Freudenberg continues stable growth in India

Bangalore, June 25, 2013. Freudenberg, the internationally-active family company, recorded another all-time high in India in 2012. Compared to the previous year, the company grew sales by 17% to Rs. 1,114 crores (2011: Rs. 956 crores). At year-end the headcount rose by the same percentage and increased by 520 to around 3,524. “With this positive business development, our companies in India have yet again made an important contribution to the overall success of the Freudenberg Group,” said Dr. Jörg Matthias Großmann, Regional Representative India of the Freudenberg Group and Chief Financial Officer of Freudenberg Chemical Specialities at the press conference in Bangalore. “Freudenberg successfully held its ground in a particularly challenging market environment.” The significance of India as a strategic growth market is underscored by the opening of the new Regional Corporate Center in Bangalore which will support the continued development of Freudenberg’s companies in India. Furthermore, with its latest decision to invest Rs. 6 crores into a new EagleBurgmann manufacturing operation for non-metallic expansion joints in Chennai, the Group underpins its intention to foster engagement in the region.

Global Development of the Freudenberg Group
World-wide, the Freudenberg Group recorded sales of around Rs. 43,655 crores in 2012. This represents a year-on-year increase of around 5.3%. Profit from operations (EBIT) increased by 4.1% to Rs. 3,715 crores.

New Freudenberg Regional Corporate Center opened
Following the press conference, Freudenberg opened its new Regional Corporate Center in Bangalore. This represents a further important strategic milestone. “Our objective is continued profitable and sustainable growth. With regionally-located corporate functions, the Corporate Center ensures that important know-how is available to all Freudenberg’s companies in India. This is especially true of Human Resources Management and Innovation Management,” explained Dr. Großmann describing the Center’s most important responsibilities. “Through the Center, Freudenberg is opening Group-wide career opportunities to its management in India.” The Regional Corporate Center will also support Freudenberg’s ten Indian companies in the fields of finance and insurance, as well as communication and infrastructure.

To meet customers’ increasing requirements in India, the Freudenberg Group has continued to train and attract highly-qualified employees. “Anyone who sets themselves ambitious targets, needs highly-motivated, well-trained and team-oriented employees,” Dr. Großmann continued. We have already rolled out one important HR initiative in 2012 in the shape of the global talent management process that spans all the Business Groups. The growth market of India will especially benefit from this.” With the program, Freudenberg fosters local talent in all world regions, building up a pool of qualified employees who safeguard Freudenberg’s innovation leadership in their respective markets.

Latest Investment in India
EagleBurgmann KE Pvt. Ltd., Chennai, is currently investing in a new manufacturing plant. The company has rented a site of 12,000 square meters – from which 6,000 square meters are to be used for manufacturing. Total investment in the new plant amounts to Rs. 6 crores. The facility will be operational from the fourth quarter of 2013.  EagleBurgmann KE Pvt. Ltd. is expanding its competence, product range and services by investing in new technology to manufacture steel frames for non-metallic expansion joints and metal bellows. The company has more than 20 years’ experience in fabric, metal and rubber expansion joints for customers in the chemical, power generation, petrochemical, oil and gas, LNG, foundry, marine and many other industries. EagleBurgmann KE employs almost 60 associates in Chennai. 

Freudenberg forges ahead through innovative power


Innovations originating within the Group will be one of the main driving forces for the success of Freudenberg in the future. In 2012 the Freudenberg Group expensed globally around Rs. 1,499 crores for research and development. World-wide, 2,244 associates (previous year: 2,187 associates) were employed in research and development (R&D). But India is also lending significant momentum to innovation. Freudenberg operates three research facilities in Mysore, Pune and Mohali, where innovative products for the Indian and South-East Asian / Pacific Region are developed and tested. Commitment to innovation is to be intensified in India in the future.

In addition to its research and development activities, Freudenberg encourages all associates to contribute even more ideas to the Company. The “Idea Pool”, an initiative for new business ideas enables associates to submit suggestions for products, processes and technologies. All the ideas are very carefully examined. If an idea is developed through to start-up, the responsible Freudenberg associate receives a financial award of up to 2,1 Mio. INR (Rs. 21 lakhs) or the possibility of being involved in the implementation of the business idea. The first few projects submitted have led to the establishment of new companies. Freudenberg is now fostering the campaign in the world regions – for example in India.

New momentum from India
Freudenberg Filtration Technologies has developed its know-how still further with the acquisition of shares in Pyramid Filters Pvt. Ltd., Pune. Pyramid Filters develops air filter elements and systems for clean-room applications in the pharmaceutical, medical, chemical and food industries.
EagleBurgmann India’s R&D Center located in Pune is also providing a key impetus to growth in India. The Joint Venture between Freudenberg and the Japanese EKK Group tests the most modern sealing technologies there which are used wherever a high degree of safety and reliability is required under technically-challenging conditions.

To meet the ever-increasing customer demands for tailor-made solutions in the South East Asian / Pacific Region area, the Freudenberg companies Chem-Trend and Klüber Lubrication India are developing their joint operation in Mysore into one of the most modern centers of excellence in the Group with a total investment of around Rs. 130 crores. Here special lubricants, release agents and chemo-technical maintenance products under the brand names Klüber Lubrication, Chem-Trend and OKS are developed and manufactured, for use in the automotive, infrastructure, energy and food industries.

Global portfolio structure
Five strategic growth areas have investment priority to strengthen the Group’s market position and develop established business fields: Chemical surface treatment, medical technology, oil and gas, industrial filtration, and vibration control technology for high-growth industry segments and rail vehicles.

TrelleborgVibracoustic came into being in July 2012. The 50:50 Joint Venture between Vibracoustic and the automotive antivibration business of Trelleborg AB in Sweden develops and manufactures vibration control technology solutions for all automakers and vehicle segments in the automotive industry's major regions worldwide. The Joint Venture is represented in India by Sigma Vibracoustic in Mohali.
Furthermore Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has acquired 50 percent of the shares of the Schneegans Group, Germany thereby adding know-how of multi-component injection molding production technology forward-looking plastic products to its portfolio.
EagleBurgmnn has acquired SealPots Inc., in the USA. SealPots is a manufacturer of supply systems in the oil and gas industry.    
With effect from March 1, 2013, Freudenberg Filtration Technologies acquired Aquabio Limited in Great Britain. Aquabio is a leading specialist in water and wastewater reuse for large-scale industrial applications.