Bosch, a leading global supplier of technology and services, ended its 2021 fiscal year with AED1.72 billion ($470 million) in consolidated sales across the Middle East, thus logging strong growth of 17% compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, in the first quarter of 2022, the sales revenue of the supplier of technology and services rose 5.2%. For the year as a whole, Bosch expects sales to grow more than 6%, and to achieve an EBIT margin in the range of 3% to 4% – and this despite the likelihood of considerable burdens, especially due to rising costs for energy, raw materials, and logistics.
Commenting on the results, Per Johansson, General Manager of Bosch Middle East said: “2021 was a special year for us, with many major milestones paving the road to achieving our growth last year. Being in the region for several decades now, Bosch is turning challenges into opportunities by developing technology that is “Invented for life”, and in turn, improving the quality of life for people across a number of markets. As we continue to expand our regional presence and provide consumers with value through best-in-class solutions and advanced features, we are sure that this positive trend will continue through 2022.” The number of associates employed at Bosch across the Middle East stood at 183 as of December 31, 2021.
In 2021, Bosch’s Automotive Aftermarket business division registered significant growth in the Middle East. Bosch’s ability to fill voids in the after-sales market, following logistic challenges faced by automotive spare-parts companies, enabled the Mobility Solutions’ Automotive Aftermarket division at Bosch to perform successfully during the year. Furthermore, despite global supply issues, Bosch’s Power Tools business division outperformed the market, with robust double-digit growth in the region, compared to the previous year.
Moreover, Bosch´s Building Technologies division also grew by double digits in the Middle East in 2021, attributing its success to a rebound in almost all countries that Bosch is operating in across the region. This was further supported by the division´s focus on several key industries including governmental, transportation, hospitality, finance, and banking. The Thermotechnology division, part of Bosch’s Energy and Building Technology business sector additionally registered remarkable expansion in the Middle East during the prior year Consequently, Bosch strengthened its foothold in Jordan by participating in key projects across diverse sectors including pharmaceutical, hospitality, construction, residential, commercial, food, education, textile, and packaging, ensuring sustainable growth despite market volatility.
Outlook for 2022
Despite the dynamic economic uncertainties such as the war in Ukraine and its implications across the globe, Bosch has been striving to build on its legacy in the Middle East and plans to continue its growth in 2022. Over the last two years, markets across the region and its industries have faced unprecedented challenges due to the pandemic, which have been compounded by supply chain disruptions and, most recently, a global semiconductor shortage, all of which have had a cascading effect on the automotive and technology industries, among others. As the demand for increased connectivity in technology grows, Bosch continues to serve society with its innovative solutions that are cleaner, greener, and more connected than ever before.
By utilizing exponential technologies, GCC countries are progressively emphasizing the importance of digital in accelerating economic diversification and promoting sustainability. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, cloud computing, virtual reality, and the Internet of Things are enabling long-term reforms and supporting the national agendas of key markets within the region. Each step toward digitalization undertaken across organizations contribute to the public sector’s maturity in delivering sustainable public service growth in line with the fourth industrial revolution.
In 2021, Bosch achieved significant growth in sales and result despite a difficult environment. “The successful outcome of the 2021 business year bolsters our confidence as we tackle the challenging environment of the current year,” said Dr. Stefan Hartung, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. One of the considerable uncertainties is the war in Ukraine and all its implications. In his view, the current situation highlights the pressure on policymakers and society to become less dependent on fossil fuels and to vigorously pursue the development of new sources of energy. For this reason, he said, the Bosch Group is systematically continuing its efforts to mitigate global warming, despite the challenging economic environment. In addition, Hartung announced Bosch will be investing some three billion euros over three years in climate-neutral technology such as electrification and hydrogen.
Electrification route to climate neutrality
He believes electrification is the fastest route to climate neutrality, provided it is based on green electricity. That is why Bosch is driving sustainable mobility forward: in 2021, the company’s orders relating to electromobility exceeded ten billion euros for the first time. But Hartung also stressed that hydrogen is needed as well. “Industrial policy should focus on making all sectors of the economy hydrogen-ready,” he said. In the interest of effective climate action, Bosch is also entering the components business for hydrogen electrolysis. The company plans to invest nearly 500 million euros ($526.22 million) in this new area of business by the end of the decade, half of it by the time of the market launch, which is planned for 2025.
At the same time, the Bosch chairman announced that, over the next three years, the company will be investing another ten billion euros in digitally transforming its business. “Digitalisation also has a special role to play in sustainability – and our solutions start from this premise,” Hartung said. This year alone, moreover, Bosch plans to take on 10,000 new software engineers worldwide.