Sales increased in 2023 – 2024 with challenges

Sales increased in 2023 – 2024 with challenges

Bosch Rexroth once again grew strongly in the 2023 financial year. Sales rose by 7.5 percent to around 7.6 billion euros compared to the previous year. Growth drivers were company acquisitions, but also positive regional developments, for example in India. However, due to the economic downturn, the company recorded a decline of 13.1 percent to around 6.4 billion euros in incoming orders, especially in its large markets. This weakens the prospects for the current financial year.

Bosch Rexroth is pursuing a long-term growth strategy and has invested in new plants and buildings, for example in Germany, Slovenia and Mexico, in more modern production facilities and in research and development. At the end of 2023, Bosch Rexroth will employ around 33,800 people worldwide. The increase of 5.5 percent compared to the previous year was primarily due to the takeover of the HydraForce company, which was completed in 2023.

“In 2023, our global team managed the balancing act between initially high utilization and then falling order intake. This shows the strength of Bosch Rexroth: We have kept our company on track economically. At the same time, our customers’ satisfaction has increased again,” says Dr. Steffen Haack, CEO of Bosch Rexroth AG. The company has strengthened its offering for hydraulics and factory automation customers through innovations, acquisitions and partnerships and consistently developed its global manufacturing network.

Digitalization for customers and internal processes is being pushed forward; Bosch Rexroth is also continuously strengthening its sustainability activities and integrating the acquired company HydraForce. “Even in challenging times, we can rely on our strong corporate culture, which is geared towards the success of our customers and our company,” says Haack.

Sales: Increase through acquisitions

Sales rose nominally by 7.5 percent (around +530 million euros) to 7.6 billion euros. Currency effects had a negative impact of around 190 million euros, so that sales rose by 10.1 percent after adjusting for exchange rates. HydraForce and Elmo Motion Control have also been part of Bosch Rexroth's business since 2023 and, like the Kassow Robots business, which was majority-acquired in 2022, now contribute to higher sales.

The positive development in North and South America (+24 percent) was primarily characterized by the takeover of HydraForce. Sales in Europe outside Germany grew by 9.3 percent and in Germany by 3.4 percent. In the Asia/Africa/Australia region, sales fell by 4.6 percent. There were very different developments in the region: The sharp decline in China, the largest market for Bosch Rexroth alongside the USA and Germany, could not be compensated for by the other countries in the Asia region. In India, where Bosch Rexroth has been active for 50 years, the company achieved around 30 percent more sales than in the previous year.

Incoming orders: Decline due to weak economy since second half of 2023

Order intake in 2023 was around 6.4 billion euros. That is around 950 million euros or 13.1 percent less than in the previous year, when the second highest value in the company's history was achieved. The weak economy in most regions of the world and ongoing uncertainty have led to significantly lower new orders, especially since the second half of 2023. Bosch Rexroth expects order intake to recover in the second half of 2024.

Outlook for 2024: Improving competitiveness in a difficult environment

“We assume that the current year will continue to be characterized by the weak economy and great uncertainty in the economic and political environment,” says Holger von Hebel, CFO of Bosch Rexroth AG. Given these general conditions, increased material, energy, logistics and wage costs as well as the significant decline in new orders, cost pressure remains very high. The company therefore continually takes measures to increase competitiveness, such as greater automation of processes or the continuous development and better balancing of the global manufacturing network. “We are proceeding decisively but carefully. “We are thus surviving in the current challenging environment and at the same time preparing for the next upswing with innovations and investments,” adds von Hebel.

Investments and innovations underpin growth strategy

As part of its long-term growth strategy, Bosch Rexroth raised around 460 million euros for research and development in 2023 - an increase of 18.5 percent compared to the previous year. Over 6 percent of sales flow into this area, still more than the industry average. These investments consolidate the company's leading position in hydraulics and drive growth in factory automation - one of Bosch's overall strategic growth areas.

Investments in new plants, buildings, systems and machines amounted to around 390 million euros in 2023. With the newly opened plants in Querétaro, Mexico, and Brnik, Slovenia, Bosch Rexroth is continuing to strengthen and further balance its global manufacturing network and consolidate local supply chains. At the headquarters in Lohr, for example, the modernization of the foundry has been largely completed and a new customer and innovation center has been opened. Other centers of this type emerged in Warsaw and Budapest.

Examples of innovations from Bosch Rexroth include solutions for compressing and handling hydrogen, the ctrlX OS operating system, which is open to the entire automation market and for which renowned partners such as Dell Technologies, congatec and Nokia have now been won, the new eOC-capable (electronic Open Circuit) axial piston pump A10VO series 60 for the medium pressure range, with which mobile work machines can be used even more versatile and flexibly, the digital collaboration platform myBODAS for efficient collaboration between users and the BODAS group of experts in order to accelerate software development for off-highway vehicles, as well as comprehensive automation solutions for the entire value stream in battery production - from electrode and cell production to battery module and pack assembly to end-of-line testing and recycling.

With its battery recycling solution, Bosch Rexroth has been nominated for the renowned industry prize “Hermes Award”, which is presented at the Hannover Messe. The company will be presenting many of its innovations there from April 22nd to 26th.

Acquisitions and partnerships: strengthening the portfolio and potential for further growth

The takeover of the US company HydraForce, with around 2,100 employees worldwide, was completed in spring 2023. HydraForce specializes in mechanical and electrical screw-in valves and control blocks. In China, Bosch Rexroth has entered into agreements with local partners to establish joint ventures in the areas of electrification of off-highway machines and automation. They will develop, manufacture and market products specific to this region.

Employees: Team has grown significantly, primarily through acquisitions in the USA

At the end of 2023, around 33,800 people were employed at Bosch Rexroth worldwide. That is 5.5 percent or around 1,800 more than in the previous year. As a result of the takeover of HydraForce, the North/South America region recorded the strongest growth (a total of +40 percent or around 1,300 employees). After two years of job creation, the number of employees in Germany fell slightly (by 2.8 percent or around 400) due to the partial relocation of activities announced in 2022. Around 42 percent of all Bosch Rexroth employees work in Germany.