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Daily News

Bosch Group Holding Its Ground
Jan 31, 2003
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Hermann Scholl, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, told a gathering of business journalists in Stuttgart that the year 2002 was another difficult business year for Bosch as for many other companies. He pointed out that Bosch saw no noticeable recovery of the world economy. He also said that the German economy stagnated for the second year in row and, furthermore, he said, now must cope with a government program which puts even greater stress on any growth factors.

Mr. Scholl said that even innovative companies like Bosch will be impacted by this business environment, especially as competition gets tougher due to worldwide excess capacities.

Mr. Scholl said business development in 2002, though disappointing, corresponds to the cautious expectations the group had. Bosch Group reached sales amounting to a total of around 35 billion Euro (U.S. $37.9 billion), or just under 3 percent more than in the previous year. The increase, however, was attributed to some newly consolidated businesses. Internal turnover was nearly 1-percent below last year's.

The group lost about 2.5 percent to the Euro revaluation and the corresponding loss for conversion reasons of sales conducted outside of Europe. This somewhat distorts positive results from the group's business in North America, which Mr. Scholl said had a plus of around 7 percent in local currency. Business development in Germany and in Latin America, however, missed group expectations.

Mr. Scholl said that, despite major efforts in the consumer goods and business sector, the dire economic situation prevailing in the year 2002 caused a stagnation in total sales for this sector, which amounted to some 7.7 billion Euro(U.S. $8.3 billion). Consumer goods saw especially strong competition from the Far East:

  • China was an especially strong competitor in 2002 in the power tools market segment.
  • Korea was an especially strong compeititor in household appliances market segments.

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