Bosch Rexroth successfully concluded the 2021 financial year despite the persistently difficult framework conditions. Order intake rose by 44 percent to a record value of 7.5 billion euros and secures further growth. Sales rose by 20 percent to 6.2 billion euros. This brings the company back to its pre-crisis level in the second «pandemic» year. The number of associates increased by 4.7 percent to around 31,100 worldwide.
“We have had a successful year 2021 – thanks to strong team performance. Despite the pandemic and economic challenges, we have succeeded in increasing sales, reliably delivering to our customers, and further increasing their satisfaction. We have reached a new high on incoming orders. We are clearly on a growth track,” explains Rolf Najork, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH with responsibility for the Industrial Technology division and CEO of Bosch Rexroth AG.
Sales: strong growth worldwide
Sales growth for 2021 was driven by significant double-digit growth rates in all regions of the world. At 23.5 percent, Bosch Rexroth recorded the largest year-on-year increase in Europe outside Germany. Sales amounted to 2 billion euros there. In Germany, sales rose by 18.2 percent to 1.3 billion euros. In the Americas, sales rose by 18.3 percent to 1.1 billion euros, and in Asia by 15.9 percent to 1.8 billion euros. At 6.2 billion euros, total sales are back at the level of 2019, the year before the pandemic.
Order intake: Record value as basis for further growth
Bosch Rexroth achieved an order intake of 7.5 billion euros – around 800 million euros above the comparable peak in 2018. Compared to the previous year, Bosch Rexroth increased its order intake volume by 43.1 percent. Growth accelerated over the course of the year, especially in the fourth quarter. The strong order intake offers potential for further growth. The high-volume hydraulics business showed strong demand, and the factory automation activities also grew strongly.
Research & Development spend and investments rose considerably
Bosch Rexroth continues to invest in the future: 344 million euros went into research and development – an increase of 5.8 percent. The focal points were the electrification of mobile machines , factory automation , the portfolio based on the ctrlX AUTOMATION platform and integrated axis systems in the area of industrial hydraulics .
At around 180 million euros, the company spent 78.2 percent more for its international production network than in the previous year. Investments were mainly focused on optimizing, expanding and renewing production capacities in Germany, Turkey, China, and Italy. The mid-term planning continues to include significant investments in production and logistics.
«With our extensive investments and development activities, we want to increase our competitiveness, enable further growth, and secure attractive jobs,» says Najork.
Team grows, further demand for specialists
The Bosch Rexroth team grew worldwide in 2021, mainly due to the high capacity utilization in manufacturing, by around 1,400 associates, or 4.7 percent, to around 31,100 now. Germany recorded the highest absolute growth (+410 associates or 3 percent, respectively). The strongest share of growth was recorded in the Americas (+15.5 percent or 384 associates, respectively). Bosch Rexroth continues to have a strong demand for specialist personnel , especially for the factory automation activities, in production-related areas and in software development as well as sales engineers.
Innovations: awarded and presented
Bosch Rexroth’s new and the world’s most compact electric Subsea Valve Actuator SVA R2 was honored at Hannover Messe 2021. It won the Hermes Award 2021 , the internationally most prestigious Industrial Award. The actuator for the safe opening and closing of valves is used on the seabed and helps to significantly reduce the CO₂ emissions of process systems as well as environmental risks. In addition, the SVA R2 is suitable for use in future process plants, for the generation of green hydrogen as well as for carbon capture applications. The first pilot applications are currently in preparation with various system manufacturers and operators.
The ctrlX AUTOMATION platform won the «Der Deutsche Innovationspreis 2021» innovation award. It combines previously separate worlds in a consistently open and modular system: machine control, information technology, and the internet of things. The platform is already being used by several hundred customers and is being continuously expanded.
Thanks to the modular and scalable eLION platform from Bosch Rexroth, manufacturers of mobile machines can use an electric drive train to quickly develop locally emission-free concepts for work and drive applications of machines, hybrid or fully electric. For this, Bosch Rexroth offers highly efficient and powerful electric motors, generators, and inverters combined with transmission technology and hydraulics, supplemented by modular software.
Sustainability for customers and in own processes
Sustainability not only plays a major role in the innovations that are part of Bosch Rexroth’ product portfolio. The 47 production sites have been climate-neutral since 2020 already. In a further step, the company reduces indirect CO₂ emissions along the entire product life cycle. This includes the use of raw materials, emissions in the production of intermediate products by suppliers and the actual product use. The goal is to reduce CO₂ emissions along the supply chain by 15 percent by 2030.
Outlook for 2022: optimism with restrictions
„We are optimistic overall and expect further significant sales growth – but due to their global impact, the war in Ukraine and the still ongoing corona pandemic clearly are factors of uncertainty,» says Najork. „The safety of our teams worldwide is always our top priority. We keep close contact with our customers digitally and personally – for example in our new customer and innovation center in Ulm. And we are doing everything we can to reliably continue deliveries to our customers.»
In view of the war in Ukraine and the pandemic, Bosch Rexroth is therefore continuing to adapt continuously to the framework conditions. In concrete terms, for example, demand development is closely coordinated with customers and suppliers. In order to ensure deliveries, long-term agreements are made where necessary and second sources of supply are established to enable local procurement in the markets. Expert teams continuously assess supply risks and take preventive measures. This also applies to the global transport networks.
Opportunities arise, for example, from government-funded infrastructure projects that drive demand for construction machinery. In Europe and North America, the establishment of new production plants for all types of goods can be observed, aimed at regionalizing supply chains. Worldwide initiatives and government measures for climate protection lead to a high need for modernization of installed machines and systems in order to increase energy efficiency. The digital transformation of mechanical engineering also remains a growth driver. With the «Industry 4.0 Center Asia» in Xi’an, China, the company is tapping into new markets and applications in the world’s largest industrial market.
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