Supplier Bosch
Supplier Bosch
Bosch: Sales and earnings in 2018 again at record levels
Operating revenue rises to 77.9 billion euros
Operating result is 5.3 billion euros
Operating EBIT margin reaches 6.9 percent of sales
Automated driving: advance payments of four billion euros
Electromobility: five billion euros in sales in 2025
Artificial intelligence: 4,000 AI experts by 2021

Stuttgart – The Bosch Group remains on course for success: despite the difficult economic environment and weak markets, sales and earnings in 2018 are at the record level of the previous year. According to preliminary figures, the technology and service company generated operating revenue of 77.9 billion euros in 2018. Exchange-rate effects amounting to 2.1 billion euros place a significant burden on the turnover. Adjusted for exchange rate effects, revenues rose by 4.3 percent. “In the economically challenging environment, Bosch performed well in 2018. Sales and earnings are again at record levels, “explained Dr. Volkmar Denner, Chairman of the Board of Management of Robert Bosch GmbH, on the occasion of the presentation of the preliminary figures. “As innovation leaders, we shape the change in our markets – both technically and commercially. Our strategic focus on networking is paying off, “continues Denner. Bosch 2018 has sold a total of 52 million Internet-enabled products, 37 percent more than in the previous year. For the financial year 2018, the operating result before financial result and taxes (operating EBIT) is around EUR 5.3 billion. This results in an operating EBIT margin of probably 6.9 percent of sales. “Bosch wants to do better in 2019 in the foreseeable difficult environment than to protect the relevant markets and the high level of earnings,” said Prof. Dr. med. Stefan Asenkerschbaumer, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Management and responsible for finance. “We want to further increase our competitiveness in all areas in order to finance the expansion of our technology leadership and thus our future.”

Automation I: advance payments of four billion euros

One focus of research and development work is automated driving. Bosch is pursuing two development paths on the way to accident-free mobility: driver assistance systems will enable semi-automated driving for private vehicles (autonomy levels 2 and 3). Bosch is technically and market leader in this field. As early as this year, the company will generate two billion euros in driver assistance systems. The second development path leads to driverless driving from the beginning of the next decade (levels of autonomy 4 and 5). “Driverless driving becomes a game changer for individual mobility. It will enable disruptive business models such as robotaxis and shuttle mobility, “said Denner. Due to the technical complexity, the Bosch boss in automation sees a future investment focus: “By 2022 alone, we expect to provide up to four billion euros.” Around 4,000 developers at Bosch work on automated driving.


Automation II: Comprehensive Ecosystem for Mobility Services

The market potential of automated driving is huge. Passenger traffic will increase by 50 per cent by 2030 compared to 2015 (Source: ITF). For the next ten years, analysts expect a market volume for hardware and software of around 60 billion US dollars for automated driving (source: Roland Berger). As early as 2025, 2.5 million driverless on-demand shuttle buses will be on the road worldwide (source: Roland Berger). Sharing mobility revenue is expected to increase to nearly $ 160 billion by 2035 (Source: BCG). Bosch will offer both technology and services for this form of mobility. The Bosch Ecosystem for Mobility Services already includes booking, payment, parking, charging, administration, maintenance and infotainment services. These services include Convenience Charging, a networked navigation and charging solution for electric vehicles. The first production customer is the German electric vehicle manufacturer Sono Motors. “With our networked solutions, we make electromobility suitable for everyday use,” said Denner.

Electrification I: market leadership in the mass market

In 2018, Bosch acquired 30 electromobility projects worth billions of euros. By 2025, the company wants to increase sales in the field of electromobility to ten billion euros. “We want to become the market leader in the mass market for electromobility,” explained Denner. No other company in electric mobility is as broad-based as Bosch. From the bicycle to the truck, Bosch electrifies everything. For example, more than one million vehicles worldwide are already using Bosch electric or hybrid components. Denner continues: “In the future, no electric car will go without Bosch.” This applies in particular to China, the world’s largest electromobility market. There, the company is already the market leader in the passenger car sector. Bosch recently entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with the Chinese electric car company NIO for automated and electric driving. In China, series production of the eAchse, a particularly compact drive for electric cars, will also begin in 2019. A few weeks ago, the large-scale production of a novel 48-volt battery started. As early as 2030, 20 percent of new vehicles worldwide will be partially electrified with a 48-volt system. With the complete takeover of EM-motive GmbH, Bosch is also strengthening its position in the rapidly growing global market for electric motors.

Electrification II: transporting goods under power

By 2030, global goods transport will almost double (source: ITF). “We want a load transport that is neither a burden for the climate nor for the air quality. The key here too is electrification, “said Denner. As early as 2030, every fourth new commercial vehicle will be at least partially electric-powered, almost every third in China. This will also benefit Bosch. The company’s product portfolio for zero-emissions goods includes 36-volt drives for cargo bikes, e-drives for light commercial vehicles such as the street scooter, e-axles for light and heavy vans, electrified axles for truck semitrailers and future fuel cell drives for 40-tonne vehicles , “Whether partially electric, fully electric, battery electric or fuel cell – we are ready for the market,” emphasized the Bosch boss.

