New York (June 30, 2010)–Sennheiser had sales of $478.48 million last year, a rise of 1.1 percent over 2008’s $473.45 million.
“In view of the worldwide recession and the particularly difficult economic situation for Sennheiser in 2009 in the project business, that is an acceptable result,” explained Volker Bartels, Speaker for the Executive Team. On average throughout the year, Sennheiser’s worldwide workforce was more than 2,132 employees (+0.7 percent).
While sales of headphones experienced particularly strong growth (an increase of 18.8 percent), sales of wireless microphones fell by 6.1 percent; the reasons were a general reluctance to invest due to the economic crisis and insecurity among users concerning future operating frequencies for wireless microphones.
“The collapse in sales in the professional sector and the shift to less profitable consumer business resulted in a fall in consolidated earnings from $18.16 million in 2008 to $4.64 million in 2009,” explained Bartels. “In addition, a severe increase in transport costs for goods from our Asian partner companies put considerable pressure on our profits. In the course of the economic crisis, there was a significant reduction in available capacity for sea freight, with the result that we had to revert to expensive air freight in many cases in order to supply our consumer customers.”
Overall, the shares of sales according to product groups were as follows: headphones maintained a 33.8 percent share of sales, followed by wireless microphones with 24.3 percent and cabled microphones with 7.8 percent. Products from Sennheiser Communications contributed 7.4 percent, audiology products 6.8 percent and conference and information systems 6.1 percent. A share of less than 5 percent of total sales was generated in each case by Georg Neumann, aviation headsets and products from Klein + Hummel Entwicklungs¬gesellschaft m.b.H., which has in the meantime been integrated into Sennheiser and Neumann.
With those figures behind it, the company is looking forward to this year. “We are expecting moderate growth for the year 2010”, said Bartels. “The effects of the economic crisis have not yet been fully overcome; for that reason, we are still conducting our business in a very cost-conscious manner. A slight recovery in the markets is noticeable, which is why we were able to end the short-time working announced in 2009. Our production facilities are working to capacity.”
The company predicts improvement in the wireless technology segment. “The uncertainty among many users due to the re-allocation of radio frequencies has been relieved in some countries in Europe. In Germany, alternative frequencies in the UHF band were announced some weeks ago and we have already noticed a significant increase in orders.” Bartels is also expecting growth in the headphones segment, which will be given an additional boost this year by cooperation with adidas and the resulting sports headphones series.