Once There Were Giants…

2017 is still here but we can already start with a year-end review. And what a year this has been, for some of the largest and most known German companies.

Starting with Alno – As we reported back in July, the Alno group has finally filed for liquidation in September. Industry experts tried to find investors, to save the company, but with no luck…

The Alno Group had 4 brands and factories, towards the end (there were several others through the years) -

The Alno brand and the main factory in southern Germany – produced good quality kitchens, at a medium price – closed for good. Property and equipment is being liquidated.

The Wellmann brand, with a factory in northern Germany – purchased by Alno some years back produced lower price point kitchens – closed for good. Property and equipment is being liquidated.

The Pino brand, with a factory in eastern Germany – produced flat pack (knock down, RTA) cabinets, aimed at the budget kitchen market – sold to Nobilia. Production is scheduled to start again in December.

The Forster brand, a Swiss company purchased some years back, by the Alno Group – producing metal cabinets – sold to Max Müller, the former CEO of Alno, who is Swiss himself.

All that is left, at this point is the Alno name, but with all the negative that has happen to them in recent years, the image is just not too good and there are no buyers for the brand name.

AL NO MORE

Alno - GONE!

 

 

 

 

Next was SieMatic – just last month, the privately owned German kitchen brand announced the sale of the majority of the shares to the Chinese home appliance supplier Nison Group.

Shareholders Ulrich W Siekmann and Kathrin André will remain as minority shareholders. SieMatic sales turnover has been decreasing for years. Since they are privately owned, the sales can only be estimated and are now near €100 million. The hope is to speed up growth and the obvious focus will be the Chinese market, where the company recently gained market share, to become their 6th largest sales market.

The management team headed by Ulrich W Siekmann and Silvia Weppler will stay with the company and will be responsible for international brand management from its present headquarters in Löhne, Germany.

SieMatic

SieMatic - SOLD!

 

 

 

 

 

Then was Poggenpohl… In the first quarter of 2017, the Swedish Nobia Group sold its shares of the Poggenpohl brand, to the Munich based industrial holding group Adcuram, for… €10 million… 

As reported by KBB Review - Darren Taylor, managing director of Winchester-based retailer Searle & Taylor, claimed the sale could see a return to form for the troubled brand.

“While I always believed it would be very difficult for the Nobia Group to find a partner investor, I was surprised that the Poggenpohl brand was sold outright for such a limited sum, and to a private equity firm with excellent experience in building, self-building and related businesses, but not necessarily in kitchens,” he said.

“Having read the press release, there are some lines that stand out: ‘investment into the brand’s positioning, the expansion of the product portfolio, support for retail partners and the Poggenpohl operated stores and optimization of the production process’. I for one, genuinely hope that these strategies are implemented immediately, as it would be great to see Poggenpohl return to its place as the number one luxury kitchen brand in the not too distant future.”

Another retailer, who wished to remain anonymous, commented: “It’s interesting but not surprising that Nobia have dumped Poggenpohl. It was never their thing as Nobia are about low/mid market and big volume. I guess the thinking originally was that owning Poggenpohl would bring some high-end credibility to the group but in the end the cost of this proved more than they wanted to bear.

“So, there were no takers when they tried to offload Poggenpohl. A premium brand company making a loss and an investment business is taking it on? I wonder if Poggenpohl will now end up yet another high-end brand, selling a run of the mill product at a premium. It should allow the new owners a decent return on investment for a few years after which the name will be played out.

Now, for some good news – as these giants (or formerly known as such) are closing doors, losing market share or changing hands, other brands, that have are gaining that business. Nobilia, who was the first kitchen brand to break the €1 billion annual turnover, has purchased the Pino factory from the bankrupt Alno and will most likely gain some of that lost market share. Other brands that are likely to gain Alno’s past business are NolteHäcker, Bauformat and Schüller - all able to compete at the low-to-mid priced market. Häcker has already reported sales of €512 million, vs. €466 million last year and are in the process of building a new factory, to handle the new found business.

Poggenpohl Sold!

Poggenpohl – Sold!

Mark Wilkinson Obe

MW

 

 

 

 

 

I was in London, when I heard the sad news. For somone who has been part of the European Kitchen Design business for more than 30 years, Mark Wilkinson was one of the greats.

