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Bosch Rexroth reports strong sales growth in fiscal 2018

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21.04.2019 12:11

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Bosch Rexroth generated a turnover of around €6.2 billion. This means the drive and control technology provider posted a 12.4% increase year-over-year. Adjusted for currency effects, growth was 13%. At the end of 2018, incoming orders amounted to €6.7 billion – a 3.8% increase over the positive previous business year.

“In 2018, both our turnover and our operating result exceeded our expectations. As a result, we are well positioned to face the economic challenges ahead in 2019,” said Rolf Najork, the member of the Board of Management at Robert Bosch GmbH responsible for the Industrial Technology division and Chairman of the board of Bosch Rexroth AG. 

In Germany, the company increased its turnover by around 11% to €1.4 billion. With €2.1 billion turnover, an increase of 10.5%, Bosch Rexroth generated roughly a third of its overall result in Europe (without Germany). The company saw particularly strong growth in the Asia/Pacific/Africa region whose €1.6 billion turnover was almost a fifth higher than in the previous year. The business in North and South America also achieved a positive result of €1.1 billion, an increase of 8.2%. 

“Last year was especially significant for Bosch Rexroth, the excellent figures notwithstanding. We proved that we can strike a balance between structural change and revenue growth,” said Najork. 

Bosch Rexroth’s Factory Automation, Machinery Applications and Engineering Business and Mobile Applications divisions all saw growth. In 2018, mobile hydraulics and factory automation were the key growth drivers. In addition to its traditionally strong position in industrial and mobile hydraulics, Bosch Rexroth is increasingly positioning itself as a provider of Industry 4.0 solutions with software-based, automated and connected solutions. The company is focusing on digitalization, connectivity and electrification across all its divisions.

Factory Automation: solutions for the factory of the future

In 2018, the Factory Automation division generated most of the Industry 4.0 turnover within the Bosch Group. “Industry 4.0 is not an end in itself, Industry 4.0 pays off – for us and our customers,” emphasized Najork. At this year’s Hannover Messe trade fair, the company showed what the factory of the future looks like today – and how a vision can become reality. With the Active Shuttle autonomous transport system showcased there, Bosch Rexroth is expanding its Industry 4.0 portfolio and is entering the field of intralogistics. After all, production and logistics are becoming increasingly interconnected in the smart factory. 

Machinery Applications and Engineering: connected and intelligent

In its classic core business too, Bosch Rexroth is driving forward the transformation from applications to intelligent and connected solutions. For example, the innovative CytroBox hydraulic power unit enables hydraulic components to become connected and intelligently integrated into the factory of the future. 

Mobile Applications: electrified and IoT-ready

After a very good year in 2017, the global market for mobile machines once again achieved double-digit growth in 2018. Bosch Rexroth has maintained its market leadership in mobile hydraulics and is further consolidating its position. The company is focusing on two trends: the electrification of mobile machines for greater efficiency and connectivity. The Internet of Things (IoT) will also become increasingly relevant for mobile machines.

Investing in the future

Last year, Bosch Rexroth invested more than €327 million in developing new products and solutions. This equates to over 5% of its turnover. “We will continue to focus on innovations and intend to strengthen our competitive-ness in all areas in the future,” stressed Najork. 

In Ulm, the company is currently building a new customer and innovation center, which will drive forward technology and cross-divisional projects and business models with respect to digitalization, electrification and the factory of the future. 

In China, Bosch Rexroth began expanding its plant in Xi’an in March. With an investment of around €60 million, the company is doubling its development and production capacities for connected solutions aimed at the Asian factory automation market. As a result, the Xi’an site will become Bosch Rexroth's model plant for Industry 4.0 technologies.

Economic outlook and market situation

With its positive result in 2018, Bosch Rexroth is currently in a strong financial position. In the second half of 2019, the company is expecting an overall decline in economic momentum. Even though the market environment is likely to be difficult, Bosch Rexroth will continue to take steps to ensure its competitiveness. Its comprehensive transformation program ranges from internal structures and corporate culture to the technological innovation agenda.

The factory automation market continues to benefit from the trend towards automation and digitalization. Automation solutions to increase productivity and implement Industry 4.0 concepts underpin global market demand, while demand for intralogistics solutions offers ongoing potential for growth. However, investment is expected to decrease overall in 2019, primarily owing to a drop in consumer demand in China since the end of last year. In 2018, the market for industrial hydraulics also benefited from the generally positive economic conditions and recorded moderate growth. This year, slightly weaker growth is expected, though there will be differences across individual customer sectors. After high growth rates in previous years, the global market for mobile hydraulics is expected to plateau in 2019. Especially in the second half of the year, there is a risk of a market downturn.

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