The Blum Group recorded positive growth in the 2012/2013 financial year that ended on 30th June 2013. The company succeeded in increasing its turnover by €55.78m compared to the previous year, which means a 4.4% rise to €1.317b. On average, the Blum Group employed 5749 people worldwide. This September, 64 new apprentices (seven of them young women) will start their engineering training at Blum. In total, 246 apprentices will be employed with the fittings manufacturer in Vorarlberg, Austria and 10 with Blum USA as from this coming autumn.

Facts – figures and data

  • Turnover worldwide - €1.317b (up 4.4 %)
  • Market share - EU 50%, USA 13%, other markets 37%
  • Employees in total - 5907 members of staff (up 381)
  • Apprentices - 256
  • Investments - €78.25m

“The past year illustrated once again how important our international market presence is. While turnover development in Western Europe was relatively flat, all other market regions, such as Eastern Europe, North America and Asia developed positively,” says CEO Gerhard E Blum, commenting on the development of the various markets that Blum supplies worldwide.

“A trend that had already been noted in previous years is that orders are being placed at increasingly short notice. This trend continued, which requires a high degree of flexibility in planning and also in the production departments. Thanks to the good co-operation of all the departments involved, Blum managed the situation very well.”

Material prices
The fluctuation of steel prices eased off slightly during the past financial year, but Blum is expecting slight increases in steel prices for the coming financial year.

The extension of the Engineering Centre in Höchst has been concluded and individual departments have already moved to their new locations.

The expansion of the Blum Logistics Centre at Plant 7 in Dornbirn is under way. This building phase comprises a three-level production building, an increase in the capacity of the automated high-bay warehouse and new container shipping facilities for rail transport.

Investments amounting to €26.8m will be made in total. Completion is planned for mid-2014. In Plant 2 (headquarters) in Höchst, an additional level is being added to the existing building to create more office space. Completion here is planned for the end of March 2014.

The additional training centre at Plant 7 in Dornbirn will be finished in time for the arrival of our new apprentices in September.

A subsidiary was opened in Vietnam last year, and in Mexico Blum started construction work on a new office and warehouse building.

Investments of the Blum Group totalled €78.25m in the 2012/2013 financial year, of which €65.67m was invested in Vorarlberg.

Securing know-how by means of patents
Blum has always been among the top 10 in the inventions ranking of the Austrian Patent Office over the past few years.

Last year, the company again reached second place with 57 patents and utility models granted, which makes Blum one of the companies that applies for the highest numbers of patents in Austria. Blumotion, Blum's milestone product for gentle and quiet closing, has recently been presented the European Inventor Award 2013 and thus also received international laurels.

“Patents are the only means to effectively protect important and new findings resulting from our research and development activities. We therefore try to secure all developments covering current and future products and customer requirements by means of patents at our company,” the representative of the company says, explaining Blum’s proprietary rights policy.

Products that create enthusiasm
The company continued to pursue its strategic goals and orientation in the development of new products and services in the past financial year.

At interzum 2013, the most important trade exhibition in the world for Blum, the fittings manufacturer presented a range of interesting innovations to its customers.

The Legrabox box system with minimalist design met with great approval from international specialist visitors at the exhibition, and the Tandembox that covers a wide range of requirements with its three program lines and offer of a multitude of possibilities for differentiation, was also a major success.

The new HK-XS stay lift of the Aventos program is perfect for small lift systems. This latest addition further increases the range of possible applications in wall cabinets. The new 107º Clip top Blumotion hinge has been added to the range of hinges and can be used for doors as from 15mm.

The services offered make the business field of Blum complete. They are an important part of the overall Blum package and focus on marketing and logistics; the services offered are continuously expanded and adjusted to market requirements.

Forecasts for the forthcoming financial year vary greatly for Blum’s market regions and according to the management it is very difficult to make any predictions about the development of individual markets.
Blum is convinced, however, that its innovative products, international market presence and high motivation and commitment of its staff will put the company in a good position to achieve positive results also in the 2013/2014 financial year.

Premiere success at interzum 2013: Aventos HK-XS – ideal for small stay lifts above the refrigerator or larder unit

Inside the Clip top hinge