Freudenberg & Co. KG Business Report FY ended Dec. 2013

Business Highlights

Financial Overview

(in million EUR)
  FY ended Dec. 31, 2013 FY ended Dec. 31, 2012 Rate of change (%) Factors
Sales 5,646.1 5,291.4 6.7 1)
Operating Profit 457.3 531.6 (14.0) 2)

1) Net Sales
-The Company's sales in 2013 grew 6.7% from 2012 to EUR 5,646.1 million due to an increase in sales in almost all of its business areas.

2) Operating Profit
-Operating profits in 2013 decreased by 14.0% from 2012 to EUR 457.3 million. The decrease in profit was primarily due to a one-time increase of other income in 2012 stemming from the contribution of the Vibracoustic Business Group to the TrelleborgVibracoustic joint venture. 


-TrelleborgVibracoustic will fully integrate its former joint venture, Sigma Vibracoustic India (SVIL). In doing so, TrelleborgVibracoustic will strengthen its position as the global market leader for automotive anti-vibration solutions. Previously, TrelleborgVibracoustic had acquired a 50% share previously held by Sigma Corporation. (From a press release on December 4, 2013)

-Freudenberg Sealing Technologies, a business unit of the Company, acquired the shares of Beta Seals Sizdirmazlik Elemanlari Sanayi ve Ticaret Anonim Sirketi from the Coskunoz Group. The acquisition was renamed as Freudenberg Sealing Technologies Sanayi ve Ticaret Anonim Sirketi. Freudenberg Sealing Technologies Sanayi manufactures bearing seals for automotive applications.

-Freudenberg Sealing Technologies acquired 90% of PTFE Compounds Germany GmbH in Biere, Germany, effective January 1, 2014. PTFE Compounds Germany produces high-quality PTFE compounds for various industries, including the automotive industry.

Joint Ventures

-TrelleborgVibracoustic, announced the closing of an agreement with HSS Otomotiv in Turkey to form its own joint venture dedicated to the production of air springs for commercial vehicles. The new joint venture, called Vibracoustic CV Air Springs GmbH, will be headquartered in Hamburg, Germany. Vibracoustic CV Air Springs will employ approximately 600 people in Germany, Hungary, Turkey, North America and China. TrelleborgVibracoustic will hold 50.1 percent of the shares in the joint venture, while HSS Otomotiv will own the remaining 49.9 percent. With the formation of the joint venture, TrelleborgVibracoustic is now the second largest air spring manufacturer in Europe and the third largest air spring manufacturer in the world. (From a press release on June 13, 2013)


R&D Expenditure

(in million EUR)
  FY ended Dec. 31, 2013 FY ended Dec. 31, 2012
Total 193.0 191.8

R&D Structure

-As of December 31, 2013, the Company has 1,936 employees working in research and development across all of its locations, including 1,161 employees in Germany.

-In order to improve its profitability, TrelleborgVibracoustic has been focusing its engineering resources into "Centers of Excellence" for specific business areas. Most recently, TrelleborgVibracoustic developed its Breuberg facility, which located in Germany, as a "Center of Excellence" for the Micro-Cellular Urethane business area. The Breuberg facility will also act as TrelleborgVibracoustic's global center for material development.

Product Development

2013 Frankfurt Motor Show
-The Company's technologies were present on the vehicles on display at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.
  • Headliner: Freudenberg NOK Mechatronics developed a headliner for the Opel Adam which has lights that are meant to look like stars. The headliner uses flexible printed circuit-board technology embedded with 64 LED lamps. Through the omission of wires, the headliner is less than 0.2 millimeters thick and weighs less than 150 grams.
  • Motor air intake filters: Freudenberg Filtration Technologies developed the micronAir engine intake air filter. The engine intake air filter has a high energy efficiency due to its large dust intake capacity and low pressure loss. Furthermore, the engine intake air filter reduces CO2 emissions by 0.6 grams per kilowatt hour. The micronAir engine intake air filter is standard equipment for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class starting in 2014.
  • Active breathing cap: Freudenberg Sealing Technologies developed an active breathing cap for drive shafts in EV and PHV applications. The cap uses specifically developed nonwovens to allow air movement while preventing the entry of foreign bodies and the leaking of lubricants.
(From a press release on September 4, 2013)

Gearbox mount
-TrelleborgVibracoustic has developed a new gearbox mount which eliminates high-frequency gearbox whine and provides significant weight savings. Instead of using conventional rubber mounts and a large mass damper to reduce the vibration, TrelleborgVibracoustic's mount uses an integrated mass absorber. This removes the need for the mass damper, thus reducing the weight of the mount. (From a press release on April 11, 2013)

Plastic engine mount
-In the fiscal year ending December 31, 2013, TrelleborgVibracoustic developed a lightweight plastic engine mount. The new engine mount weighs 500 grams less than a competitor's product and can withstand up to 215% higher loads.

Investment Activities

Capital Expenditure 

(in million EUR)
  FY ended Dec. 31, 2013 FY ended Dec. 31, 2012
Overall 229.3 273.2


-The Company will invest EUR 1.5 billion in property, plant, and equipment through 2017 - with 30 percent of this figure earmarked for Germany. (From a press release on April 4, 2012)

Investment outside Germany

-The Company is investing in the expansion of production capacities for Evolon microfilament products at its Colmar plant in France. The project will increase the production capacity of the Freudenberg Nonwovens Business Group at the Colmar plant to 3,000 tons per year. Work on the expansion was due to be completed by the end of October 2013. The total invested into the expansion was EUR 5 million. (From a press release on May 6, 2013)

-TrelleborgVibracoustic launched plans to expand its facility in Yantai, Shandong Province, China by an additional 8,400 square meters. Construction on the expansion was scheduled to begin in the second half of 2013. The Yantai plant currently produces passenger car bushings and torsional vibration dampers for the Asia Pacific region. (From a press release on April 23, 2013)

-The Company opened a new production site in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. The new plant was jointly established by Freudenberg Filtration Technologies and Japan Vilene Company Ltd. through a total investment of CNY 36 million (EUR 4.5 million). With a total space of 12,000 square meters, the new manufacturing site expected to employ 60 people by the end of 2013. The product portfolio includes engine air intake filters and cabin air filters. Its customers include First Automotive Works Volkswagen and Geely Volvo. (From a press release on March 18, 2013)