FRANKFURT Jan 22 German conglomerate Robert
Bosch said on Wednesday it would shift its strategic focus to
developing technologies and components that talk to each other
to tap a growing market for connected devices and services.
"Connectivity will open up new possibilities for all our
areas of work. This goes for mobility, for industrial
technology, and especially for energy and building technology -
also in connection with our consumer goods," Volkmar Denner,
chairman of the board of management said in a statement released
on the day it unveiled full-year results.
"Bosch's strategic objective is to create solutions for a
connected world," Denner said.
Bosch wants to push sensor technologies to help connect
devices to broader Web-based systems. In energy and building
technology for example, Bosch sees potential in the creation of
"smart homes" where sensors activate geothermal or solar heating
systems, depending on the weather conditions.
Bosch, a major automotive supplier, said it sees similar
opportunities in the traffic, transportation and logistics
By 2015, some 75 percent of the global population will be
online with more than 6 billion devices, Bosch said. Going
forward, the company will make all its electronic appliances
web-enabled, a way to get components to communicate.
To tap into this trend, Bosch has created the new unit
Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions GmbH to explore new
business opportunities centred around intelligent and
web-enabled devices and objects.
Unlisted Bosch Group said its earnings before interest and
tax margin rose to 3 percent in 2013, up from roughly 2.3
percent in the year-earlier period.
Excluding an extraordinary 1.3 billion euro charge for
losses on its solar business, Bosch Group's EBIT margin in 2013
would have been 6 percent, up from around 5 percent, according
to preliminary figures.
Group sales rose 2.7 percent to 46.4 billion euros, thanks
to 5 percent hike in sales in Asia Pacific a 3 percent rise in
North America, and a sales increase of 2 percent in Europe, the
Bosch is set to unveil full-year earnings on April 30.
The Stuttgart-based company said it expects sales and
profits to grow in 2014.
Bosch said its automotive business continued to grow,
particularly gasoline and diesel direct injection systems, as
well as display instruments and infotainment systems.
In industrial technology, the packaging machinery business
recorded good growth. By contrast, the global weakness of the
mechanical engineering sector caused a considerable slump in the
drive and control technology division.
In consumer goods, Bosch was once again successful with
power tools in 2013, both for professional and DIY users.
Developments in the energy and building technology business
sector were overshadowed by the situation in the solar energy
division, which was again difficult in 2013, Bosch said.
(Reporting by Edward Taylor)