DETROIT—Freudenberg S.E. is growing again.
The Germany-based conglomerate reported sales growth for the sixth straight year, according to CEO Moshen Sohi. Freudenberg reported record revenue and record profitability in 2016. He added that some market segments had difficult conditions, mainly oil and gas, along with the South American region facing economic challenges.
The executive and other members of the group's management team disclosed the privately-held firm's financial results during a media event in Detroit on April 13.
“Freudenberg had a very good year in 2015,” Sohi said. “It was a year of development, change and brand repositioning for Freudenberg, and it was a successful story altogether. When you put it in the context of the difficult economic situations, it makes it rather more impressive than otherwise.”
Sales increased 7.6 percent to $8.36 billion in 2015, which represents a 34 percent increase during the last five years, when sales were reported at $6.22 billion in 2010. North American accounted for $2.3 billion of that figure, up $100 million compared to 2014. Sohi said most Freudenberg business groups in the region saw growth in sales.
“Sales in North America contributed 26 percent of global Freudenberg Group turnover in 2015,” Sohi said. “With continued investment in sustainably growing our existing businesses in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico and through strategic acquisitions, we are inching toward Freudenberg's established goal of generating one-third of sales in the Americas.”
Employment also increased to 40,474 worldwide, including an additional 190 employees for the firm's research and development activity, bringing Freud-enberg's R&D total to 2,772.
“We have made a concerted effort in the last few years to make ourselves even more innovative and to make even more of an investment in research and development,” Sohi said. “Every year for the last few years, we have increased our spending on R&D and strengthened the team we have in research and development across the globe.”