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!

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.

 

The Cologne Show Reaches 100 Exhibitors!

According to Koelnmesse GmbH, the organizers of the Cologne Kitchen show, or in its new name – LivingKitchen, more than 100 exhibitors are expected at the upcoming show, to takes place in Cologne, Germany, January 18th, to the 23rd.

The Cologne Show

The Cologne Show

Companies like Nobilia, Poggenpohl, Miele, Kitchen Aid, Blanco, Bosch Franke, Gaggenau and Siemens, are just a few of the brands that already confirmed participation in this show.

The City of Cologne, Germany

The City of Cologne, Germany

Is this show going to compete with Eurocucina? Only time will tell…

The 10 largest European Kitchen Companies

The Nobia Group                            Häcker                                   Mobalpa, France   

Many of you have asked me for a ‘top 10 list’ of European kitchen companies. Being that in my mind ‘Top 10′ is not just about company size and/or sales volume (especially in today’s economy…) I’m still working on that list for you and sooner or later it will be posted.
In the mean time, with the help of a good friend (thank you, A.S.), I was able to come up with the list of the largest companies in the European kitchen brands for you.

Bauformat, Germany                      Nobilia, Germany                          Cuisine Schmidt
The difficult part about coming up with such a list is how do you measure size, or I should say – by what parameters. I see, some European companies are actually part of a Group – they own several kitchen brands/factories, not necessarily all in the same country (!). Some manufacture kitchens but also sell retail, through a chain of factory owned stored. They may produce less kitchens, then another company, but if you add their retail sales, to their wholesale figures and then add appliances (manufactured by appliance companies, counters and even labor, the comparison is simply not easy.

Nolte, Germany       Alno Group, Germany         Schüller, Germany           Snaidero Group, Italy  

So with the above in mind, the only way to create the list (without going nuts) is really just by total sales figures (Europeans like to use the term – ‘Turnover’). So here is the list:

1. Nobia Group (Sweden) – There are many companies in this group, like Poggenpohl and Pronorm (Germany), HTH (Denmark), Marbodal (Sweden), Sigdal (Norway), EWE (Austria), plus, they also have a retail-network in the group – Magnet (UK).
2. Nobilia (Germany) – one company.
3. Alno GroupAlno, Wellmann, Pino and Impuls (Germany).
4. Cuisine Schmidt (France) – including a retail-network.
5. Häcker (Germany) – one company.
6. Nolte (Germany) – one company.
7. Mobalpa (France) – including a retail-network.
8. Schüller (Germany) – one company.
9. Bauformat Group - Bauformat and Burger (Germany).
10. Snaidero Group - Snaidero (Italy), Rational (Germany and including retail-networks like Ixina and Cuisine-Plus.

Some intresting facts:

  •  The majority of the companies, in the above list, are from Germany and the Scandinavian countries.  In that part of Europe, the groups (or concerns) are very typical and have been around since before Columbus discovered America… (no joke!).
  • The only Italian company is in the tenth spot – unlike the northern Europeans, in the southern part of Europe, the opposite is more common – smaller companies, privately owned and operated. Even inside Italy, the more south you go, the smaller and more family owned and operated the companies are. With that said, there are a lot more Italian kitchen companies operating and selling kitchens, then there are German and Scandinavian combined…
  • If we only consider single factory sales, without retail sales and/or other companies in the Group, the largest one is Nobilia, from Germany, then  Häcker, Nolte and Schüller, from Germany.
  • This list is not guaranteed, as many companies do not publish their sales figures but is fairly close to reality. Also, the list can change in one day, if one of the groups decides to sell off a factory or two, or in return, to acquire a couple of brands.

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