Category Archives: European kitchen companies

European kitchen companies from Italy, Germany, England and several other countries.

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

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.

 

2014 – A Year of Changes…

2014 is not over yeat, but we can say with confidence that this has been a year of many changes in the European kitchen industry. Big companies are making big moves at home and overseas, long time players are leaving the industry and new ones are entering the arena, instead. We have also lost some companies, to the ongoing recesion, in Europe.

Here are some of the major changes in the industry this year, not necassary in chronological order:

  • The Siemens Group has pulled out of the industry this year. They will no longer be involved in producing appliances and their joint venture with Bosch is history. BSH (Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH, or Bosch and Siemens Household Appliances) has been the largest home appliance manufacturer in Europe and one of the largest in the world, since 1967, when Robert Bosch GmbH (Stuttgart) and Siemens AG (Munich) joined forces. In 2012, they posted 9.8 billion Euros in annual sales. Today, BSH operates 42 factories in 13 countries in Europe, the USA, Latin America and Asia. Together with a global network of sales and customer service firms, the BSH conglomerate today is made up of about 70 companies in 50 countries, with a total workforce of close to 47,000 people. In addition to the Bosch and Siemens brands, like are responsible for many other brands like Gaggenau, Neff, Constructa and others. In September 2014, Robert Bosch GmbH agreed to purchase Siemens’ 50% stake in the joint venture for 3 billion Euros. BSH to become a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bosch Group and may continue to use the Siemens brand over the long term. The completion of the transaction is expected in first half of calendar year 2015.

Siemens - BSH no more...

Siemens – BSH no more…

  • Alno made several news stories this year – in the beginning of the year, Alno have acquired AFG Arbonia-Forster-Holding AG’s kitchen business which includes Swiss market leaders Piatti (kitchen producer and retailer in Witzerland) and Forster (Swiss Steel Kitchen). The acquisition means a major step forward in ALNO’s efforts to reduce its dependency from the German market that is dominated by purchasing associations, resulting in higher margins. Additionally, the acquisition offers substantial synergy potential with regard to production processes, purchasing and sales & distribution for the combined ALNO/AFG Kitchen group.
  • Next, Alno was able to win the three and a half year old court cases against them, by their former president, Jörg Deisel. Alno is getting back 2.6 million Euro, plus a few hunderd thousands   in legal fees, based on the German legal system. If lost, Alno would have paid, for both cases approx 6.5 million Euros(!)
Jörg Deisel loses case to Alno
Alno Ex CEO – Jörg Deisel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Lastly, Alno just announced a joint venture with PMF (Pervaya Mebel’naya Fabrica – First Furniture factory), in Russia – the two partners will invest €50 million in establishing in St.        Petersburg the biggest factory in Russia for the production of kitchen furniture (1,000 units or 100-120 kitchens per day). It will be located on the existing site of PMF, expanded with the areas purchased this year. Until the end of the year, the company will deliver Piatti production line from Switzerland.
  •  RWK/Kuhlmann Küchen (R. & W. Kuhlmann GmbH), formed in 1923, was taken over this year by the Chinese company Boloni Home Decor, a minute before filing for bankrupcy. Boloni was founded in 1988, by Frank Chai, from Beijingunder the name Kebao. They were bringing European kitchens and built in appliances to China. In 2001 the created a joint venture with Brescia based, Italian company Boloni and adopted the name. Most of the Kuhlmann-kitchens employees are expected to keep their jobs and the “made in Germany” is now to be marketed to the high-end segment in China.
RWK
RWK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Gatto Cucine, the Italian kitchen producer closed their doors in September. After 52 years in business, Gatto could not stay in business any longer. The compant announced that they are planning on continuing selling, outsourced products back in September, but that paln did not seem to come to fruition and the 114 employees were sent home.
Gatto Cucine
The picket line, in front of the Gatto factory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • According to our sources, Gatto Cucine is not alone. A few other Italian manufacturers that do not have strong export sales are also in trouble, mainly due to the weak domestic sales. Among them are Comprex and Bontempi.