After sales growth of 20% in the first half year of 2011, German design and office furniture manufacturer Wilkhahn announced a turnover for the full year of EUR 93.3 million, a growth of 16%.
In 2010, sales grew 25% to EUR 80 million after a disastrous 2009 with EUR 64 million of sales, a decline of more than 27% compared with 2008. Wilkhahn expects the growth to continue in the current financial year.
The rise in sales figures was also mirrored by the sharp increase in the number of employees last year at Wilkhahn. As of 31 December 2011, 580 people were employed internationally compared with 545 on the same date the previous year.
Wilkhahn’s president, Dr. Jochen Hahne, comments: “Our goal is to ensure continual, long-term growth. As a result, we also need to set the course in terms of personnel at the right time too. We made use of 2011 to position ourselves to achieve strong sales growth easily”.
Peter Röhrig, director of international sales on the Wilkhahn board explains: “While we made massive leaps in Germany, Switzerland, Benelux, Scandinavia and the Middle East, the English and southern European markets were very cautious. The Asia-Pacific markets and the US on the other hand were very stable. However, because of the euro crisis over the past few months, there has been noticeable restraint with regard to office investments. By stepping up our cultivation of markets, we will be able to repeat the positive development in 2012 and therefore remain independent of fluctuations in the economy”.
Hahne is especially pleased with the success of the ON chair: “With a massive share in sales and with 75,000 office swivel chairs sold in international markets, ON has become a best seller at Wilkhahn and established itself as a global milestone.”
According to Wilkhahn, an end to ON’s dynamic growth is a long way off – in fact quite the contrary. Now that a scientific study has verified that deskwork when using ON is not just healthier, but increases productivity, Hahne is expecting sales figures to carry on rising even if there is a downturn in the economy. “Nobody seriously looking at productivity and healthy office environments will in future be able to pass three-dimensional dynamic seating by”, predicts Hahne.