The technology group Bosch wants to advance its China business despite the discussions about the dependencies on individual markets. "The market has to be served, that's important. Anyone who can be competitively successful in the market can do so anywhere in the world," said Bosch boss Stefan Hartung on the occasion of the publication of preliminary annual figures on Friday. The strategy is not to reduce the presence in China, but to grow in other markets as well.
Bosch made around a fifth of its sales of 88.4 billion euros last year in China. Global revenues thus grew by twelve percent within a year. Hartung did not comment on the impact of inflation on the increased revenues, but "decent volume growth" remains.
Earnings from ongoing business before interest and taxes (EBIT) amounted to 3.7 billion euros after 3.2 billion in the previous year. Bosch was once again below its long-term return targets of seven percent EBIT on sales and achieved four percent here in 2022.
Sales are increasing in all sectors
A few weeks ago, the group announced that it would invest around 950 million euros in a development center in Suzhou, China, over the next ten years. In China, Bosch produces 80 percent for the local market, stressed Hartung. "We are not so dependent on the market that we need the production to serve the rest of the world."
Business is also being expanded in India, Mexico and the USA. For the semiconductor business - including factories in Dresden and Reutlingen - another three billion euros are planned by 2026.
Bosch recorded increasing sales in all divisions in 2022. The supplier division again contributed the most to total revenue with 52.6 billion. That was seventeen percent more than in the previous year - but he was not satisfied with the earning power in view of the expensive preliminary products, said CFO Markus Forschner, without giving specific figures. In energy and building technology, the high demand for energy-efficient building technology and heat pumps drove up sales by 15 percent to 21.5 billion euros.
At the end of 2022, the group employed around 420,300 people worldwide, 18,400 more than in the previous year. In Germany, the number of employees rose by 2,600 to 133,400. The foundation-managed company has not set any specific goals for this year, but intends to continue to grow. The decisive factor is whether demand returns in China, said Hartung.