental protection. Freudenberg has a broad range of products that improve air quality: Advanced air filters for use in vehicles, in the home and at work, or industrial filtration systems that slash emissions from production plant. "Freudenberg has been delivering innovative filtration concepts for over 50 years," says Leo Xu Jia, Sales Director, Industrial Filtration. "We offer solutions that make processes more efficient, conserve resources, protect people and the environment and thereby improve the quality of life."
Filters protect people from fine dust and pollutants in the air. In production, they play an important part in occupational health while at the same time optimizing processes and product quality. Freudenberg filters installed in paint shops, for example, prevent dust from contaminating the finished surfaces and also make sure that the air the paint shop teams breathe stays safe and clean. In medical technology, where the air in production rooms must be highly purified and regulated, Freudenberg filters are used for contamination control. Freudenberg's cabin air filters clean the air in cars. And engine intake air filters guarantee efficient engine performance. A comprehensive portfolio of filters for indoor air cleaners rounds off the product range.
Freudenberg Filtration Technologies operates five plants with a total of some 600 employees in China. From Chengdu, Changchun, Beijing and Suzhou all the way to Guangzhou, Freudenberg delivers advanced filtration technology to its customers swiftly and efficiently. Improvements in Suzhou, Changchun and Chengdu until 2016 will among other things increase production capacity and install new production lines. The Suzhou facility will undergo expansion, including the construction of a cleanroom in preparation for entering the medical business.