Hettich ready for future growth
KIRCHLENGERN, Germany — The Hettich group of companies, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of furniture hardware headquartered in Kirchlengern, achieved sales of around 1.35 billion euros in 2021, or around 1, 5 billion US dollars.
This represents a 26% increase over the previous year. Of its sales, 74% of the activity was carried out outside Germany. Worldwide, Hettich has invested 79 million euros ($85 million) in new products, buildings and machinery. Hettich currently employs more than 7,400 people worldwide, including more than 3,700 in Germany.
The recovery in demand in the furniture market that started in the second half of 2020 continued in 2021. Also in the second year of the pandemic, home improvement and furniture continued to be among the priorities of consumers around the world. Many people have invested in their own homes in 2021.
“We have done our best to work with our customers to bring new and beautiful furnishing solutions to as many consumers as possible,” said Jana Schönfeld, Managing Director of Hettich Holding. Kitchens, sofas; as well as home office furniture were particularly popular among new purchases made. In addition to new furniture, DIY projects were also very popular. Hettich was able to support this trend with its solutions for the Do-It-Yourself sector.
Strong demand meets challenges
Like the market as a whole, the Hettich Group faced a range of challenges in 2021, said Sascha Gross, CEO of Hettich Holding. “Sometimes raw materials ran out, supply chains were slowed down, or capacities were overloaded,” she said. “Time and time again, there have been temporary disruptions in supply chains. The reasons included chaotic snow conditions in Hettich’s home region of Eastern Westphalia, the Ever Given container ship lodged in the Suez Canal, and local closures in various countries. Irreparable damage to the company’s electroplating facilities in Berlin was also a particular headache at the start of 2021.”
On top of that, the cost of raw materials and logistics has skyrocketed, and this is now followed by higher energy prices. “Our customers would have liked to place even more orders with us. It was important for us to remain a reliable and transparent partner in these difficult times,” reports Gross. More than ever before, the past two years have taught Hettich to be flexible and to keep going at a fast pace with changing parameters. “Around the world, this is where the whole Hettich team has done a great job. We are very grateful to all colleagues and share a sense of pride for what we have achieved,” added Schönfeld.
A family business continues to grow
As a family business, Hettich has continued to evolve since its creation in 1888. Hettich acts today always thinking about tomorrow and the generations to come. That’s why the company, now in its fourth generation, continues to innovate and grow. To encourage it, the Hettich Group last year invested 79 million euros ($85 million) in the future. The focus was on new products, capacity expansion and infrastructure development.
For example, production facilities were expanded in Germany, China and India. The Hettich Group has also grown by acquiring a majority stake in Kuhn, the specialist in sliding and partitioning systems based in Bünde, as well as in Actiforce, a specialist in height-adjustable work tables from the Netherlands and Malaysia.
“With the new members of our family and our creative office solutions, we now offer our customers an even broader portfolio to design future working environments – both in the office and while working remotely,” said Gross. In addition, the Hettich corporate group has been enriched with a newly founded company with an unusual setup: Hettich NewCo GmbH is jointly controlled by apprentices as well as colleagues from the areas of apprenticeship and further education at Hettich.
The war in Ukraine will affect the Hettich Group as it operates in both countries. “We condemn this war in the strongest possible terms. This military aggression against an independent country is a deep break for all of us after decades of peace in Europe. What the war means for the people there and for us remains to be seen. the solidarity is with the people in the war zone, and we hope that further suffering will be avoided,” Gross said.
Hettich takes a look into the future
Material and supply bottlenecks, high cost increases and ever-changing pandemic restrictions will continue to plague the Group. “This is where it is up to everyone in the process chain – from our suppliers and partners and from us at Hettich to our customers and consumers – to handle it all in a responsible and solution-oriented way. No one in the chain process can handle it on its own,” Schönfeld hastens to add.
Hettich is fortunate to be able to rely on a reliable network of partners and suppliers. The company is strongly committed to working with its customers to create stunning home furnishing solutions for millions of people around the world. Driven in this way, Hettich looks confidently to continued strong demand in 2022. There is pent-up demand among people in many countries when it comes to home improvement work. Online retail opens up new options, creating new office environments and work-from-home solutions. Along with the megatrends of individualization and new work, urbanization also offers all sorts of opportunities. Because in many countries, people continue to flock to urban areas.
The long-term objective of the Hettich Group’s corporate strategy is to combine business success with environmental and social responsibility. “Sustainability has always been our priority. Above all, it means taking responsibility for ourselves – responsibility for ourselves, responsibility for others, responsibility for the environment,” said Schönfeld, emphasizing the relevance of sustainable business practices at Hettich. It is with a concern for social responsibility that the company takes care of its personnel. We continue to place great importance on occupational health and safety. Hettich is also committed to a fair and educated society. “We support the volunteer activities of our colleagues around the world and promote education, science and social causes with cash and in-kind donations,” said Gross, explaining Hettich’s social responsibility.
Hettich has always taken its responsibility for the environment very seriously. In its responsibility towards the environment and future generations, the faucet manufacturer has focused on carbon neutrality. It is under the banner of “sustainable living” that the Hettich Group strives to avoid greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible. “With this in mind, we are testing existing processes and planning new buildings and production facilities to the highest sustainability standards. Our sustainable product solutions with the highest quality and safety requirements as well as environmental compatibility and energy efficiency contribute to benefiting the environment and all of our colleagues,” says Schönfeld.