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Poggenpohl and Nobia: a strong brand with a strong owner

When Nobia was formed in 199620000, active business strategies turned losses into profits. Companies were sold off and others were acquired, which has turned Nobia into Europe's leading kitchen company.

According to CSIL data, Nobia jumped from a 7.6% to an 11.1% market share in Europe in just five years. The net sales increase has been around 10%-15% yearly (including acquisitions) during the 2002-2007 period. Nobia is leading the consolidation of the European kitchen industry.

Poggenpohl joined the Nobia Group in the year 2000.

Q.: How was 2008?

A.: Poggenpohl is still increasing its net sales in 2008. During a five years span (2003-2008), our net sales increased by 70 percent. During the same period, the number of employees increased from 440 to 575. Exports represented about 75 percent of our sales during these years and 2008 confirmed the US and the UK as Poggenpohl´s main export markets. We sell to more than 70 countries, with a strong foothold in Asia and in the Gulf region. We are also expanding our activities in Eastern Europe.

Q.: Nobia has 694 wholly owned kitchen stores and franchise showrooms. 34 of these are Poggenpohl’s and now you are working in Dubai, in Harrod’s….

A.: Inside the Gulf region, Dubai is definitely our main market. Our strategy is to establish 40 to 60 new showrooms worldwide (including ten directly operated stores in Germany). We also have quite a strong relationship with our 400 dealers (including the around 120 independent operating showrooms in Germany).

Q.: Choosing a kitchen has become a matter of lifestyle, which increases the importance of having strong brands. Which is the strategic role of Poggenpohl inside the Nobia Group? You declare that Poggenpohl is one of the best known kitchen brands in the world….

Talking with Mr. Elmar Duffner, CEO Poggenpohl and Member of Nobia Group Management

A.: Inside Nobia, we work as specific business unit (the whole Group comprises eight business units) and we are the sole global brand and the leader in the premium segment.

Let’s say we are the "innovation leader". We are ranked sixth in Germany in terms of brand notoriety in the luxury segment after Porsche and four others, all of which are in other sectors. Worldwide Poggenpohl is well reputed, partly due to the brand´s long history (it is the oldest German kitchen brand), as well as the leading role of the German kitchen furniture industry worldwide. Germany is the leading global kitchen exporter, as shown by CSIL data, with almost double the export value in comparison with the second world exporter Italy.

Q.: The European kitchen market has weakened. Customers are delaying their renovation decisions. At the same time, activity in the new-build segment is declining. How do you see 2009 from Poggenpohl’s international observatory?

A.: Especially in the project segment of our industry, the crisis started already in the second quarter of 2008, at least in the US and in the UK. Now the decline is even sharper there and we are also seeing projects in Asia postponed or even cancelled.

Q.: It seems that trend of kitchens is becoming increasingly similar in Europe. Do you agree?

A.: At least it’s true in the premium/luxury segment, where the same design is seen worldwide. In the middle segment it is true as well, although only in part, but that is the trend.

It is also evidenced by the increasing percentage of exports in our sector. If you take the German kitchen furniture industry, we have today a 36% export/production country ratio, and during the first 11 months of 2008 exports increased by 4.2%. That is not bad for these difficult times.

Q.: What’s new in Poggenpohl for 2009?

A.: The Poggenpohl Porsche Design Kitchen (P’7340) is in production since spring 2008 and now is available worldwide. We strongly believe in this unique example of co-branding and what is really unique is that now the P´7340 kitchen is a "product brand" itself.

The Poggenpohl Porsche Design Kitchen is distinguished for its innovative framework, purist styling and top-quality materials. Aluminum profiles of varying sizes constitute the basic framework, and there is also an innovative use of glass, integrated and multi-functional lighting…..

We are completely reorganizing our factory, using teamwork and quality circles as suggested from the Kaizen philosophy.


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