Directly out of the Mark Wilkinson’s web site:

It is with great sadness that Canburg announces that Mark Wilkinson OBE, one of the world’s most influential designers has passed away peacefully at his home in Wiltshire.
A truly English “eccentric” Mark Wilkinson was a visionary designer and an exceptionally skilled craftsman and furniture maker. Amongst other accolades, he was a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers, a Fellow of the City and Guilds Institute and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers of the City of London; in 2010 he was awarded an OBE for Services to the Furniture Industry and Charity. Mark was also a member of MENSA.
During his long career his designs ranged from clothing to object d’art, but it is for furniture that he will be best remembered. In 1977 his first kitchen design in old pine pioneered the “English Country kitchen” and launched a new industry specialising in this aesthetic and style of living. Mark was a co-founder of Smallbone of Devizes and in 1981 he founded Mark Wilkinson Furniture. The company was sold to Canburg in 2009 and Mark was made Group Creative Director; he remained involved in the business until his death.
Best described as “furniture alchemy” the designs and artisan making of Mark Wilkinson Furniture carries forward Mark Wilkinson’s values in every piece that the company makes – inspired by a sustainable vision of bespoke furniture, rich with heritage and imbued with Mark’s infectious creativity.
Born in 1950, in North London, Mark’s early educational experiences as a child with dyslexia, informed both professional choices and personal passions. He had a long-standing commitment to supporting charities for dyslexia and the educational needs of children with the disability. He and his wife, Cynthia, had recently formed the Mark Wilkinson Foundation for Innovation and Employment to help further the ambitions and careers of young people with dyslexia.

Is it AL NO more…?

After being in difficult financial situations before (see our story from 2011) this time, the Alno Group may have reached the end of the line… Reported by Teleboerse, Alno AG is unable to pay back their €28,500,000. depth to the banks, on July 12th, the Alno Group was forced into a liquidation process. 

For years, the kitchen manufacturer Alno has been struggling with problems – now the company goes into insolvency. Alno AG will apply for insolvency proceedings in self-administration on account of the insolvency of the company, said the company, based in Pfullendorf in Baden-Württemberg. The Board decided to take this step, because negotiations with potential investors and creditors “could not reach an agreement at last,” a communication said.

Alno

Since the exchange in 1995, Alno has suffered losses every year, with only a few exceptions. In the first half of 2016, according to the company, these pretax taxes amounted to 28.5 million euros. It was only at the end of June that the company postponed the publication of its balance sheet for the entire fiscal year 2016 for the third time. Sales in the first five months of 2017 fell by 6.8 percent compared to the previous year.

After the announcement of the insolvency, the Alno stock fell by more than 50 percent to just under 0.14 cents on Wednesday morning and thus cost less than ever before. Alno has also issued a € 45 million SME loan, which will be due in 2018. The Protection Association of Capital Investors (SdK) expects investors to lose money as well. It is to be expected that bond creditors will be required to contribute to the financial rehabilitation of the company.

The restructuring program is to be continued

At the end of May, the group had surprisingly announced a change of boss: The previous Chief Executive Officer Christian Brenner – a representative of Alno’s major shareholder Tahoe Investors, behind which the Bosnian entrepreneur family Hastor stands – followed the previous CEO Max Müller.

The entrepreneur’s family, which caused headlines with the failed power takeover of the Bavarian car supplier Grammer, had taken over the scepter at the highly indebted company several months ago. The manufacturer had since then taken a new austerity plan and announced that the loss of 350 jobs in the administration would save millions. Over the past few years, the company has had several vacancies. How many are up to date, was initially unclear.

The restructuring plan, which was initiated at the beginning of the year, should now be continued within the framework of insolvency proceedings under the management of the existing Management Board, the company said. The competent District Court of Hechingen was initially unable to reach an opinion.

The subsidiaries Gustav Wellmann GmbH & Co. KG and Alno Logistik & Service GmbH would also be included in the insolvency application. All other domestic and foreign subsidiaries, including Pino Küchen GmbH, are not affected by this. The business continued to run unchanged.

The company was founded in 1927 in the workshop of carpenter Albert Nothdurft. Over the next 30 years, the company grew consistently and eventually moved to Pfullendorf, where it is still based today. In 1958 ALNO Möbelwerke GmbH + Co KG was officially founded. In the following decades the company achieved international recognition for its kitchens. In 1995 ALNO became a public limited company and one of Europe’s market leaders. Over 750 employees based at Pfullendorf ALNO factory.

Alno shares

Salone del Mobile Milano – a smash hit!

Yesterday’s press release (April 17th, 2016) from Cosmit reads:

With an unprecedented 372,151 total attendees, up 4% since the 2014 edition – when the biennial Kitchen and Bathroom exhibitions last took place – the 55th edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano has drawn to a close. 41,372 people visited on the Saturday and Sunday, when the fair was open to the public.

