The domestic appliances division’s turnover in 2015 was 920 million €, 5 million € or 0.5 % above the previous year’s figure.
In 2015 the worldwide market for large electrical appliances grew slightly in terms of sales volume; this was also evident in the refrigerator and freezer area. There were definite variations between the regions in Europe. While development was vigorous in Germany and France, the largest markets, there was a severe downturn in some Eastern European countries.
Progress in the division’s two most important regions, Western and Eastern Europe, also varied considerably. Sales revenue rose in Western Europe compared with the previous year, especially in Great Britain, Switzerland and the Netherlands. In Eastern Europe, on the other hand, the division suffered a drop in sales revenue that was mainly due to lower demand in Russia. Turnover in Africa and the Near and Middle East rose. Sales revenue also increased in the USA and Australia; in Asia, it reached the previous year’s figure.
In 2015 the division’s research and development department placed the emphasis of its work on systematically reducing the appliances’ energy consumption and noise emissions.
The “BluPerformance” model line was a highlight in the division’s product development; an entirely new generation of standalone appliances with which Liebherr is setting new standards of economy, sustainability and design. Thanks to innovative cooling technology, all BluPerformance models are notable for their high environmental acceptability and comply with the highest A+++ category for efficient use of energy. Some models are in fact a further 20 % more economical than the previously highest rated models. In addition, the refrigerators and freezers are very quiet, with more space available for food storage since the compact refrigerating technology is integrated into the plinth. As an option the new generation of standalone models can be connected by WLAN to “Smart Homes”, and controlled conveniently via Internet. Using the SmartDeviceBox as an accessory, additional functions can also be used: temperature, SuperCool or SuperFrost can be adjusted, or alarm signals received.
Product development work on the two temperature-controlled wine cabinets for 45 cm wide spaces was focused not only on efficient use of energy but also on timeless, classic design. The two compact temperature-controlled wine cabinets (WKEgw 582 and WKEgb 582) can be integrated most effectively into kitchen furniture schemes without handles. These appliances use the latest in refrigeration technology, comply with energy efficiency class A+ and include every feature for optimal storage of wine at the ideal temperatures.
In the commercial area, Liebherr exhibited two new models of refrigerators and freezers (BKv 5040 and BG 5040) at the “Internorga” trade fair in Hamburg, Germany. These models have been designed specifically for use in bakeries and confectioners, and are notable for the quality of their low-temperature components, ease of operation, strong construction and economy. The GKPv 6573 model with insulating glass door also features LED lighting in the roof with a separate switch. This is possible because LED lighting generates less heat, lasts considerably longer and uses much less electricity than conventional lighting.
The German consumer advisory organisation “Stiftung Warentest” confirmed the outstanding technological quality of three Liebherr appliances and voted them test winners in their respective classes. The GNP 3666 freezer cabinet, the GTP 2356 freezer chest and the IGN 1654 built-in freezer cabinet came in ahead of competitors’ models on account of their temperature stability and efficient use of energy. In addition the IKBP 3550 refrigerator for integrated installation and the UWT 1682 under-worktop wine cabinet received the “Red Dot award” in the “product design” category.
In the past business year, the division particularly invested in tooling for the production of BluPerformance appliances. In spring 2016, the production company in Radinovo, Bulgaria, completed construction of a new logistics centre.
The GfK market research institute expects this business sector to increase its turnover slightly in 2016. Liebherr also anticipates positive growth and good prospects in the domestic appliance area from the new BluPerformance range of standalone models. In the commercial market segment, the recently introduced refrigerator and freezer chests for supermarkets, in particular, have further growth potential.