A food processor for almost 1,400 euros or a robotic vacuum cleaner for around 1,000 euros: the household appliance manufacturer Vorwerk likes to aim its product range at wealthy customers. Nevertheless, the Wuppertal-based family company felt the effects of the economic turbulence caused by the Ukraine war. The hopes of achieving a new record year in 2022 were not fulfilled, as the balance sheet published on Wednesday shows.
In the 2022 financial year, the annual surplus collapsed by almost 70 percent to a good 45 million euros. "The dramatic increase in purchase prices for energy and preliminary products essentially burdened our result in 2022 by around 80 million euros. The bottom line is that the annual surplus has shrunk to a third of the previous year's value," said Vorwerk boss Thomas Stoffmehl of the German Press Agency. At EUR 3.2 billion, sales were 6.3 percent below the previous year. Here, however, the decline was mainly due to the sale of the Jafra cosmetics division, as Stoffmehl emphasized.
According to its own information, Vorwerk is Europe's largest direct sales company in terms of sales and most recently employed more than 216,000 consultants worldwide who present Vorwerk products at sales events. Direct sales have also proven their strength in 2022, says Stoffmehl.
The Thermomix helps with sales
Despite all the challenges, the luxury kitchen appliance Thermomix proved to be a guarantee of success for Vorwerk in 2022. Also thanks to a price increase, the family business was able to increase sales of the noble kitchen helper by 1.6 percent to 1.7 billion euros in 2022. However, slightly fewer devices were sold than in the previous year. Stoffmehl denied speculation that the current TM6 model could be replaced by a new model in the coming months: "A TM7 will not come this year."
Things didn't go quite so smoothly in the Kobold vacuum cleaner division. Here, sales should actually reach the billion mark for the first time in 2022. But it did not get to that. Due to delivery bottlenecks for preliminary products such as batteries and control chips for the new generation of vacuum cleaners, sales at the end of the year were only 803 million euros and thus even 1.9 percent below the previous year's level. Vorwerk was only able to launch the new generation of devices with a delay of months due to the delivery bottlenecks and was also far from being able to process all orders in 2022, said Stoffmehl. "We want to break the billion mark in sales this year in the vacuum cleaner division," he said. The fact that Vorwerk is positioning the new generation of devices at a higher price than the previous devices should help here.
According to the annual report, the family business founded in 1883 expects sales for the current year to be at or slightly above the previous year's level. The profit should increase "seriously".