Bosch Service Solutions aims at becoming the world´s leading provider of business process outsourcing
Strong growth with service solutions for automotive and buildings
Expansion of international business activities
Frankfurt/Main – Bosch Communication Center, one of the leading providers of business services, is realigning its business and, from September 1, 2014, will be offering its services under the name of Bosch Service Solutions. The main focus of its business activities is the handling of business processes – business process outsourcing. By way of innovative service solutions and new business models developed together with its customers, Bosch Service Solutions is aiming for strong international expansion as well as becoming the world's leading provider of business process outsourcing (BPO). The company is represented at 26 locations in 15 countries, with two new business locations in the USA and the Philippines this year. Additional locations in North America and Asia are planned for the years to come. Financial experts at the International Data Corporation (IDC) estimate the global market for BPO services will be approx. US $ 210 billion by 2017, with an annual growth of 5.7 percent.
“With our focus on business process outsourcing, we are concentrating on the world's fastest growing market segment among business services,” explains Robert Mulatz, senior vice president of Bosch Service Solutions. “We provide holistic service solutions with IT and consulting expertise in more than 30 languages, in addition to our contact center services. This, together with our many years of experience, means we can offer our customers a unique range of solutions.”
Strong growth through service solutions for automotive and buildings The range on offer from Bosch Service Solutions focuses on solutions for automotive and buildings as well as customer interaction services. In these areas, the company is able to combine its technical expertise with that of an experienced operator of contact centers. In the field of automotive, for example, the company's eCall automated emergency call system for Mercedes Benz is available in 27 European countries and in ten languages. Another example from this area are pre-bookable, video-monitored truck parking spaces at service stations. Within the field of building services, Bosch Service Solutions offers cloud-based video surveillance with an optional connection to the control center that intervenes in pre-defined circumstances. Finally, examples in the area of customer interaction services are the monitoring and evaluation of social media platforms to effectively support companies' marketing and sales activities.
Bosch Service Solutions is a business unit of Bosch Security Systems and is headquartered in Frankfurt/Main, Germany. For more information visit www.boschservicesolutions.com.
2013: without extraordinary effects, margin of 6 percent
Sales growth of roughly 7 percent in the first three months of the year
Growth between 3 and 5 percent expected for 2014
Market leader in micromechanical sensor technology, a gateway technology
Opening up new and internet-based market segments
One billion euros in sales with driver assistance systems by 2016
Sales to double in Asia Pacific and the Americas by 2020
*Note: Due to a change in accounting policies, the 2013 figures can only be compared to a limited extent with the previously published figures for 2012. The decision to forego the application of proportionate consolidation affects mainly BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH and ZF Lenksysteme GmbH with a consolidated sales volume of some 7.3 billion euros.
Stuttgart – The Bosch Group has started the new year with a good increase in sales. In the first quarter, sales grew by roughly 7 percent. After adjusting for exchange-rate effects, the increase was roughly 10 percent. For the current fiscal year, the global provider of technology and services expects its sales to grow 3 to 5 percent. “We continue to move forward with our traditional business and are opening up new fields of business. In so doing, we are benefiting from our broad technological and industrial expertise,” said Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the Bosch board of management, at the company's annual press conference. The Bosch Automotive Technology business sector continued its strong business performance of the previous year, growing impressively in the first quarter of 2014. “We have also seen clear growth in our other business sectors. With regard to the regions, business in Asia Pacific is developing especially well,” said Dr. Stefan Asenkerschbaumer, the Bosch CFO. Bosch also aims to further improve result in 2014.
Sensor technology – global market leader for the technology of the future Internet-enabled products and internet-based services are one of the focal points of the company's future sales growth. With its hardware know-how and broad technological expertise, Denner believes Bosch is well prepared to move into this direction. “Bosch's traditional strengths – our innovative strength, high standard of quality, international presence, and the integrative force of our corporate culture – are also valuable in the connected world,” Denner said. Moreover, the company is global market leader in the area of micromechanical sensors (MEMS), a key technology when it comes to networking things on the internet. Bosch's strategic objective is to create solutions for connected mobility, connected industry, connected energy systems, and connected buildings.