“With 67% of attendees from abroad, most of them high profile and with robust spending power, according to comments from exhibitors, this edition has yet again confirmed the strong international vocation and importance of exports as a crucial segment of the sector today”, said Roberto Snaidero, President of the Salone del Mobile.Milano”.

An increasingly international Salone, therefore, drawing in qualified attendees from all over the world, attracted by the creative and productive excellence of our industry, acknowledging the value of Made in Italy production and quality furnishing.

Due recognition of the relevance of the Salone – which has evolved over time from simple trade fair into “must-see” event, as per the publicity – and of the importance of the sector was confirmed by the presence of a large number of institutional figures from all sides of the political spectrum, and especially by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s visit to the fair, presiding over the 7th SaloneSatellite Design Award ceremony on Wednesday 13th April.

Visitors also flocked to the 19th edition of SaloneSatellite, devoted to the theme New Materials>New Design, showcasing the work of 650 young designers under 35.

The events in the fairgrounds and in the city were also very well received: Before Design: Classic put a contemporary spin on classic furnishing, with artistic direction by Ciarmoli Queda Studio and a video by filmmaker Matteo Garrone. The “space & interiors” event was devoted to architectural finishings by Migliore+Servetto Architects at the The Mall, Porta Nuova. Lastly, ROOMS. Novel Living Concepts – the state of the art of interior architecture – curated by Beppe Finessi, runs until 12th September at the Triennale di Milano, as part of the 21st Triennale International Exhibition.

EuroCucina – The Countdown Begins!

Saloni

EuroCucina 2016

 

We are just weeks away from the 52nd anniversary of Saloni (Tuesday, April 12th., to Sunday, April 17th.). A big part of Saloni, every other year (on even years) is EuroCucina. 

Created in 1974, the International Kitchen Furniture Exhibition runs concurrently with the International Bathroom Exhibition in the broader context of the Salone del Mobile.

EuroCucina showcases all the latest in the realm of high quality kitchens, responding to the escalating demand for functionality from increasingly savvy consumers. Its collateral event, FTK (Technology For the Kitchen), specialises in built-in appliances and cooker hoods, presenting the latest technology for “cooking” and living the kitchen space, embracing the innovative new dimension of “connectivity”.

 

2014 IN NUMBERS

23,813.25 DISPLAY AREA (sqm)

138 EXHIBITORS

357,212 VISITORS

311,781 OF WHICH TRADE OPERATORS

6 good reasons to visit EuroCucina:

  • 120 exhibitors on a surface of 23,000 m2 (EuroCucina), more than 40 exhibitors on 12,000 m2 (FTK)
  • Business: demand for kitchens has risen
  • Business: fertile ground for growing markets where large residential and hospitality contracts are being developed (USA, UK, China and some parts of the Middle East)
  • Top italian and international brands
  • Trends: cutting-edge innovation, technology and design
  • FTK: the connectivity that makes for intelligent homes

 

DATES AND OPENING HOURS

12-17 April 2016
9.30 am – 6.30 pm
Open to the general public on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 April

VENUE

Milan Fairgrounds, Rho (Milan)
Entrance gates:
Porta Est, Porta Sud, Porta Ovest

How To Get There

PAVILIONS

9-11-13-15

FTK – Technology For the Kitchen occupies

a dedicated area in pav. 9-11

Map of Exhibits in Saloni

Map of Exhibits in iSaloni

The 10 Largest German Kitchen Companies

A few years ago, we published The 10 Largest European Kitchen Companies post. It became one of the most visited (and copied…) posts on our site and is still popular to date. Being that it is time to update it and the fact that in recent years, most of the largest kitchen companies in the world are German, we have decided to focus this time on the 10 largest German kitchen brands.

Here are the 2013 & 2014 numbers. The 2015 figures are just starting to come out now and we are able to post some of them (see below). We will update them as they become available, so please check in again for updated info.

The Largest Kitchen Factories In Germany

The 10 largest German kitchen companies

 

Interesting Points: the higher-end/higher price companies (Bulthaup, SieMatic and Poggenpohl) have a much higher percentage of their production, going to export than the others. Also interesting is the fact that in the last couple of years, the larger 5 companies are growing (some at a rapid paste), while the bottom 5 are staying at almost the same volume.

 

I know that many of you are going to ask me to rate the above 10, based on design and quality, so here is my selection. Please keep in mind that most of these companies have multiple lines, at different quality, price and customization levels. So this list is somewhat of an avarage of they different products:

1. Bulthaup

2. SieMatic

3. & 4. Poggenpohl & Häcker

5. & 6. Leicht & Alno (not incl. other brands in the group)

7. Schüller

8. 9. & 10. Bauformat, Nobilia & Nolte

 

We are going to add latest, updated numbers, as we get them, to the above 2014 numbers that have already been published.

