Despite a difficult trading environment, tabletop leader BHS Tabletop AG continued to operate profitably in fiscal 2012 and with a turnover of 82.3 million euros, operating profit (EBIT) reached 4.3 million euros.
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It's no secret to TabletopJournal readers that BHS tabletop AG’s American sales subsidiary, Bauscher Inc., has significantly expanded its range for customers in the North American market. On 1 November 2012, Bauscher Inc., headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina took over the distribution of the flatware and hotel brands Hepp and WMF Hotel to the American market. In addition, BHS has also concluded a contract with the Italian glass manufacturer Luigi Bormioli for distribution in the US, the Caribbean and Canada. The agreements are part of an expansion strategy for North and Central America being implemented by the BHS Management Board.
“We can thus offer discerning, upscale catering and hotel business customers in North and Central America value-added alternatives to the cheap products coming in from Asia,” says Stefan Jänicke, BHS tabletop AG Head of Export: “The high competence of the Italian glassware manufacturer Luigi Bormioli fits squarely with both product rages, the high-quality porcelain and cutlery from Germany.”
“The US markets are an important strategic focus for us,” adds Christian Strootmann, CEO of BHS tabletop AG: “Through the additions to our range and the investment of significant marketing funds, marked growth has been achieved in the US in 2012. In 2013, we will continue this growth path to compensate the difficult general conditions in Europe.”
BHS tabletop AG with its brands Bauscher, Tafelstern professional porcelain and Schönwald is the world market leader for professional porcelain and annually sells some 40 million pieces of tableware for the professional catering sector. Among its customers in 120 countries are luxury hotels, restaurants, airlines and cruise ship lines, canteens, nursing homes and hospitals. The company headquartered in Selb, Northern Bavaria, Germany employs more than 1,000 staff and manufactures exclusively in Germany.
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COFFEELINGS. Cool for coffee.
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Despite difficult overall conditions, BHS tabletop AG (parent of Bauscher, Schonwald, Tafelstern brands) was able to stand out from the crowd in the catering segment of the industry, and gained market shares in the first half of 2012. However, the porcelain manufacturer with production sites in Selb, Schönwald and Weiden (Germany) could not entirely escape the impact of the declining economic situation.
Incoming orders at 42.8 million euros for the first half of 2012 were 4.6% lower than in the previous year, and the sales figure of 40.7 million euros was 7.7% lower than the figure of the previous year due to seasonal effects. Operating results (EBIT) were 1.4 million euros (previous year: 3.5 million euros). This includes a one-off effect from the sale of the shares in HSB Systemhaus GmbH amounting to 0.3 million euros. Pre-tax earnings (EBT) amounted to 0.6 million euros (previous year: 2.7 million euros), with the result for the reporting period at 0.4 million euros (previous year: 2.6 million euros).
“The debt crisis has finally reached German companies, too, especially the porcelain industry with its dependence on the general economic climate. We also, of course, feel the tight economic conditions in the southern European markets, which are important to BHS tabletop AG. Even when considering the difficult situation in our industry segment, we are not entirely satisfied with the sales development in the first half year of 2012; however, we view the positive result as a renewed indicator for the stability of our company in a difficult market,“ said Christian Strootmann, Chief Executive Officer.
Equity and liquidity allow considerable investments The financial and asset position of the company remains solid. The good equity ratio and liquidity base continue to be the foundation for stable development of the company. In the current business year 2012, the company continues to invest in its state-of-the-art production facilities: In the first half year, 1.3 million euros were allocated to intangible assets and fixed assets. This is almost as much as over the same period in the previous year (1.4 million euros). BHS tabletop AG will also proceed with its investments in the second half year at the same high level of the previous year.
Executive Board predicts a positive annual result
At 1,053 employees, the headcount on 30 June 2012 was nearly unchanged compared to the previous year (1,058). Securing jobs at the company locations of Selb, Schönwald and Weiden – all in Northern Bavaria – is integral to the company’s philosophy.
Because of the ongoing euro debt crisis and the cautious purchasing sentiment in key target markets, the BHS tabletop AG Executive Board expects no significant economic recovery in the second half of 2012, but, nonetheless, anticipates a positive result at year end, albeit on a lower level than in 2011. BHS tabletop AG further reports that in the judicial inquiry initiated by the German Federal Cartel Office against various companies from the porcelain industry, proceedings against BHS tabletop AG have been terminated without any accusation.
At their just concluded General Meeting in Munich, Germany, BHS tabletop Group – manufacturers and marketers of the Bauscher, Tafelstern, and Schonwald porcelain brands - looked back at a positive business year in 2011 and once again presented its shareholders with a very good result – despite the difficult economic conditions caused by the euro debt crisis. Due to the positive earnings situation, a dividend of 0.56 euros per share has been decided on, 10 percent more than in the previous year. With a year-end price of 11.35 euros per share, that corresponds to a dividend yield of 4.9 percent. A world market leader for professional porcelain for the hotel and restaurant industry and catering, headquartered in Selb, Germany, BHS tabletop Group was able to show a slight sales increase in 2011, after strong growth the previous year.
