Press Release

Sennheiser

Sennheiser Increases 2012 Sales in All Business Areas; Premium Positioning Confirmed

· Wedemark, Germany – Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co. KG submitted its balance sheet for the 2012 business year today. The audio specialist increased its sales by 10 per cent compared to the previous year, from 531.4 million euro to 584.4 million euro.

“Once again, all three business divisions were very successful in 2012,” said Volker Bartels, Sennheiser’s parting Speaker of the Executive Management Board. “The consistent premium brand positioning alongside the right products and a continual investment in our innovative strengths has paid off. Particularly in Eastern Europe and the Asian sales regions we have recorded significant growth.”

Positive trend continues: Strong growth in Asia and market leader in Europe

Significant sales outside Germany have been recorded in 2012, the worldwide operating audio specialist shows an export quota of 84 per cent.

The EMEA sales region again came out to be the strongest sales market for Sennheiser with sales of 342.9 million euro (against the previous year’s sales of 324.8 million euro). The hesitant consumer climate in the eurozone limited growth in this area to 5.6 per cent. The German market developed steadily to 92.0 million euros of sales (previous year 88.7 million euros). The company recorded above average growth in Eastern Europe. A significantly expanded sales network in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine helped to increase sales by 67 per cent in this area.

The APAC region recorded the largest growth with a sales increase of 30.1 per cent, up to 95.0 million euros. Particularly positive developments were achieved in China, India and Japan. The high acceptance of Japanese customers for high-end products HD 800 and IE 800, plus steady growth in China through an increased demand in the professional broadcasting area, led to excellent results. Sennheiser’s presence in India has fundamentally transformed the use of headphones. Rather than being restricted to telephone applications, recreational use of headphones is now taking the lead, with more and more customers enjoying listening to music through headphones.

In the Americas sales region (North, Central and South America) Sennheiser achieved a 10 per cent sales growth. Growth in the Latin American Region was even stronger, with Brazil and Mexico showing a remarkably steep rise with an increase of 24 per cent.

Consumer electronics: quality and design for the lifestyle market

The Consumer Electronics Division forms Sennheiser’s strongest division recording sales of 288.6 million euros and a solid growth of 7 per cent. In an environment characterized by an increasing number of competitors, Sennheiser asserts itself with a clear focus on first class audio quality, technical competency and outstanding customer service. This is also reflected in the positioning by GfK [Society for Consumer Research], in which Sennheiser once again demonstrates its leading position with a market share of 16 per cent.

Sennheiser’s positioning as premium brand is confirmed by its numerous awards. The expert committee “European Imaging and Sound Association” (EISA) presented the HD 700 headphones with the title of “Best Product 2012/13”. Furthermore the IE 800 received the “Best of Innovations Award” at the Consumer Electronics Show 2013. Sennheiser has successfully broken away from the competition by introducing the MOMENTUM high-quality lifestyle headphones in 2012, which stand apart from the competition by virtue of their innovative design and first class materials. “MOMENTUM concentrates on the essentials and inspires our lifestyle-oriented customers with clear sound and minimalist design,” said Volker Bartels.

Newly focused: integrated systems promote innovations

The Integrated Systems Division increased their sales to 90.7 million euro and showed a growth against the previous year of 21 per cent. Wireless microphones and information systems have primarily contributed to this. The success of the division can be traced back to a strategic realignment. The cornerstones of the new strategy are innovation and the target-oriented development of product portfolios to produce technical equipment for meetings.

Using the innovative wireless LSP 500 PRO loudspeaker, a PA system for each meeting is set up in the blink of an eye. Via additional app for tablet use, up to 20 loudspeakers can be remotely controlled simultaneously. Sennheiser updated the ADN digital conference system, which allows discussions to be remotely managed and centrally monitored for higher speech intelligibility. In addition, at Infocomm in Las Vegas, the company presented the first microphone which is compatible with the new AVB standard (Audio Video Bridging, Ethernet). The prototype demonstrated was awarded the title “Best of Show”.

Expanded portfolio: Professional Systems introduces new products

Professional Systems sales exceeded previous year by 10 per cent and amounted to 205.1 million euro. The biggest growth was recorded in the Americas region and APAC. The division successfully developed their portfolio: at the beginning of the year Sennheiser introduced the new XS wireless microphone. The fully digital wireless microphone “Digital 9000” is the pinnacle of Sennheiser’s leading portfolio of professional wireless microphones, its excellent audio quality has already proven outstanding results in the first few live performances.

Success in fighting against counterfeiting

Sennheiser`s “Active against Counterfeiting” campaign shared remarkable success. In China counterfeiters could actually be arrested and sentenced with the cooperation of regional authorities. Also, in the UK, traders who had sold counterfeit products could be prosecuted and sentenced.

The premium manufacturer optimised the authentication of its products and gradually introduced a safety label since August, which allows the authenticity of Sennheiser products to be verified quickly and simply. “Product piracy remains a serious challenge that we are actively fighting,” said Volker Bartels. “We are pleased with the success of our campaign, because as a premium manufacturer, the protection of our customers and our brand is very important to us.”

Employee strategy: globalization and shortage of skilled professionals

The annual average employee number across the whole Sennheiser Group rose by 6.7 per cent to 2,329. In Germany the company employs 1,226 staff, which is 53 per cent of the total. Sennheiser closely monitors developments in the workers environment with regard to demography and the shortage of skilled professionals. In light of a significantly changing working world, an employee strategy was developed in 2012, which identified the fields of action for Sennheiser, allowing the company to be successful in a globalised, networked world with changing expectations by employees.

2013 outlook: further growth with premium products

Several initiatives show that Sennheiser will be able to continue to fulfill the demand for quality, excellent service and innovation in the future. With customers in mind, in 2013 the company will certify its sales partners in Europe and will therefore ensure that the same Sennheiser high standards for service quality apply across Europe. Increased in competitor activity in the area of headphones will require special focus in Europe in order to secure market share.

With a range of new, attractive products to be introduced in the second half of 2013, Sennheiser will set impulses to further strengthen their market position in Europe.

Furthermore, Sennheiser will develop markets and target groups with their completed product range of high-quality headsets for call centres and business applications.

Sennheiser will invest approximately 20 million euro in company infrastructure in Wennebostel with their “Innovation Campus” and onsite nursery. This clearly underlines the company’s commitment to its German location and its strong focus on innovation for customers.