STIHL Geschäftsbericht 2018


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Companythe executive Board

Report of the executive Board

From left to right

Dipl.-BW. (FH) Karl Angler, Finance, Controlling, Information Systems and Service
Dr. Michael Prochaska, Human Resources and Legal Affairs
Dr. Bertram Kandziora, Chairman of the Executive Board, Manufacturing and Materials
Dipl.-Ing. Wolfgang Zahn, Research and Development
Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Norbert Pick, Marketing and Sales

Letter from the Chairman of the Advisory Board

Dear Business Partners,
Dear Staff,
Dear Friends of the STIHL Group,

Another eventful year lies behind the STIHL Group. Innovative technologies and new approaches, especially digitalization, received a great deal of our attention. Digitalization offers the potential to develop new business models and products that make our customers’ work even easier. At the same time, it allows us to further improve gasoline-powered products – our core business – and connect them intelligently.

Through all of these changes, it is important to reflect on the roots and values that have made STIHL great and which continue to set us apart to this day. Those values include the spirit of technical ingenuity so often talked about, as well as the commitment to global markets and technological leadership. By the end of 2018, the STIHL Group was larger than ever. We are making extensive ­investments in buildings, equipment, apprenticeships, further training and state-of-the-art working environments. Yet a business is more than the sum of its employees, buildings, machines and processes. It is more than its products and services. Above all, a business such as ours is a strong and reliable community that works toward common goals.

The Group currently has 38 sales and marketing companies, approximately 120 importeurs and more than 50,000 independent, STIHL-authorized dealers are active in over 160 countries. My grandfather Andreas Stihl laid the foundation for this international network back in the 1930s when he first sold his tools abroad. He was not afraid to target ­major foreign markets, such as the U.S. and Canada. You could say he was a pioneer of globalization.

He would be proud of the STIHL Group today – a global operation that is successful thanks to its excellent products, established principles and diversity. But just as my grandfather never stopped innovating or taking on new challenges, nor shall we.

On behalf of the Advisory Board, I would like to thank the Supervisory Board, the Executive Board, the employee representatives and the entire workforce worldwide for their ­commitment and for their positive and constructive cooperation.


Chairman of the Advisory Board

Report of the Executive Board

Dear Employees,
Dear Business Partners,

2018 was a special year for the STIHL Group. The past months have moved and challenged us in many respects. Through it all, we have remained ­focused on our core competencies: We define, develop, produce and sell products that spark enthusiasm and inspiration in our customers and make their work in and around nature easier. The STIHL MS 500i, the first professional chainsaw with electronic fuel injection, and the STIHL TS 440, a cut-off machine with expanded guard adjustability made possible by the world’s first sensor-activated wheel brake, are excellent examples of what we strive to achieve. Both tools strongly support our claim to technological leadership in the industry. In addition, the past fiscal year saw the introduction of even more gasoline- and battery-powered products, as well as new digital applications.

At first glance, all of those things would appear to be sufficient to make 2018 yet another impressive chapter in our company’s long success story – were it not for three other factors: the weather, global policy and exchange rates. With regard to the weather, we started the year with a long, cold spring ­followed by a very hot summer with little rain. Unfortunately, the weather also had an effect on demand for our products.

Our business is truly international. STIHL products are sold in some 160 countries worldwide, and the Group generates 90 percent of its revenue outside of Germany. An increase in anti-free-trade sentiment around the globe, the introduction of protective and punitive tariffs and the debate ­surrounding the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU are not the foundation on which flourishing business is built.

Another factor, exchange rates, had a major impact. The conversion of global revenue into euros resulted in a negative currency effect of 170 million euros – or nearly 4.5 percent.

As a result, the year was not a success on all fronts. Yet despite all the ­adversities we faced, revenue more or less matched the level of just under 3.8 billion euros seen in the previous year. We also managed to post a slight increase in the quantity of products sold.

Change has been and will continue to be par for the course at STIHL, and we have always kept an eye on the future. Today, more than 17,000 people around the world work for STIHL Group companies. We are making extensive investments in training and educating our skilled workers. Only qualified and motivated employees have what it takes to keep the STIHL Group growing. That is why in 2019, we have once again significantly increased the number of apprenticeships at our German founding company, ­ANDREAS STIHL AG & Co. KG, while offering a wide range of additional training opportunities.

The growing workforce, along with numerous international awards that recognize STIHL as a leading employer in its industry, offers further ­evidence of how much people like working for the companies of the STIHL Group.

We are delighted to have so many dedicated and enthusiastic employees. On behalf of the entire Executive Board, I thank you very much for your outstanding work. I would like to thank the Advisory Board and the partners for the trust they have placed in me, and the members of the Employee Council for their constructive cooperation.


Chairman of the Executive Board