Bene enjoyed a very positive 2016 – despite the difficult economic environment.
During 2016, Bene, specialist in the design and furnishing of contemporary office and working environments, succeeded in realising numerous projects both at home and around the world, thereby holding sales at last year’s level while increasing earnings and boosting the company’s equity ratio.
Executive Board Member for Sales, Marketing and Innovation, Michael Fried, summed up the primary factors contributing to the company’s success: “This positive development reflects the company’s exceptional level of innovation, our international presence in principal markets in Europe, Africa as well as in the Middle East and our rigorous implementation of measures aimed at increasing efficiency.”
Outstanding capacity for innovation
During 2016, Bene once again developed numerous innovative products and successfully launched them on the market. In the spring, the company presented the product lines FRAME_S, NOOXS Think Tank and SETTLE, following up spectacularly in autumn with the introduction of DELTA – a further development of the successful T-platform table system – as well as the upholstered fabric panels from the T-PANEL collection.
With PIXEL, the answer to the increasing demand for spaces that promote the creative process, Bene closed out the 2016 round of innovation with a completely new concept that appeals to a younger target audience that is particularly at home in the start-up scene. This wide range of new product lines that, individually or in various combinations, serve to create inspiring room settings that encourage teamwork and creative collaboration impressively underscores Bene’s strong position as an industry visionary.
The numerous major projects that Bene was able to win against strong international competition prove Bene’s exceptional importance in the European office market. Bene developed and realised office space solutions for, among others, Schenker & Co in Austria, Audi, Deutsche Lufthansa and Munich Airport in Germany.
Forward-thinking working environments – office of the future
Even the officials in Dubai were impressed by the innovative “made by Bene” approach, prompting them to make Bene one of the long-term partners in their flagship project “Dubai Futures Foundation”.
As an initial step, Bene outfitted the “office of the future” – the first office building in the world made using a 3D printing process – with innovative furniture and a “Bene IDEA LAB“. In Brussels, meanwhile, Bene has been exclusively responsible since the start of 2017 for outfitting the offices at the innovation platform, Living Tomorrow, and is using its showroom to present future trends in the working environment as well as their impact on office space solutions.
The result is an innovative showroom that vividly presents the “office of the future”.
Numerous design prizes
Bene’s exceptional design and innovative expertise is reflected in the numerous international design awards that it has received, including the Identity Design Award for 2016, the 2016 ICONIC Award, the 2A Asia architecture award for 2016, the 2017 German Design Award as well as the 2017 IF DESIGN AWARD. Bene has won more than 130 awards in recent years.
Solid showing in 2016
“The 2016 financial year was marked by a challenging economic and political environment in some of our core markets, in particular in Russia and the Middle East, which has had an impact on all sectors of the economy in these countries. “However, in 2016 we were able to achieve the turnaround that began in 2015 through the use of targeted supplementary measures”, says Jörg Schuschnig, Executive Board Member for Finances and Production at Bene, in summing up the company’s positive track record for the past financial year.
Bene Group achieved sales for the financial year in the amount of EUR 151.3 million (2015: EUR 151.8 million) and an EBIT of EUR 5.0 million. (2015: EUR -5.1 million) Profitability (EBIT margin) therefore improved to 3.6%. Business operations were defrayed by internal cash flow. The equity capital ratio rose to a solid 33.2%.
In order to expand on its pioneering role in the industry and to generate fresh ideas for its own developmental projects, Bene is currently working on a Future Trend Report, which is expected to be published in the fall of 2017.
Based on the solid business performance in the first quarter of 2017, consistent follow-through on efficiency-enhancing measures as well as a clear focus on the markets, Bene plans to continue growing in 2017 by focusing on margins and thereby increase operating income.