Intelligent sensors – basis for the internet of things Sensors enable a new form of technical assistance in day-to-day life. Describing the strategic significance of sensor technology, Denner said: “Whether we are speaking of automated driving or the smart home, a new quality of comfort, safety, and efficiency is developing, and Bosch is creating the technical conditions for this change.” In 2013, the market leader produced one billion micromechanical sensors. This year, a further 30 percent increase is planned. Intelligent sensors are the next level of technological progress. These are equipped with a radio interface and a microcontroller. As a result, sensors are able to transmit relevant data via the internet, for instance to mobile end devices. “Smartphones will not be the only devices to be equipped with sensors. Any 'smart' object will feature internet-enabled sensor technology,” Denner said.
Automated driving – also at higher speeds from 2020 Sensor technology is also a major technological prerequisite for future driving. Modern driver assistance systems require ultrasound, radar, and video sensors. This year, Bosch will produce nearly 50 million ultrasound sensors, 25 percent more than the previous year. The number of radar and video sensors produced will double to more than two million units. As early as 2016, sales of driver assistance systems will exceed one billion euros. By 2020, the company aims to enable automated driving at higher speeds on freeways. In the coming decade, fully automated driving using an autopilot function could become possible. “Automated driving is a technology that saves lives. At the same time, it can spark drivers' enthusiasm, since it offers them support with tiresome driving tasks,” Denner said.
Connected road traffic – new services For driving to be automated, there has to be connected traffic as well as car-to-x communication. By 2025, almost every new car will be equipped with wireless data communication technology. Even now, the connected vehicle makes a broad range of services possible. In 2013, Bosch began offering its eCall emergency call system. When sensors record that a vehicle has had an accident, an automatic emergency call is made. Last year, the Bosch monitoring center processed a good 30,000 emergency calls. In the area of telematics, Bosch offers fleet management services for leasing and insurance companies. “For us, connectivity on the roads not only means efficiency and comfort, it also means safer driving,” Denner said.
Doubling sales in Asia and the Americas by 2020 Asia continues to be Bosch's number one growth region. By 2020, the company aims to double its sales in the region. For this reason, the level of capital expenditure will remain high. From 2010 to 2014, Bosch will have invested some 3.3 billion euros in the region. The company also aims to double its sales in North and South America by the end of the decade. In addition to expanding its manufacturing capacity, Bosch is strengthening its local development activities. In Guadalajara, Mexico, the company is currently opening a new development and software center. In Africa, too, Bosch aims to significantly increase its sales in the years ahead. In 2014, the company will further expand its presence on the continent. In Europe, Bosch aims to grow faster than the market despite the region's economic situation, which continues to be weak. As it expands its international presence, Bosch is also developing a growing number of products and services that are tailored to local customer needs.
The business year 2013 – improved sales and earnings In fiscal 2013, Bosch increased its sales by 3.1 percent, to 46.1 billion euros (*based on an adjusted previous-year figure of 44.7 billion euros). The disclosed sales figure takes the exit from crystalline photovoltaics into consideration as well as consolidation effects resulting from changed accounting policies and acquisitions in the previous year. After adjusting for exchange-rate effects, sales grew 6.3 percent. As a result of negative exchange-rate effects to the tune of some 1.5 billion euros, the strong euro had a very negative impact on the sales figure. Excluding burdens from photovoltaics, Bosch disclosed a 6 percent EBIT margin. This translates into EBIT of 2.8 billion euros. The positive developments in the Automotive Technology business sector made a significant contribution to the improvement in result. “Also thanks to our many efforts to cut costs, we have taken an important step toward achieving our target EBIT margin of 8 percent,” Asenkerschbaumer said. Even including the extraordinary burden of 1.3 billion euros resulting from photovoltaics, EBIT margin increased to 3.2 percent. Bosch has discontinued the activities in the area of crystalline photovoltaics. The company has now sold most of its activities in this area. The sale of the remaining activities is planned to be finalized in the first half of 2014.
