Turnover down, profits up at Sennheiser
WORLD: The Sennheiser Group has published its annual results for the 2016 fiscal year, reporting a turnover of €658.4 million, representing a 3.8% reduction from the previous year. However, profits before taxes rose by 15.2% to €34.9 million thanks to reductions in material, personnel and operating expenses.
Turnover during the 2015 fiscal year set a company record at €682.2 million. ‘Coming from a very strong year in 2015, we were unable to build on the previous turnover growth in the reporting,’ said Andreas Sennheiser, co-CEO. ‘This was mainly due to placing strategic focus on core business in our Professional Systems Division.’
Co-CEO Daniel Sennheiser added, ‘At the same time, in 2016 we did a lot of groundwork to ensure our future success by delivering even greater innovation and value to our customers.’ This is reflected by the €54.5 million that the German manufacturer invested in R&D during 2016, 16% more than was spent in 2015.
‘The strategic lighthouse project of our research and development work is Ambeo,’ Daniel Sennheiser continued. ‘3D audio formats will be a significant driver for innovation in the field of audio in the future. We have already introduced some products under the Ambeo trademark. With the Ambeo Smart Headset, which will enter the market soon, 3D audio will now also become available to end consumers.’
In regards to the decrease in turnover, the report cites exiting the aviation industry, ending relationship with third-party brands in the Professional Systems Division and the termination of governmental subsidies in Japan as contributing factors. With the Japanese government no longer subsidising wireless microphone technologies at the end of Q1, turnover was down by 10.8% in the APAC region compared to the prior year.
While APAC dipped, the EMEA region saw a slight growth in turnover of 0.3% and accounted for €358.2 million of the Sennheiser Group’s total sales. In the Americas, a 6.1% reduction resulted in a turnover of €168.8 million.
The Professional Systems Division’s turnover amounted to €316.3 million, a 9.1% decrease, while that of the Consumer Electronic Division was up 1.7%, totalling €342.1 million. ‘Last year, we set up our product portfolio in both divisions to be well prepared for the future,’ said Andreas Sennheiser. ‘For example, wired solutions will hardly be in demand a few years from now – a continuous development that we are reflecting in our products.’
Staffing levels were also covered by the report, displaying a 1.8% increase in the annual average to 2,725 employees. At the end of 2016, Sennheiser employed 2,830 people worldwide, 69 of whom were trainees. It is also stated that 51% of the workforce is based in the manufacturer’s home country of Germany, while 49% are based internationally.