Artificial intelligence I: core competence for Bosch

Denner sees a central core competence of the future in the industrial application of artificial intelligence (AI): “By the middle of the coming decade, all Bosch products should have AI, be developed or produced with it. Although American and Chinese companies dominate the consumer goods industry at KI, “said the Bosch boss. “But without domain knowledge about transport, industry or buildings, their potential lags behind that of the industrial AI.” Denner sees ambitious goals for Bosch: “As the innovation leader, we want to master AI ourselves and be among the best in the world.” Bosch plans to have the number by 2021 quadruple the 1,000 AI professionals in the company to 4,000.

Artificial Intelligence II: achievements in space and in traffic

The employees of the Bosch Center for Artificial Intelligence work on nearly 150 projects. An example is the sensor system SoundSee. “SoundSee’s algorithm uses machine learning to hear what’s broken,” explained Denner. It is designed to predict machine failure accurately, reducing maintenance costs and increasing productivity. Already in the middle of the year, it will be used in the International Space Station ISS. Bosch sees commercial applications in industry, buildings and vehicle construction. Another example of the advances in AI is a multi-function automated driving camera that combines image processing algorithms with AI methods. The result: An intelligent camera for the car that, for example, allows pedestrians to see and anticipate their behavior.

Qualification: Learning Company and “Bosch Tube”

Bosch invests around 250 million euros annually in the qualification of its employees. Around 19,000 training programs are available to employees. The goal: To impart skills and to take the employees on their way into new business fields. The “Bosch Learning Company” initiative integrates learning into everyday working life. New services such as video-learning or mobile learning via apps complement classical classroom training. Denner continued: “The Bosch Learning Company strengthens the self-responsibility of the learners and promotes self-determined learning.” A new development is “Bosch Tube”, the YouTube for Bosch employees. They can create video tutorials and upload them to Bosch Tube. Likewise, they find all the learning videos there.

Agility: corporate headquarters with only one goal

At the beginning of the year, Bosch redesigned the cooperation between the corporate headquarters and the operating business units. “The head office should best support the transformation of the business with mobility solutions and networking via the Internet of Things,” said Denner. For example, the structures of central service areas such as purchasing or personnel were simplified. 40 central departments were bundled in 20. These will in future be managed by four instead of eight managing directors. The other members of the management are responsible for the operating business units. In total, around 20,000 Bosch employees work in central corporate functions such as purchasing, finance, human resources or IT.

Business development in 2018 by divisions

Bosch can look back on a positive development of its business units in 2018. Turnover in the Mobility Solutions division again grew faster in 2018 than worldwide automobile production. The proceeds increased according to preliminary figures by 2.3 percent to 47 billion euros. That is a currency-adjusted gain of 4.7 percent. Sales in the Consumer Goods division totaled 17.8 billion euros. This corresponds to a decline of 3.2 percent. Strong opposing exchange rate effects as well as high price pressure in core markets burdened the business development of BSH Hausgeräte GmbH and Bosch Power Tools. Adjusted for exchange rate effects, the revenue increase amounts to 0.9 percent. Sales in the Industrial Technology division rose to 7.4 billion euros and achieved the highest growth at 8.9 percent. Currency-adjusted growth was 11 percent. In particular, the Drive and Control Technology business unit continued to develop positively. Bosch, which is part of the Industrial Technology division, is currently planning to sell Bosch. The Energy and Building Technology division generated sales of 5.5 billion euros. The growth of 2.3 percent, adjusted for currency effects, is 4.7 percent.

Business development in 2018 by region

Bosch recorded a positive business development in Europe. The proceeds reached 41 billion euros. The increase of 2.1 percent corresponds to a currency-adjusted rate of 3.7 percent. The growth came mainly from Germany and Austria. In North America, sales increased to 12.3 billion euros. Adjusted for exchange rate effects, this represents an increase of 7.9 percent, nominally 2.8 percent. The automotive business in particular had a positive effect on sales development. In South America, sales remained below the previous year’s level. The decisive factors were the enormous negative exchange rate effects in the core markets of Brazil and Argentina. Nominally, sales fell by 7.8 percent to 1.4 billion euros. Adjusted for exchange rate effects, sales rose by 8.9 percent. Sales in Asia-Pacific including Africa increased by 0.4 percent to 23.2 billion euros. The currency-adjusted increase corresponds to 3.1 percent. In the meantime, the region’s share of total sales is almost 30 percent.

Employees: Workforce grows by 7,800 employees

As of December 31, 2018, the Bosch Group employed around 410,000 people worldwide. That’s 7,800 more than last year. Bosch’s staff were mainly built in the regions Europe and Asia-Pacific. The employment growth in Germany was 1,700 employees. Bosch has a continuing high demand for IT and software experts

Outlook 2019: Hedge high earnings level

Bosch expects global economic growth of 2.3 percent in 2019. “Crucial to our cautious outlook continue to be numerous geopolitical developments such as the open exit of Brexit and various trade disputes. In addition, an aggressive economic protectionism in the form of punitive tariffs or the termination of free trade agreements spoils the consumer and investment mood, “said the CFO. Irrespective of this, Bosch intends to do better than the relevant markets in the current year and to continue to secure the high level of earnings despite considerable advance payments.

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Additional information

Bosch Group: Key figures 2018
Vorläufige Kennzahlen Geschäftsjahr 2018Press contact:
Sven Kahn, Telefon: +49 711 811-6415, Twitter: @BoschPresse
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