Headcount increased in 2013 – further workforce expansion planned in 2014 In 2014, Bosch expects headcount requirements to increase mainly in the Asia Pacific growth region. Altogether, some 9,000 university graduates will be hired around the world. In Germany, the company is planning to hire some 800 university graduates. The number of new apprentices in Germany will be same as the previous year, at around 1,400. In 2013, the Bosch Group's workforce grew by about 8,500, to 281,000 (*adjusted previous-year figure: 273,000).
Automotive Technology – strong growth around the world in all divisions In 2013, the Automotive Technology business sector increased its sales by 6.7 percent (10.3 percent after adjusting for exchange-rate effects), to 30.6 billion euros. Its EBIT of 2.4 billion euros and EBIT margin of 7.7 percent were considerably higher than the previous year.
Industrial Technology – packaging machinery sales of one billion euros In 2013, the Industrial Technology business sector's sales amounted to 6.8 billion euros, 9.2 percent below the previous-year level (down 6.5 percent after adjusting for exchange-rate effects). The difficult economic situation hit the Drive and Control Technology division especially hard. In contrast, the Packaging Technology division developed positively. Overall, the Industrial Technology business sector recorded a negative EBIT margin of 1.2 percent. EBIT showed a loss of 83 million euros.
Energy and Building Technology – connected products for smart heating The Energy and Building Technology business sector increased its sales by 3.9 percent (5.9 percent after adjusting for exchange-rate effects) to 4.6 billion euros. The sector improved its result to some 106 million euros. Its EBIT margin came to 2.3 percent. In particular, the Thermotechnology division developed well.
Consumer Goods – market leader for innovative power tools In 2013, the Consumer Goods business sector generated sales of 4.1 billion euros (note: as a result of changes to accounting policy, this figure includes sales of the Power Tools division only, plus some miscellaneous other sales). After adjusting for exchange-rate effects, sales were 2.9 percent higher than the previous year. In nominal terms, sales decreased slightly. The Consumer Goods business sector achieved an EBIT margin of 10.4 percent. Its EBIT of 415 million euros included the proportionate after-tax profit of the BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH joint venture. Even without this result, the business sector's EBIT margin was encouraging.
Europe – growth in a difficult economic situation In Europe, Bosch sales grew despite the ongoing difficult economic situation. The company's sales in the region increased 2.2 percent (2.9 percent after adjusting for exchange-rate effects) to 25.5 billion euros. Sales increased slightly in Germany as well. Bosch invested 1.6 billion euros in Europe in 2013. Especially in eastern Europe, the company is currently expanding its manufacturing capacity. Last year, Bosch invested more than 900 million euros in Germany.
The Americas – strong growth in North America, recovery in South America In the Americas, sales in nominal terms varied considerably in 2013. In North America, Bosch sales grew by 3.5 percent (6.8 percent after adjusting for exchange-rate effects) to 7.8 billion euros. This was in part the result of an increase in vehicle production. In contrast, sales in the South American market decreased by 3.6 percent, to 1.7 billion euros. However, after adjusting for exchange-rate effects, sales increased 8.9 percent. Bosch invested some 280 million euros in North and South America in 2013.
Asia Pacific – improvement in China, severe currency effects In Asia Pacific, Bosch achieved sales growth of 5.8 percent (13.8 percent after adjusting for exchange-rate effects) to roughly 11.1 billion euros. Especially in the Chinese growth market, demand for automotive and industrial technology picked up significantly over the course of the year. Demand for automotive technology was also high in Southeast Asia. In India, poor economic conditions meant that business developed less well than forecast. The same applied to Japan. In 2013, Bosch again made considerable investments in Asia Pacific. With some 620 million euros spent, Bosch focused especially on expanding its manufacturing capacity for automotive components.
Research and development expenditure remains high Last year, Bosch spent some 4.5 billion euros, or 10 percent of sales, on research and development. Bosch researchers filed nearly 5,000 patents over the course of 2013, some 20 per working day. The company plans to continue expanding its research and development capacity this year. By the end of 2014, Bosch will have some 45,000 researchers and engineers on board. More than 2,000 additional researchers will be hired in Asia Pacific, for instance. The company is also boosting its innovative strength in Germany, with a new center for research and advance engineering in Renningen, near Stuttgart.
