“Into a new century”:
Viessmann starts its anniversary year with an increase in sales
● 2.8 percent increase in sales despite weak market environment
● Customer centric energy solutions the answer to the energy transition
● Digitalization as driver of future growth for specialist contractors
Frankfurt / Allendorf (Eder), March 15, 2017 – Viessmann Group has entered its anniversary year by launching its new motto “Into a new century” at the world-leading ISH Energy trade fair. The company, one of the international leading manufacturers of heating, industrial and refrigeration systems, was founded a hundred years ago and believes it is well equipped to start its journey into the future alongside its trade partners.
Speaking in Frankfurt, the president of the company’s executive board, Professor Martin Viessmann, emphasized: “In this, our anniversary year, the task before us once again is to see the major challenges that face us as opportunities. In this case, we see the energy transition on the one hand and digitalization on the other. We offer our trade partners the right answers for both, and we are showing these extensively at the ISH”.
Positive business performance – growth in sales and turnover
In 2016, Viessmann managed to grow its sales by 2.8 percent, while turnover was up 1.4 percent at € 2.25 billion. Viessmann therefore performed well in a difficult market environment. Sales in the overall German heating sector declined by 2 percent, and even by more than 3 percent worldwide.
“The market numbers have shown once again: modernization of the heating market has failed to get going to the extent which is necessary to achieve the climate protection targets”, said Viessmann Group CEO Joachim Janssen. “Against this backdrop, we are satisfied with how our company has performed last year.”
In Germany, turnover at Viessman increased by 5 percent. Foreign turnover fell by just under 2 percent, on the other hand, reasons for which included the continuing difficulties facing the industry in Russia. Foreign turnover accounted for 54 percent of the total. The number of employees rose by around 3 percent to 12,000.
Investments at record high
Viessmann significantly increased its investment in the future of the company to € 130 million, which is 6 percent of the annual turnover.
Key elements included:
● the Viessmann Innovation Center at the company’s headquarters in Allendorf, due to be officially opened on April 12, 2017 in the presence of German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel;
● the new plant in Lipetsk (Russia), scheduled to be inaugurated in June 2017;
● as well as digital products, business models and diversification.
“The significantly increased investments are contributing to our new vision: We take care of the planet with customer centric energy solutions. We are developing these solutions with our market partners so that we can take advantage of the great opportunities offered by both energy transition and digitalization”, said Professor Viessmann.
Solutions for the energy transition
As part of the energy transition, electricity is being generated, sustainably and carbon-neutral, as a key fuel source. A new energy management system (EMS) from Viessmann, which optimizes the generation and consumption of electrical energy in the building, is used to control current-based components for sector coupling such as photovoltaic systems, heat pumps and battery storage systems.
The most innovative form of combined heat and power generation is fuel cell heating. Viessmann has successfully introduced the device to the market as a world’s first, and is already working on the next generation of this pioneering technology.
In addition, Viessmann is demonstrating innovative technologies with a high degree of energy efficiency for all fuel sources and areas of application at the ISH. These include highly efficient condensing boilers in combination with solar heat, biomass heating systems, heat pumps, also as hybrid systems.
Digitalization: extensive support for professional contractors
“Digitalization is the single greatest structural change our industry has been faced with. It offers our market partners completely new possibilities to create an even better customer experience. These solutions comprise, for instance, predictive maintenance and the control of heating systems with mobile devices. Our partners gain time, reduce their complexity and increase their business success. This is exactly what it comes down to”, said Maximilian Viessmann, the fourth generation to be responsible for the company and the Group’s Chief Digital Officer.
Prof. Viessmann: “Digitalization has, for the first time, led to a situation where the older generation can learn more from the younger than vice versa. I am very much delighted that my son has joined the company and that pushes forward the digital transformation. This means: the generation change we have initiated on a strategic level a couple of years before, has now become effective. Together, we adapt the company as a whole to the requirements of the digital future”.
The main focus is on digital services, which are key to the future of professional contracting – from quick, online tender preparation to support during the installation phase through to ongoing operations and, finally, modernization.
Overall, the company is pushing forward its comprehensive digital transformation on three levels.
Firstly, Viessmann is creating a forward-looking and entrepreneurial culture and is in the process of digitalizing all key internal processes.
Secondly, digital products and business models that are close to the core business are being developed. An example of this is “Digital Energy Solution”, a joint venture with BMW that offers digital solutions for increasingly flexible energy markets.
And finally, Viessmann is diversifying by investing in new business segments, particularly in the area known as Deep Tech – including the venture capital fund Vito Ventures (vito.vc) and the company Builder WATTx (wattx.io).
The focus is on the customer
Customer-focused business practice is evident not only in digital services, but also directly at the ISH stand: The spotlight is on the dialogue with partners and customers. In a special forum, they get information how to align their companies with the requirements of the future.
The ISH presentation illustrates Viessmann’s path towards a new digital and carbon-neutral century – digitalization and energy transition made in Germany.