Strong Growth for Wilkhahn in the First Half of 2015

A best seller in the premium segment with a company from Abu Dhabi ordering office chair ON for 10,000 people at its new headquarters. Photo: Wilkhahn

In the first six months of this year, business has been buoyant for the north-German furniture manufacturer. Compared with the same period the previous year, sales at Wilkhahn KG rose by just under 28 per cent and in the Wilkhahn Group by just under 40 per cent even. This significant increase is due to large projects from the Middle East. The board is expecting encouraging results for the second half of the year too following the successful global launch of the new 3D dynamic office chair IN.

Dr Jochen Hahne, President, is very pleased with the results of the first six months. Photo: Wilkhahn

Strong Growth for Wilkhahn in the First Half of 2015

In the first half of 2015, Wilkhahn was already reaping the benefits of its focus on developing and marketing office chairs. Despite weak market developments in eastern Europe and stagnating business in some western and southern European markets, at its Bad Münder headquarters the company saw a significant 28-per-cent increase in sales in the first six months compared with the same period the previous year. In addition to growth in the export and licensing business controlled from one central hub (in Japan for example) a vast order from the Middle East ensured that chair production was at full capacity. A company from Abu Dhabi had ordered office chair ON for its new headquarters and given Wilkhahn the biggest single order to date for this innovative model. A total of 9,547 chairs and other Wilkhahn products were shipped to the Middle East in 63 containers.

Volker Starzmann, International Sales Director, is convinced that the head start in task-chair development will translate into market success. Photo: Wilkhahn

Other factors included robust growth by subsidiaries, all of which were able to surpass figures from the previous year. In particular Australia, Asia and the US posted double-digit rises, so that in the first half of the year the Wilkhahn Group´s sales were just under 40 per cent higher than the previous year. The favourable exchange rates for the weak euro also had a positive impact.

Wilkhahn President Dr Jochen Hahne is confident that the positive trend will continue in the second half of the year, even without major projects of a similar magnitude: “During the international market launch of the new office chair IN, I was able to gain a personal impression of the short-term and long-term outlook. Whether it’s in Europe, the US, Asia or Australia – our positioning is superb. Thanks to our new IN, a three dimensional, dynamic chair that includes in-house-developed and patented Trimension, we will be able to tap into a broader range of projects. The combination of healthy 3D dynamic features and comfort is unique the world over. The feedback we’ve received is very positive. Based on experience, it will also boost business with dealers and a broader market overall”.

The new IN is compact, athletic and very dynamic, adds 3D dynamic features to office chairs in the medium-price range and opens up new project opportunities. Photo: Wilkhahn

Volker Starzmann has been responsible for international sales at the company since May. The development of the business and the international market launch of IN couldn’t have been a better start: “It’s exciting to see how pleased our customers all over the world are and just how far ahead we are in terms of chair development”.