Maintaining cutting-edge research – rapid transfer to industrial application Denner, whose responsibilities on the Bosch board of management also include research and development, called for greater political commitment to promoting innovation: “Policymakers need to set their sights higher.” While Germany is close to spending 3 percent of GDP on research, the private sector has played a greater role in this achievement than the public sector has. Denner deplored the fact that universities were chronically underfunded. In some cases, he said, there was not enough money to pay for the buildings' upkeep. For him, the result was obvious: top researchers were leaving Germany in favor of research institutes in other countries. Denner went on: “In research and development, Germany and other European countries have to measure up to the world's leading countries.” He said that funding must above all benefit basic research, as well as its rapid transfer to industrial application. “Top universities make the regions they are located in more appealing. Companies indirectly benefit from this as well.” Bosch itself is an active member of 250 university research partnerships.
Bosch CEO Denner: “The breadth of our technological expertise and our presence in diverse sectors of the economy are crucial advantages in a connected world.”
Sales up 2.7 percent to 46.4 billion euros
Disregarding extraordinary burdens from photovoltaics, EBIT margin at roughly 6 percent
Stuttgart – According to preliminary figures, the Bosch Group increased its sales by 2.7 percent in 2013, to 46.4 billion euros, and this despite the difficult economic environment (adjusted previous-year figure: 45.2 billion euros). In the form of negative exchange-rate effects to the tune of some 1.5 billion euros, the strong euro places a considerable burden on the sales revenue disclosed by the supplier of technology and services. Earnings have developed fundamentally better, but are once again affected by the situation of the Solar Energy division, which remained difficult in 2013. In early 2013, the company announced its decision to exit its activities in crystalline photovoltaics.
*Note: Due to changes in the law, Bosch no longer includes its fifty-fifty joint ventures in its accounting. This mainly concerns Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH and ZF Lenksysteme, whose consolidated sales comes to some 7 billion euros. Due to these changes, current figures for sales, result, and headcount are only partially comparable with the figures previously published for 2012.
Progress in earnings According to preliminary figures, and leaving aside the extraordinary burdens caused by photovoltaics, the Bosch Group EBIT margin comes to some 6 percent. This is roughly one percentage point more than in the previous year. Including the extraordinary burdens as a result of photovoltaics, which are likely to total 1.3 billion euros, EBIT margin some 3 percent. “The many measures taken to improve profitability are clearly working. In fact, we have made better progress with result than expected,” said Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. In 2014, Bosch will continue to work without let-up on improving its competitiveness and fitness for the future. As regards the targets for sales growth and margin, Denner said: “We have already made progress. We will continue to focus on profitability, growth, and agility.”
Seizing growth opportunities – opening up new market segments The company wants to unlock existing potential for growth and open up new market segments. Various future trends are relevant for Bosch here. Apart from energy efficiency and connectivity, there is the high-spending aging population in the industrialized countries and the rapidly growing middle class in the emerging markets of Asia and South America. Bosch is also working intensively on the mobility of the future, which will be electric, automated, and connected. In 2013, Bosch launched many products and services related to these trends. They include highly efficient gasoline and diesel injection systems, driver assistance systems such as motorcycle stability control, mySPIN smartphone integration solution, telematics services for the management of vehicle fleets, and robotics applications such as the “Indego” lawnmower.
Shaping and participating – Bosch in the connected world Bosch especially wants to open up new market segments with solutions for connected living. “The breadth of our technological expertise and our presence in diverse sectors of the economy are crucial advantages in a connected world. We want to play an active role in shaping that world, and at the same time take advantage of the business opportunities it offers. Bosch’s strategic objective is to create solutions for a connected world,” Denner said. For many, connectivity is already a reality. By 2015, some 75 percent of global population will be online, along with more than 6 billion devices. In Bosch’s view, however, this only scratches the surface of the potential opportunities. In the future, the company will make all its electronic appliances web-enabled. “Connectivity will open up new possibilities for all our areas of work. This goes for mobility, for industrial technology, and especially for energy and building technology – also in connection with our consumer goods,” Denner said.
