OBERDERDINGEN, GERMANY, May 2023 – BLANCO, the premium kitchen solutions brand backed by industry-leading German engineering, has successfully continued to make headway with transformation and growth. The pioneer in system solutions for the kitchen water place increased its turnover by 2% to a global total of €493 million in the past financial year. While the company was able to benefit from the pandemic-related boom in the construction and renovation sector due to the 'cocooning effect', the second half of 2022 was particularly challenging due to the prevailing global conditions. Nevertheless, BLANCO CEO Frank Gfrörer says that the company has succeeded in becoming fit for the future: "The 2022 financial year was a year of transformation for us. We used it to set a strategic and operational course for the future and market the BLANCO UNIT as a high-grade system solution. With our new products and color concepts, we were able to spark great new momentum among trade partners and consumers last year.”
Overall, BLANCO was operating in a difficult general environment in the last financial year, which was marked by the war in Ukraine, fraught supply conditions on procurement markets, drastically increased energy and transport costs, followed by rising inflation and declining consumer momentum. Against this background, the company decided in Spring 2022 to withdraw from its operational business in Russia and dissolve its subsidiary there. The company also responded to the situation by implementing a mid-year price increase for the first time and with measures to save costs and energy in production and logistics.
Enhancement of the kitchen water place with innovations and high-quality design
Last year, the company took ingenious base cabinet organization to a new level with the European debut of the BLANCO Multi Frame, which was presented for the first time in September 2022. This innovation not only increases convenience for users, but as a pre-installed complete system simplifies the entire handling process for retail partners – from ordering and delivery to installation.
Alongside technical innovations, the evolving design remains a driving factor in the premium strategy. BLANCO expanded the possibilities of premium kitchen design in 2022 with BLANCO UNIT Inspirations, which complement the latest kitchen designs and meet the diverse lifestyle needs of homeowners.
Closer to customers and consumers: Strategic realignment of the global market organization
In order to step up the marketing of the BLANCO UNIT internationally and position the BLANCO premium brand optimally according to local market conditions, global sales were realigned in Fall 2022, with a clear focus on the core regions of EMEA, North America and Asia-Pacific. At the same time, even more specific market segmentation is ensuring efficient and targeted marketing management.
BLANCO has implemented multiple measures to make the BLANCO UNIT more visible and tangible for retail partners and consumers as a premium product for the kitchen water place. The new Brand Space concept was rolled out, which provides retailers with a spectrum of high-quality UNIT modules and materials for showrooms and exhibition kitchens. A Europe-wide dealer roadshow that took in seven countries and was accompanied by social media campaigns also attracted a great deal of attention from kitchen fans. BLANCO has opened a flagship store in Indonesia in collaboration with a long-standing trading partner. Other brand strategy activities in 2022 included a presence at major industry trade fairs in Germany and in international markets.
Investing in the future: Optimizing locations and expertise
BLANCO’s transformation is progressing dynamically across all areas of the company. In 2022, comprehensive digitalization projects in production, logistics and administration made strong progress or were brought to completion, including the introduction of a digital warehouse management system in the United Kingdom and the launch of a digital transport management system in North America to serve customers in an even more service-oriented way. CFO Rüdiger Böhle points out that the conversion of the global ERP system, which has been planned over several years, has also achieved important milestones.
The conversions to increase the production capacity for SILGRANIT® sinks at the plants in Toronto (CA) and Most (CZ) were also completed. In addition, BLANCO invested in infrastructure for the supply of alternative energy last year.
As a company that has been synonymous with durable products for the kitchen for almost 100 years, the efficient and careful use of resources and pioneering quality standards at premium level has always been hugely important here. BLANCO worked intensively on the sustainability concept of the BLANC & FISCHER Family Holding in 2022 and has documented this commitment transparently in the current A.I.R. sustainability report.
Shaping the premium brand BLANCO with an excellent team
The company had 1,587 full-time employees worldwide at the end of the year. "They have all contributed to the success of the business by working towards our common goal of making the water place a sought-after brand product in high-end kitchens. The Management Board would like to express our heartfelt thanks for this," says CFO Rüdiger Böhle. "With a clear course for its strategic direction, BLANCO consistently built-up expertise last year, both through a comprehensive development program for the workforce, tailored to the requirements of the transformation and through targeted new hires."
According to CEO Frank Gfrörer, the company expects business volume to grow modestly in 2023, given that the prevailing global conditions and their consequences are difficult to assess. "Nevertheless, we are doing everything we can to inspire people to equip their new kitchens with the BLANCO UNIT to make life easier."