Report of the executive board

(from left to right)

Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Norbert Pick Marketing and Sales
Dipl.-Betriebsw. (FH) Karl Angler, Finance, Controlling,
Information Systems and Service
Dr. Bertram Kandziora, Chairman of the Executive Board Production and Materials
Dipl.-Ing. Wolfgang Zahn, Development
Dr. Michael Prochaska, Human Resources and Legal Affairs

Letter from the Chairman of the Advisory Board

Dear Business Partners,
Dear Staff,
Dear Friends of the STIHL Group,

2017 was another record year for the STIHL Group. In numbers: Sales grew by 333 million euros – 9.7 percent – to 3.8 billion euros. Strong growth is also reflected in the number of new employees added in 2017. Group-wide, the workforce expanded by more than 6 percent, meaning that more than 15,800 people now work for the STIHL Group across the globe.

2017 was also a challenging year. But we took advantage of the opportunities and, together, turned them into achievements. For example, we have more than doubled our battery unit sales. This success is based, in part, on an expanded product range, which now covers all segments of the market – from homeowners with small gardens to professional landscapers. Battery products in each segment are available at very attractive prices. In our core gasoline-powered products business, we also posted above-average growth and gained market share, meaning that in many departments we were working at full capacity. Our innovation-driven product strategy is generating sustainable market success. More information about the building blocks that made this another record year can be found on the following pages of this report.

In general, the business climate during the past twelve months was not easy – conditions were turbulent. Politics and economics remain in a state of upheaval, due in large measure to changes in transatlantic and global relations, with consequences for the future of free trade, global value chains and transformation through digitalization.

STIHL is also concerned about this transition, and we cannot escape global changes. However, we benefit from our position in global markets through the distribution and production companies within the Group. We do not see the current megatrend of digitalization as a threat. Rather, we see it as a great opportunity for further growth and as an important factor in further strengthening our competitive position. Change has been a part of our DNA for more than 90 years. From the beginning, our company has always ventured into new territory.

Growth and success bring responsibility – for people, nature and resources. For many years, the topics of environmental protection, energy efficiency and sustainability have been given a very high priority at all STIHL Group locations. Both locally and globally, there are a number of activities aimed at sustainably combining ecological and economic success. This commitment has been recognized by independent groups – for example STIHL Inc. in the U.S. received the “Excellence in Reusable Packaging Award.”

Our employees are the foundation for our continuing success. Their commitment, knowl­edge and inventiveness are invaluable assets. On behalf of the entire Board, I thank you very much for the outstanding work that you have done. I thank the owners for the trust they have placed in me, and the members of the Employee Council for their constructive cooperation.


Chairman of the Executive Board

Letter from the Chairman
of the Advisory Board

2017 was an eventful year for the STIHL Group. After looking to the past in 2016 and celebrating our 90th anniversary, 2017 was all about the future: New technologies and new approaches. Digitalization in particular requires a rethinking in many areas. For some time, new digital applications and services have been finding their way into almost all areas of life – and of course this includes the working environment, where they simplify and change many processes.

We are open-minded about the developments that come with this change, and we are working hard to implement new technologies on both a small and large scale throughout our value chain. It is not only about promoting digitalization, but about living it in all areas of the company, just as we already do in our everyday lives. Our focus is therefore on the optimization of digital processes and on the development of new products and business models. These include, for example, connected products, software-defined products and robotics in the fields of forestry, gardening and landscaping.

We are currently at a very exciting point in our company history. Due to a solid foundation, we are poised to face the current challenges. After all, since the company was founded by my grandfather Andreas Stihl, we have always gone in new directions: Due to the global economic crisis in the late 1920s, he opened up new markets abroad. Today, STIHL is still profiting from his courage and is now represented in more than 160 countries. Other chapters of this story include the constant expansion of our product portfolio, the development of the global manufacturing network, the adaptation of new technologies, and the demand from our customers to always make their work in and around nature easier.

We will continue on this course – with the tailwind of the past successful years – unwaveringly and yet with sound judgment. On behalf of the Advisory Board, I would like to thank the Supervisory Board, the Executive Board, the employee representatives and the entire workforce worldwide for their commitment and for their positive and constructive cooperation.


Chairman of the Advisory Board