DETROIT, April 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Freudenberg Group continued its profitable growth in 2016 despite challenging conditions in multiple market segments and world regions.
The global technology group achieved sales of $9.5 billion (€8.6 billion), an increase of 13.5 percent compared to 2015 based on the pro-rata consolidation of joint ventures.
"We are on track to become one of the most innovative broadly diversified global technology groups", said Dr. Mohsen Sohi, Freudenberg Group CEO. "We continue to grow profitably and sustainably, and the implementation of our strategic projects is proceeding fully in line with our plans. This success is the result of the hard work and excellent performance of our more than 48,000 employees worldwide."
The acquisition of Japan Vilene Company and the Vibracoustic Group had the largest positive impact on sales, resulting in an increase of $1.07 billion (€967.3 million). If we calculate the exchange rate and acquisition effects, organic growth amounted to 3.7 percent.
In North America, Freudenberg's 11 Business Groups generated sales of $2.5 billion (€2.27 billion), an improvement of 15 percent compared to the previous year. Employment numbers rose by 19 percent to 10,156 employees. The increase in sales and employees can be attributed to a large extent to the above mentioned acquisitions.
"In 2016, Freudenberg invested $132.5 million in North America," said Bob Evans, Freudenberg North America President and Regional Representative. "That represents an increase of more than 16 percent compared to 2015. Investments were made across the board, in all Freudenberg Business Groups, to manufacturing and research facilities and equipment."
Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies has completed a Morristown, Indiana plant expansion that includes new manufacturing space, a new product test lab, a tool fabrication shop and an updated metrology area.
Freudenberg Filtration Technologies has added a new state-of-the-art cabin air filter production line to its U.S. manufacturing facility in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.
Chem-Trend, a Freudenberg company, is expanding its global headquarters in Howell, Michigan. The project will expand existing research and development facilities by approximately 50 percent and will allow for continued growth of its research and development activities. These are just three examples of investments in U.S. facilities.
During 2016, Freudenberg kicked off the process of establishing a regional innovation function in its Regional Corporate Center in Plymouth, Michigan, an extension of Freudenberg Technology Innovation (FTI) in Weinheim, Germany.
While FTI focuses on fulfilling the long-term technology requirements of Freudenberg's businesses, individual Freudenberg companies run twelve R&D centers in North America, which provide local customers with innovative technical solutions adjusted to their specific needs. The close proximity of FTI resources to local R&D centers will further strengthen interaction between research aimed at fulfilling the long-term technology requirements, and current product development. At the same time existing innovation and R&D capabilities will also be strengthened.
About the Freudenberg Group
Freudenberg is a global technology group that strengthens its customers and society long-term through forward-looking innovations. Together with its partners, customers and research institutions, the Freudenberg Group develops leading-edge technologies and excellent products and services for more than 30 markets and for thousands of applications. Strength of innovation, strong customer orientation, diversity, and team spirit are the cornerstones of the Group. The 168-year-old company holds strong to its core values: a commitment to excellence, reliability and pro-active, responsible action. In 2016, the Freudenberg Group employed more than 48,000 people in almost 60 countries worldwide and generated sales of approximately €8.6 billion. For more information, please visit www.freudenberg.com.
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SOURCE Freudenberg Group