  • The biggest news is that Nobilia (the world’s largest kitchen producer), just reported that they broke the 1 billion Euro mark in 2015! To do that, they produced 630,000 kitchens…
  • Alno‘s above numbers are the figures of the Alno Group, that consists of Alno, Wellmann, Pino, Impus and the Swiss company their purchased in 2013, Forster + Piatti.
  • Häcker has reported a very strong 2015, with a 15% increase over 2014, to 466 million Euro. They are reporting, in 2016, capacity of 850 kitchens per day.

 

Trade fair duo imm cologne and LivingKitchen – a complete success

146,000 visitors from 138 countries – a significant increase in visitors from abroad.

Cologne 2015 - Kitchen Living

The Cologne Kitchen Living Fair 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After seven days, imm cologne and LivingKitchen closed their doors with a very positive outcome on Sunday, 25 January 2015. 146,000 visitors from 138 countries came to the Cologne exhibition grounds, among them 102,000 industry visitors (99,000 industry visitors in 2013) from the national and international trade, meaning that the fair duo exceeded even its extraordinary performance of 2013.

Kitchen living, at The Cologne Fair 2015

Kitchen living, at The Cologne Fair 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“These figures prove that the international appeal of the two events in Cologne has grown even more and that the fair duo is, without a doubt, the most important platform for the domestic as well as the international market”, concludes Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH. “This is a great indication for Cologne as a trade fair location and confirms the effectiveness of imm cologne and LivingKitchen as a marketing tool”, he adds. Dirk-Uwe Klaas, Managing Director of the Federal Association of the German Furniture Industry, drew a similarly positive conclusion. “We already had very high expectations of the fair and even they were exceeded. We are happy about the increase in national and international industry visitors and are starting the 2015 furniture year very optimistically.” Hans Strothoff, President of the Federal Association of German Furniture, Kitchens and Furnishing Retailers summarised the outcome for the trade sector: “The fair was marvellous and exceeded retailers’ expectations.
imm cologne/LivingKitchen is the most important fair in the world for the trade”.

Kitchen Living - 2015. Cologne, Germany

Kitchen Living – 2015. Cologne, Germany

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This year, imm cologne and LivingKitchen presented themselves as very international events. Of the 102,000 industry visitors, around 56,000 came from Germany and approximately 46,000 from abroad (an increase of 13 per cent). In total, the percentage of visitors from abroad was 45 (based on industry visitor days).
Within Europe, increases in visitor figures were recorded in particular from Spain (up 27 per cent), the UK (up 20 per cent), Italy (up 11 per cent) and the Netherlands (up 13 per cent). Visitor figures from France, Scandinavia and Poland also showed good growth and off set the politically induced fall off in visitors from Russia. Significant increases could also be seen in industry visitor figures from China (up 32 per cent) and from the US (up 47 per cent).
“The excellent levels of visitor attendance from abroad meant we were able to strengthen our exhibitors’ export businesses. Italian companies, for instance, did some very good business here in Cologne with German retailers as well as with those from abroad”, says Katharina C. Hamma, Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH. 44,000 consumers took advantage of the open days to find out about the trends for the coming season.

Cologne Fair

Zeyko Kitchens at Kitchen Living

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LivingKitchen closes with good results
In parallel with the world’s most important furnishing fair imm cologne, international kitchen event LivingKitchen took place this year. After 2011 and 2013, LivingKitchen once again proved to be a powerful attraction.
Its strong appeal could be felt not just in Germany, the home of the kitchen, but also far beyond the country’s borders. For seven days, 215 exhibitors from 22 countries showcased their innovative drive, high design standards and quality. With the proportion of visitors from abroad at 45 per cent, the event once more proved to be very international. “We are extremely satisfied with LivingKitchen 2015, in particular with the increase in the number of industry visitors from Germany and abroad as well as the media coverage on the topic of kitchens surrounding the fair. We are hopeful that this will generate positive momentum for the entire kitchen industry”, says Kirk Mangels, Managing Director of the Working Group AMK (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Die Moderne Küche e.V./Modern Kitchen), in summary. This year, LivingKitchen not only followed on seamlessly from its success in 2013, but significantly improved on the key figures in many areas. Innovative presentations by manufacturers, world premieres of new kitchen furniture, household appliances, accessories and cooking shows with a celebrity factor – the outstanding mix of everything connected to kitchens and cooking ensured steady levels of visitors on all days of the fair as well as satisfied exhibitors.

Gaggenau Appliances - Kitchen Living, Cologne, 2015

Gaggenau Appliances – Kitchen Living, Cologne, 2015