Electrolux commands a premium global position in food-service equipment and laundry solutions for professional users. Sales increased during the year with particularly strong growth in Western Europe, the US and Japan.
Alberto Zanata, Head of Professional Products
North America represents slightly more than 35% and Europe 25% of the global market demand for professional food and laundry products.
Of sales of Electrolux professional products, about 60% are from food-service equipment and 40% from laundry solutions. About 70% of sales are generated in Europe and almost 10% in North America. Other key markets include Japan, China, the Middle East and Africa and Southeast Asia.
Electrolux has a strong position in the European food-service market, in particular in the institutional (hospital, staff canteens, schools) and hospitality (restaurants, catering and hotels) segments. The Group is also a leading player for complete installations in a number of growth markets. Food-service equipment is sold mainly under the Electrolux brand, but also under regional brands, such as Zanussi.
Examples of laundry equipment customers include hospital and hotel laundries. Electrolux also supplies products for apartment building laundries in Scandinavia and for launderettes, mainly in North America.
Overall market demand for professional food-service and professional laundry equipment improved during the year. Demand in Electrolux core markets in Western Europe increased slightly. The US and Japan also posted year-over-year growth.
Sales of Electrolux laundry and food-service equipment increased during the year with particularly strong growth in Western Europe, the US and Japan. The organic sales growth were 4.4%. A strong product offering in both professional food-service and laundry equipment contributed to the favorable sales trend in the majority of markets. Investment continued in product development, new segments and markets.
In North America, operations under the Kelvinator brand, which offers professional refrigeration and freezing equipment, were transferred from Major Appliances North America to Professional Products. Kelvinator contributed a sales increase of 1.3%.
The Group continued to launch and develop products with strong sustainability profiles.
Energy efficiency has a high priority in the development of professional equipment. Several key launches were conducted during the year. The Electrolux Barrier dishwasher is specially designed for fire stations and is used to efficiently remove hazardous substances from firefighters’ equipment such as masks, helmets, boots and hoses. The Evolution/Hyvolution Barrier washing machines are hyper-efficient and meet extremely stringent hygiene requirements such as those in healthcare. Electrolux lagoon Advanced Care is an environmentally friendly solution for washing sensitive textiles such as wool. It was introduced in Europe in 2015 and in the Middle East and Asia in 2016.
To ensure the continued competitiveness of the cost structure, initiatives to streamline operations were ongoing throughout the year with the objective of reducing complexity and simplifying work procedures. The global customer care program to improve service levels on products continued during the year.
Professional Products reported organic sales growth of 4.4% in 2016. Sales increased in several markets. A strong product offering in both food-service and laundry equipment contributed to the positive sales trend in most markets.
Operating income and margin improved compared to the previous year. Higher sales volumes had a positive impact on operating income.
The Thermaline cooking range is designed to meet the needs of the most demanding heavy-duty kitchens in the world. It combines state-of-the-art technologies, superior productivity and cutting-edge design with the highest quality standards for high-productivity professional kitchens. Electrolux works continuously to develop sustainable solutions to help customers boost taste and at the same time strengthen energy efficiency, save water and reduce CO2 emissions.
Three years of development and tested in 330,000 cycles, the flexible high speed cooker, is being introduced to the market in early 2017. The unique combination of three heating elements enables cafes and fast food restaurants to serve panini, pizza, hamburger, croissant, pie or other snacks three times faster than with a conventional oven. Fully connected and easy to operate.
Following the commercial launch in Europe in 2015, the sustainable solution for cleaning delicate and wool garments was successfully introduced in Asia during 2016.