Company sales of its brands Bauscher, Tafelstern professional porcelain, and Schönwald were 87.3 million euros (previous year: 86.5 million, gain of 0.9 percent) and the company’s annual net profit was 4.0 million euros (previous year: 5.6). This moderate growth was achieved despite the flare up of the euro debt crisis in the second half of 2011, which noticeably impacted the business in some of the European markets which are very important for the company. The export ratio increased from 46.0 percent (2010) to 47.8 percent.
‘In a market which continues to be very difficult and an economic environment which brought a significant headwind no later than the middle of the year, BHS tabletop AG was once again able to achieve a very good result in 2011 based on a clear business model,’ said Christian Strootmann, Chief Executive Officer of BHS tabletop AG, at the general meeting in Munich. A clear profit again The Group’s consolidated pre-tax profit (EBT) in 2011 was 4.1 million euros (previous year: 4.5 million euros). The Group’s consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) were 10.2 million euros (previous year: 10.7 million), and earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) were 5.8 million euros (previous year: 6.4 million euros). Equity ratio at a sound level In the 2011 business year, BHS tabletop Group was able to significantly increase its equity from 35.8 million euros to 38.0 million euros. The equity ratio improved from 41.0 percent (2010) to 43.9 percent. Thanks to its positive results in the 2010 and 2011 business years, the company’s capitalisation returned to the very sound level of the period before the recession year of 2009.
Worldwide leader in energy efficiency In 2011, BHS tabletop Group continued to promote the expansion of its technology leadership and invested around 4 million euros. The focus of activities in 2011 included the implementation and auditing of the new energy management standard ISO 50001. With its successful certification, BHS tabletop AG has taken a global pioneering role in the porcelain industry. Further investments of around 5 million euros are planned for the 2012 business year. They will be particularly directed to the modernisation of production. Despite numerous successes in energy efficiency measures, energy costs at BHS tabletop AG have risen by several million euros in recent years.
In his speech, Christian Strootmann demanded that politicians create stable conditions for companies in Germany and do not carry out energy policy changes on the backs of individual market participants. He warned that otherwise this would jeopardise ‘the willingness and ability to invest and, ultimately, jobs.’ Number of training positions increased significantly In 2011, on average 1,065 people were employed by BHS tabletop Group (previous year: 1,058). As part of a comprehensive human resources development strategy, the number of training positions was increased from 28 to 36.
Renewed positive result despite difficult economic conditions, BHS tabletop Group remains confident for the current 2012 business year. However, due to the euro debt crisis, the Executive Board assumes a maximum turnover at the level of the previous year. A positive result is expected, but due to further increases in energy and personnel costs, it may be less than the high level of the previous year.
You can learn more about the BHS tabletop Group and their brands by going here: http://www.bhs-tabletop.de/
BHS tabletop AG is the first company in the global porcelain industry to receive the prestigious DIN EN ISO 50001 certification. This international standard, which regulates the introduction of energy management systems, attests to the real progress that BHS tabletop AG and its brands Bauscher, Tafelstern and Schönwald have made in recent years in improving energy efficiency in their factories in Schönwald and Weiden. BHS tabletop AG is also certified under DIN EN ISO 14001, the international standard for environmental management systems. Both certifications were performed by TÜV Nord (German Technical Inspection Association).
"We are the first company in the global porcelain industry to fully comply with all the requirements of the ISO 50001 standard and to be certified accordingly. This is lasting proof of our commitment and shows the great value we place on systematic environmental and energy management," says Rainer Schwarzmeier, Head of Production for BHS tabletop AG.
Application of the international ISO 50001 standard is designed, among other things, to save on costs and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts. The ISO 14001 standard establishes internationally recognised requirements for developing environmental management systems, with clear specifications regarding their objectives and implementation.
Approximately two years ago, BHS tabletop AG started bringing manufacturing and administrative processes at its locations in Weiden, Schönwald and Selb in line with the requirements and specifications of both ISO standards, forming project groups and systematically implementing the necessary measures.
"Environmental protection, resource conservation and energy efficiency are firmly anchored in our corporate culture," says Rainer Schwarzmeier. "BHS tabletop takes its ecological responsibilities very seriously – which is exactly why these two certifications and their validation by an independent entity like TÜV Nord are so important to us."
We have spent a great deal of time discussing branding, brand positioning, and differentiation here since we started. One company that has made a committment to that concept is Bauscher, in particular with its Tafelstern brand. Beginning with their blog - Deep Plate- where they encourage creative chefs to "play" with some of the Tafelstern and Bauscher products, to simply keeping their online presence up to date, the folks at Bauscher are working hard at postioning their brand(s) as "the" choice for professional chefs.
We also like their refusal to turn their product line into a monochromatic lineup of plain white. The Tafelstern designs are modern, fresh, and work well with chefs creations and restaurant interiors without being overpowering. Hats off to Bauscher/Tafelstern designers.
Back to the Deep Plate blog for a minute....I'm not sure (and maybe the Bauscher folks aren't entirely either) if this is a formula for success. But, I give them full credit for attempting to differentiate....to separate themselves from the pack of tabletop companies that are taking safer paths to market in these tougher economic times.
We wrote the other day about positive financial results from parent BHS Tabletop.....maybe, just maybe, the branding activities listed above are part of the reason for this success.
Well Done. Very Well Done.
To see lineup of Bauscher and Tafelstern products, go here: http://bauscherinc.com/literature