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Bosch back on clear course for growth


Preliminary figures for fiscal 2010

Sales expected to surpass 50 billion euros in 2011

* Annual sales up 24 percent to 47.3 billion euros
* Pre-tax result within target corridor of between 7 and 8 percent of sales
* Boom in emerging markets secures jobs in Germany
* Associates worldwide to receive anniversary bonus.
* Global upswing expected to continue

Stuttgart/Gerlingen – The Bosch Group has returned to its growth course, and has already regained the level of sales seen in 2007, before the crisis. In fiscal 2010, according to preliminary figures, this global supplier of technology and services generated sales of 47.3 billion euros, 24 percent more than in the previous year (2009: 38.2 billion euros). “This is the highest level of annual sales in the 125 years of our company’s history,” said Franz Fehrenbach, the chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. The earnings situation of the Bosch Group also improved significantly. Indeed, for pre-tax result, the company returned to its target corridor of between 7 and 8 percent of sales in 2010, following a loss of 1.2 billion euros in the previous year. The final figures will be announced at the annual press conference on April 14, 2011.

Asia Pacific sales pass the 10-billion-euro mark for the first time
The main drivers of this upswing at Bosch are the global economic recovery, the steep rise in global automotive production, and increased demand in mechanical engineering. In addition, significant progress has been made in restructuring loss-making areas, and the profit threshold has been regained in North America.

In Asia Pacific, Bosch achieved a nominal year-on-year sales increase of 42 percent, generating sales of more than 10 billion euros in this region for the first time. In South America, the company was able to grow 36 percent. In addition, North American sales increased by 27 percent and European sales by 16 percent, albeit from an extremely disappointing prior-year level. To quote Fehrenbach: “In Europe, it will likely be 2012 or 2013 before we regain the pre-crisis level of 2007.”

“We continue to benefit from the steady growth of the Asian and South American emerging markets, where we have been expanding our presence for many years now. This has enabled us to keep our core team on board during the recession, also in Europe and Germany – a fact that is currently all too often overlooked,” Fehrenbach said.

Double-digit growth for all business sectors
Last year, in line with the sectoral and regional recovery, all three business sectors grew significantly. Automotive Technology recorded the highest sales growth – growth of 29 percent to some 28 billion euros (previous year: 21.7 billion euros). Industrial Technology was also able to boost its sales considerably. From their prior-year level of 5.1 billion euros, they rose by more than 27 percent to over 6.5 billion euros. More than 500 million euros of this increase is due to the first-time consolidation of the majority shareholding in aleo solar AG, which Bosch acquired at the end of 2009. Consumer Goods and Building Technology, which was less affected by the recession of 2008 and 2009, discloses significant growth of roughly 10 percent to some 12.5 billion euros (prior year: 11.3 billion euros).

Headcount rises by some 12,800 in 2010
In the course of 2010, Bosch Group headcount worldwide rose by 4.7 percent, to some 283,500 associates. In line with market developments, the rise in associate numbers was strongest in Asia Pacific, where roughly 7,500 new jobs were created. In Germany headcount rose by roughly 1,900 associates to more than 113,600. “If this pace of growth continues, Bosch will employ some 300,000 people by the end of 2011. We are looking for more than 9,000 university graduates alone, 1,200 of them in Germany,” Fehrenbach said.

Associates receive high performance-related bonus plus an anniversary bonus
Owing to the good result for fiscal 2010, the company will pay non-exempt associates in Germany a performance-related bonus amounting to roughly half a month’s salary. This is the highest bonus Bosch has paid for many years. In addition, all associates worldwide will receive a one-off loyalty bonus to mark the company’s 125th anniversary. The amount of the bonus will depend on their years of service. The total bill for the anniversary bonus comes to some 180 million euros.

Research, development, and capital expenditure increased once again
In 2010, Bosch also increased its research and development spending by 11 percent. R&D expenditure was roughly 4 billion euros (previous year: 3.6 billion euros). Nearly half of this was invested in new products and services that conserve resources and protect the environment. The high capital expenditure of 2.4 billion euros (previous year 1.9 billion euros) went toward projects such as the ramp-up of a solar-cell manufacturing facility in Arnstadt, Germany. In South Korea, a manufacturing facility run together with Samsung SDI to produce battery cells for hybrid and electric vehicles went into operation, a new research center was inaugurated in Singapore, and the foundation stone for a new multi-purpose proving ground was laid in China.

Global upswing expected to continue in 2011
For 2011, Bosch expects the global upswing to continue. However, it will lose some of its pace, resulting in a global growth figure of some 3.5 percent. The greatest impetus will continue to come from the emerging markets, with more than 6 percent growth on average. The European economy, by contrast, will grow by just 1 to 2 percent, although Bosch expects growth of at least 2 percent for Germany. For the U.S. as well, the company is increasingly confident. Due to increased exports, higher employment, and greater domestic demand, Bosch expects to see growth of more than 3 percent in the United States. The company sees the main risks in the consequences of the financial and economic crisis, which have not yet been overcome, as well as in the development of exchange rates. “Europe now has to show solidarity. But aid cannot be given to member states unconditionally,” Fehrenbach said.

2011: In the anniversary year, sales in excess of 50 billion euros for the first time
In 2011, the Bosch Group is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founder’s birth, its own 125th anniversary, and the 75th anniversary of diesel technology for passenger cars. There will be many celebrations worldwide, including some 200 events for associates. Economically, the company expects to see sales growth and a positive result repeated in the new fiscal year, in all business sectors. “In 2011, Bosch sales will surpass the 50-billion-euro mark in sales for the first time,” Fehrenbach said, “always assuming that there are no unexpected downturns in the global economy.”

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. According to preliminary figures, some 283,500 associates generated sales of 47.3 billion euros in the areas of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology in fiscal 2010. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 300 subsidiaries and regional companies in over 60 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. Bosch spent some four billion euros for research and development in 2010, and applied for over 3,800 patents worldwide. With all its products and services, Bosch enhances the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial.

Bosch is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2011. The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as a “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

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