Sales of more than 450 million euros
// New records set at Recaro Aircraft Seating
SCHWAEBISCH HALL, Germany – Recaro Aircraft Seating continues its successful growth trend. Last year, Germany's largest aircraft seat manufacturer and world market leader in economy class seats increased its sales by almost 11 percent to 452 million euros. For the first time, the company recorded a delivery volume of more than 100,000 seats. Close to one third of the products sold in 2016 were new products.
Full order books at Recaro Aircraft Seating – the long-established Swabian company has been successful for more than four decades thanks to the high quality of its aircraft seats and its outstanding delivery performance. This is currently confirmed not only by the record delivery of over 100,000 seats last year, but also by numerous awards. Including the award from the aircraft manufacturer Airbus who acknowledged Recaro – as the only seat manufacturer – for its high-level reliability and delivery performance. “Over the past ten years, Recaro has grown organically by almost 10 percent per year, making it one of the fastest growing companies in our industry. With innovative products, new service concepts, a growing customer base and many new orders, we were able to build on our success last year and establish a strong platform for capacity and workforce expansion,” says Dr. Mark Hiller, Chief Executive Officer and Shareholder, Recaro Aircraft Seating.
Newest product portfolio well received
More than a third of the products sold in 2016 are less than three years old. In 2017, this figure will rise to more than 40 percent. “This is the result of our workforce’s extraordinary commitment and our high double-digit investment rate in research and development over recent years,” highlights Dr. Mark Hiller. The five-star “Add Value” concept, which Recaro presented at this year's Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg, stands for the company’s innovative strength. It includes, among others, the I-Seat, which can be used with an app on the passenger’s personal mobile phone, as well as antibacterial solutions. “An absolute highlight was our Flex-Seat within the Smart Cabin Reconfiguration concept, with which we won the Crystal Cabin Award in collaboration with Airbus,” says Dr. Mark Hiller. “These seats can be moved quickly and easily – therefore enabling seat spacing to be increased for passengers when flights are not fully occupied.”
This is far from being the only award the company has been honored with. Recaro’s most successful new development in recent years, the CL3710 economy class seat for long-haul flights, was the recipient of the German Design Award in Gold in February 2016. Additionally, the Innovator of the Year 2016 Award from brand eins and Statista (a high-profile German business magazine and a statistics portal) clearly shows that Recaro Aircraft Seating is at the forefront when it comes to intelligent products, processes and services. And finally, in November, Recaro was the winner in the Best Practice category at the 2016 DIN Awards.
An attractive employer
Recaro Aircraft Seating has not only been acknowledged as an innovation driver, but also as an outstanding employer. The number of Recaro employees worldwide increased to 2,215 in 2016, a gain of more than 200 employees compared to the previous year. In an independent survey in the spring of 2016, the Top Employers Institute ranked the company among the best employers for engineers. Additionally, the high level of training at Recaro was commended in 2016 with the Dualis Certificate from the Heilbronn-Franconia Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Furthermore, work agreements were concluded to secure the future, which, in addition to an employment guarantee for employees in Schwaebisch Hall, also include flexible working hours and mobile working. This reflects a clear commitment to ensuring that the company’s German site is also ready for future challenges and ideally geared for growth.
Sales of a half billion euros forecast for 2018
“We are in a very good position, especially in terms of our innovative strength, delivery performance and high quality. We also have the right solutions to address current trends in flexibility and connectivity with our Flex-Seat and I-Seat,” says Dr. Mark Hiller. “In 2018, we will exceed the 500-million-euro mark. This strong growth is only possible thanks to our employees’ exceptional dedication, as well as their close identification with both the company and the Recaro brand.”
A significant investment program in the high double-digit million range ideally addresses strong market demand. At the end of 2017, the new 6,000 m² logistics center will be opened at the company headquarters in Schwaebisch Hall, where 13.5 million euros are being invested. At the company’s newest production site in Qingdao, 10,000 seats were produced in 2016 – twice as many as in the previous year. For 2017, a further doubling to 20,000 seats is planned and, in fact, already secured by order volume. Due to positive developments at the Chinese location, plans are now being made for further expansion in the coming years. For Dr. Mark Hiller, there are many good reasons for looking to the future with high-level optimism: “In spite of global market dynamics, we anticipate stable development and a continued successful growth trend.”