Systematic preparation: activities and partnerships As the world’s leading sensor manufacturer in terms of sales, the web-enabled MEMS sensors supplied by Bosch are a key technical component for connectivity on the internet of things and services. Moreover, at the beginning of the year Bosch set up a subsidiary for the development and sales of connected terminal devices and solutions based on them. Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions GmbH is headquartered in Reutlingen, where the electronics competence center is based. The company was originally an innovation cluster. Bosch uses these cross-divisional clusters to develop new business ideas for a connected world. There are further clusters related to connected buildings, connected mobility, and connected energy. For example, Bosch will be working with partner companies to make a software platform available for standardized data exchange in smart homes. “Alliances are key drivers of the trend toward connectivity,” Denner said. Since November 2013, Bosch has been testing technologies that will allow the digital networking of an entire city in the “Monaco 3.0” pilot project. “Our broad footprint and technological expertise, combined with the creativity and motivation of our associates, are absolutely essential for innovation and growth,” Denner said. Apart from exploiting new market opportunities for connected living, Bosch will continue to make use of every opportunity that presents itself for its traditional business.
Volatility calls for agility Driven mainly by internet technologies, the connected world is dynamic, complex, and volatile as well. “The way the internet has risen over the past 20 years, as well as some of its repercussions, could not have been predicted. This will be true of future developments as well. As a result, we have to be fast and agile when dealing with a connected world,” Denner said. Increasingly, therefore, Bosch will be starting up new business activities to test their potential. Here, a key role will be played by Bosch Start-up GmbH, a company recently set up in Ludwigsburg, Germany. It will assume the role of an incubator for new business ideas and models. The team will help Bosch researchers quickly launch products and services. Bosch Start-up GmbH will make things such as infrastructure and business economics know-how available to new units with potential for growth. “An entrepreneurial mindset on the part of all associates and a culture that sees failure as part of the learning process are key factors for success. We want to further encourage and strengthen these factors,” Denner said. “We have to boldly venture into new territory and push back boundaries.
Business developments by business sector and region in 2013 The sales developments of the business sectors are also affected by significant exchange-rate effects. The Automotive Technology and Consumer Goods business sectors are especially hard hit by these effects. Regardless of this, the Automotive Technology business sector developed extremely positively in 2013. Its business with gasoline direct injection and diesel injection systems grew significantly. The Car Multimedia division was very successful with display instruments and infotainment systems. In Industrial Technology, the packaging machinery business was able to record good growth. By contrast, the global weakness of the mechanical engineering sector caused a considerable slump in the Drive and Control Technology division. In Consumer Goods, Bosch was once again successful with power tools in 2013, both for professional and DIY users. Developments in the Energy and Building Technology business sector were overshadowed by the situation in the Solar Energy division, which was again difficult in 2013. The Security Systems division was able to generate strong growth with communications services, while the Thermotechnology division was successful with energy efficient condensing appliances.
Significant sales growth outside Europe The strong euro had significant negative effects on the development of regional sales. Nonetheless, nominal Asia Pacific sales exceeded their previous-year level by some 5 percent. After adjusting for exchange-rate effects, sales growth even reached double digits. In North America, nominal growth was more than 3 percent according to preliminary figures. At roughly minus 3 percent in nominal terms, sales developed negatively in South America. When adjusted for exchange-rate effects, however, sales grew by a high single-digit figure. Despite an economy that remained very weak, nominal sales in Europe grew slightly, by some 2 percent.
Slight increase in headcount in Asia and North America Worldwide, the Bosch Group had a total of some 281,000 associates at the beginning of 2014 (adjusted previous-year figure: 273,000 associates). In current business, headcount increased by roughly 1,000. Most of these new jobs were in Asia and North America.
Moderate economic prospects for 2014 According to current forecasts, Bosch expects the economy to develop moderately in 2014. As things stand at present, global GDP is expected to grow by 2.8 percent. The company sees risks in the further development of the countries affected by the euro crisis, as well as in a further appreciation of the euro. Against this background, the Bosch Group expects sales to grow slightly in 2014, with its earnings situation continuing to improve.