Freudenberg & Co. Business Report FY2009

Business Highlights

Financial Overview

(in million euros)
  FY2009 FY2008 Rate of change(%) Factors
Sales 4,200.8 5,050.1 (16.8) -
Profit (249.6) 176.3 - -
Automotive Components (Sales)
Seals and Vibration Control Technology Europe 825.8 1,191.1 (30.7)

-The downturn in sales was dramatic during the first nine months of 2009; the situation stabilized during the final quarter.

Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership 695.4 841.2 (17.3) -The Business Group took restructuring action in
response to the economic crisis. Activities included reduced work schedules, pay cuts for associates and travel restrictions.
NOK-Freudenberg Group China 154.7 138.3 11.9 -In 2009, the joint venture grew sales from 138.3 million euros to 154.7 million euros (a rise of 11.9 percent), as Government sales incentives triggered an automobile boom in China. .
Vibracoustic Europe 360.2 496.8 (27.5) -In the 2009 financial year, Vibracoustic (Europe) generated sales of 360.2 million euros (2008: 496.8 million euros). There was a massive slump in global passenger car production during the first half of the year. The downturn bottomed out mid-year and the first positive developments emerged towards the end of the year.
Freudenberg Nonwovens 531.2 778.2 (31.7) -Sales by the Business Group in 2009 declined to 531.2 million euros (2008: 778.2 million euros) as a result of the global downturn in demand. Following an absolute low in the first quarter of 2009 with sales shortfalls of 25 percent, business picked up from mid-year. This positive trend was supported by government programs to stimulate the economy, particularly in the USA and Europe. Business
in Asia started to recover mid-2009 and has now either returned to the pre-crisis level or already exceeded this level.


-The company supplies a special package of seals to Daimler's new four-cylinder engine, the OM 615. The engine has been on Mercedes C-Class and will be on the new E-Class. (From a press release on Jan. 22, 2009)

-Vibracoustic supplies front axle air spring to Daimler as an optional extra on the new Mercedes-Benz E-class. (From a press release on July 30, 2009)


New Company

-The company set up Freudenberg Fuel Cell Component Technologies, which specializes in the supply of fuel cell components mainly for automotive applications. Freudenberg nonwovens, sealings, filters and humidifiers are used in fuel cells. (From a press release on Sep.10, 2009)


-Vibracoustic is to acquire the 50% shareholding of its joint venture partner Anvis Group, making it the sole owner of Vibracoustic do Brasil headquartered in Taubate, Brazil. The joint venture with a current workforce of 155 was set up in 1998 and mainly produces engine mounts and chassis parts for the local market. (From a press release on Jan.12, 2010)


-In the Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership, capacity adjustments and plant closures were required. Plants in Scottsburg and Ligonier, Indiana, USA, and Franklin and Laconia, New Hampshire, USA, were closed and activities relocated. The closure process for the plants in Spencer, Iowa, USA, Germantown, Wisconsin, USA, and the O-ring facility in Queretaro, Mexico, was initiated in 2009.


-Eagle Industry Co., Ltd. announced on July 15 that it will purchase all stakes in PL Automotive Holding B.V. a wholly owned subsidiary by Simrax, which is owned 60 percent by Freudenberg Dichtungs-und Schwingungsttechnik. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on July 16, 2009)

-The Freudenberg Produktionsservice KG and Freudenberg Gebäudeservice KG, both Weinheim, were sold to Johnson Controls Industrial Services GmbH, Cologne, with effect from April 1, 2009.


R&D Expenditure and Structure

-In the year 2009, expenses for research and development activities amounted to 170.9 million euros (2008: 195.1 million euros).

Product Development

-Freudenberg-NOK developed a new radial shaft seal - Energy Saving Seal (ESS(TM)) - designed to limit power loss by reducing friction. (From a press release on Feb.11, 2010)

-The Simrit Division of Freudenberg-NOK developed MileMaker(TM), a new oil seal for heavy duty truck wheel and axle applications. The MileMaker seals operate with over 50 percent less torque than conventional seals and help realize fuel-saving benefits. (From a press release on Mar. 26, 2010)

Investment Activities

Investment outside Germany

-Vibracoustic (Europe) laid the foundations for further growth in key regions in 2009. Construction of a new plant for commercial vehicle air springs began in Yantai, China.