Furniture fittings manufacturer Blum has posted a group turnover of €2,376million for the 2020/21 financial year ended June 30, 2021.
It represents a growth of €470m on the previous year and an increase in turnover of 24.7%, which joint MD Philip Blum said was an “above-average increase” caused by an “unforeseeable surge in demand for furniture caused by the COVID-19 pandemic”.
Austrian-based Blum stated despite showrooms having to close their doors during lockdowns, demand for furniture and interior refurbishments increased around the world.
The company explained Western Europe reported strong growth, particularly in Italy, France, UK and Germany.
It also stated there were “major” increases in Eastern Europe, such as Poland, Russia, the Czech Republic and Turkey.
And it reported business had performed well in North America, Asia, Oceania, as well as Africa, South America and the Near and Middle East.
Having opened Blum Indonesia in the spring of 2021, the company now services 120 countries with 33 subsidiaries and sales offices worldwide.
However, joint MD Martin Blum stated the growth has posed “extreme” challenges, especially in production.
Despite the challenging times, the company continued to invest in the expansion of buildings, machinery and facilities, spending €176m in Vorlberg, Austria, and €259m worldwide.
Martin Blum stated: “It was thanks to long-term planning that we were able to respond as well as possible to the unexpectedly strong growth in demand.”
It reported the extension to Plant 4 in Bregenz will be operational in summer and work has started on an expansion and a high bay warehouse at Plant 6 in Glaissau, due for completion in 2023.
In addition, the company is building a production plant in China and an extension to its plant in Poland, scheduled to be finished by early 2022 and autumn 2023, respectively.
Blum pointed to the high demand for kitchens creating shortages of raw materials, such as steel which has doubled in price in the last six months.
The company also pointed to increases in costs for transportation, which have increased “dramatically”.
Martin Blum stated: “Unfortunately, our customers are currently also having to wait longer for our products.
“Only by adjusting some delivery times have we been able to meet the rapid growth in market demands.”
The managing directors believe the international supply chains and supply of raw materials will remain severely impacted for some time.
Looking forward, Blum believes innovations in products and services, such as those shown at hybrid event Blum Connects, will safeguard the future of the company.
This is also mirrored by its investment in staff development with 8,778 employees worldwide who will be joined by 103 apprentices in September 2021.