Published on : Monday, April 10, 2017
Republic of Fritz Hansen has released positive financial statements for 2016 with a turnover of DKK 602m and an 8% growth rate. Profit before tax amounted to DKK 125m, which is 16% increase compared to 2015, and the best result in the company’s 145-year history. The result should be seen as part of the growth plan aimed at ensuring a turnover of DKK 750m for the company in 2018.
Market development in 2016
The greater part of the realised growth derives from the Danish domestic market, which has experienced an increase of 7%, and from the US and Asia with an increase of 20 and 31%, respectively. In the US, there is an increasing interest in Danish design, particularly in the contract market where the growth derives from a number of large project orders for both new Fritz Hansen designs and classics.
One example of this is the cooperation between Bjarke Ingels’ design division, KiBiSi and Fritz Hansen which in May 2016 resulted in the presentation of the VIA57 chair, designed for the prestigious VIA57 WEST skyscraper in New York, which is BIG architects’ first project in Manhattan.
In 2016, the company also celebrated the 60th anniversary of Poul KjCBrholm’s iconic PK22 chair and PK61 table, and the collection’s turnover increased by 24%, particularly as a result of some large US contract orders. This was also the case with Jaime Hayon’s designs RO and FRI, which had an increase in turnover of 32% compared to 2015.
Fritz Hansen’s 2018 plan identifies three areas to drive growth towards the goal of a turnover of DKK 750m. These are: constant innovation and relevance in time of the company’s classics, such as Series 7™, an expansive retail strategy as well as an extension of the product portfolio by acquisition of the lighting company LIGHTYEARS and the accessories collection Objects.
Two-tier Retail Strategy
Previously, Fritz Hansen’s products were sold via 100 global partner-owned and managed Shop-in-Shops. But since 2015, Fritz Hansen has opened new concept stores in Asia, managed by partners, e.g. in Hong Kong, Singapore, Jakarta, Seoul and, in June 2016, also in Mexico City. In 2016, Fritz Hansen opened four additional concept stores, managed by Fritz Hansen, in Milan, Tokyo, Copenhagen and San Francisco in addition to the one that was already established in New York. The goal towards 2018 and ahead is to continue the opening of new concept stores in other cities in Europe and the US.
New measures contribute to a positive result
CFO at Republic of Fritz Hansen, Lars Torp Madsen, emphasises the acquisition of LIGHTYEARS and the establishment of a separate lighting division in the Republic as an important contribution to the positive results of the financial statements, which showed a growth rate of 1 0% in 2016. “Since LIGHTYEARS was founded in 2005, the company has experienced nothing but growth, and with Fritz Hansen’s global distribution network and close relations with the contract market, the potential is laid out for further growth,” Lars Torp Madsen says, and adds: “We have spent all of 2016 getting the company integrated in the Fritz Hansen family, and against this background we expect further growth in 2017,” he concludes.
Also the accessories collection Objects has gotten off to a positive start and lived up to the expectations. Lars Torp Madsen says: “The market has responded very positively to our Obiects collection and our experience is that we have expanded our target group with these products to include a younger segment that will now also have the opportunity to buy into the Fritz Hansen universe.”
Growth towards the Goal
The final phase before reaching the goal also marks the 60th anniversary of three of the company’s most iconic designs. In 2018, it is 60 years ago that the world-famous Danish architect Arne Jacobsen designed the Egg, the Swan and the Drop in connection with the opening of one of the first design hotels in the world, Hotel Royal in Copenhagen, where Arne Jacobsen was not only responsible f or the building and the architecture, but also for the interior design, such as furniture, door handles, crockery etc.