Dear Business Partners,
Dear Friends of the STIHL Group,
2019 was a very challenging year for the STIHL Group. Our industry is in flux worldwide, and STIHL is among those feeling the ripple effects. We did manage to increase our share of the global gasoline-powered outdoor power equipment market over the past few months, which underscores the fact that our key products will continue to be those powered by fuel. Still, the forecasts that battery-powered tools would replace gasoline-powered products have proven accurate, and this development is expected to continue to pick up steam.
This especially challenging phase of change was also marked in the past fiscal year by slowing global economic growth, trade wars and the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. Global weather conditions were another issue for us, as soaring temperatures and low precipitation across large parts of the world weighed significantly on our business.
Although overall conditions were tough, we posted 3.9 billion euros in revenue across the STIHL Group, a gain of 4 percent year over year. The sales volume was practically unchanged from 2018 levels.
Here at STIHL, we have known about our customers’ varied needs for many years. To successfully meet these needs, we are increasingly focusing on a diverse portfolio of gasoline- and battery-powered products. We are also working on new digital products and new business models. After all, we are currently in the middle of a process of transformation that encompasses much more than technological change. Our customers’ needs and purchasing habits are evolving, with activities increasingly moving to the Internet. We are now taking these requirements into account.
Independent servicing dealers are and will remain part of the STIHL DNA. With more than 53,000 dealers around the world, we have an excellent dealer network worldwide. We plan now to work with our dealers to expand this successful business model and adapt it to the new overall conditions that are in place. By launching our own premium online shop, we are increasingly turning to the Internet as a sales channel. Our own marketing company “STIHL direct,” ensures quality and efficiency.
The expertise and dedication of our staff is the foundation for new ideas and the new options we are able to offer our customers. It is the people of the STIHL Group who make sure we do more than just accumulate knowledge; we also put it to work. On behalf of the entire Executive Board, I would like to thank all our employees very much for their outstanding work. I would also like to thank the owners for the trust they have placed in the Ececutive Board, and the members of the Employee Council for their constructive cooperation.
DR. BERTRAM KANDZIORA
Chairman of the Executive Board