The Freudenberg Group completed another year of solid performance, ending 2018 with global sales of $11.14 billion (‚¬9.45 billion). North American sales in 2018 rose 2.5 percent in U.S. dollars.
The Groups global sales represented a strong organic growth of 4.3 percent. After including the effects of acquisitions and disinvestments, significant negative exchange-rate impact, and the effects of the new International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS 15), sales increased by 1.2 percent over the previous year.
Our strong strategic and operational planning are the keys to Freudenberg success, along with the team spirit of more than 49,000 employees as well as agile cooperation with our customers, said Dr. Mohsen Sohi, Freudenberg Group CEO. With continued year-over-year investment increases in innovation (4.7 percent of sales in 2018) paired with strategic acquisitions, we want to ensure an equally successful future.
In North America, Freudenbergs 11 business groups generated sales of $2.89 billion (‚¬2.45 billion) in 2018, a 2.5 percent increase over 2017. The number of employees rose to 10,783, up 4.8 percent compared to 2017.
Freudenberg also continued to invest in both manufacturing and R&D facilities in North America, spending $98.4 million (‚¬83.4 million). Those investments were spread across different business groups in California, Ohio, Michigan, New Hampshire, and in Mexico. They also included the start of activities around the establishment of a new global headquarters and plant for Freudenberg Medical in Beverly, Massachusetts.
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Freudenbergs North American investments also included the acquisition of a minority stake in XALT Energy in Midland, Michigan, which has since increased to a majority stake.
Investments in North America, as in previous years, were made in capacity increases, new equipment purchases and other improvements necessary to meet customer expectations, said Bob Evans, president of Freudenberg North America. They also included forward-looking investments in future technologies such as lithium-ion battery technology. These investments will continue in 2019.
In 2018, Freudenberg companies in North America represented 26 percent of global sales, maintaining the regions status as the second most important market for the Group after Europe.
About the Freudenberg Group
Freudenberg is a global technology group that strengthens its customers and society long-term through forward-looking innovations. Together with its partners, customers and research institutions, the Freudenberg Group develops leading-edge technologies and excellent products and services for about 40 markets and for thousands of applications: seals, vibration control components, technical textiles, filters, specialty chemicals, medical products and the most modern cleaning products. Strength of innovation, strong customer orientation, diversity, and team spirit are the cornerstones of the Group. The 170-year-old company holds strong to its core values: a commitment to excellence, reliability and pro-active, responsible action. In 2018, the Freudenberg Group employed more than 49,000 people in some 60 countries worldwide and generated sales of some ‚¬9.5 billion. For more information, please visit www.freudenberg.com