Power EquipmentThe Power Equipment business, comprising of power tools, outdoor products and accessories, achieved an 11.6% increase in sales in 2011 to US$2.7 billion. This positive performance was the result of continued successful expansion of our MILWAUKEE® REDLITHIUM™ cordless platforms and strong growth in hand tools and accessories, as well as further expansion of our RYOBI® cordless lithium ion power tool and outdoor product ranges. The business accounted for 72.6% of Group turnover, against 70.5% in 2010.
IndustrialOur industrial power equipment business under the MILWAUKEE® brand had a strong year, delivering solid double-digit sales growth globally driven by further market penetration, built on the increasing adoption of lithium ion cordless products. During the year, MILWAUKEE® introduced REDLITHIUM™ and added a number of new products to their M12™ and M18® lithium ion cordless systems. MILWAUKEE®‘s game-changing cordless technology has won rapid end-user adoption in the industrial trade channels.
MILWAUKEE® power tool accessories achieved good performance for the year, experiencing solid growth with the launch of the second generation of Shockwave™ drilling and fastening accessories and wood Sawzall® blades with FangTip™ productivity-enhancing design and the advanced tooth NAIL GUARD™ feature. Our professional MILWAUKEE® hand tool program provided incremental growth building momentum with a successful second phase launch in 2011. The highly innovative range of hand tools targeted at professional users offers completely new features, providing the ultimate in productivity and performance.
Consumer and ProfessionalIn 2011, sales of professional and consumer power tools increased, supported by strong new product introductions in cordless products and accessories, as we continued to expand our professional range under the AEG® brand, while refreshing the consumer Do-it-Yourself consumer brand RYOBI® with a new line of products and the striking new hyper-green brand identity.
RYOBI® strengthened its position in North America as it enhanced the core 18-volt ONE+ System® by launching a range of new products that offer super-compact designs and improved performance. RYOBI® continues to build on its commitment to innovative product development and world-class marketing backed by a well trained in-store sales team. The success in product innovation, a key factor in driving growth, has established RYOBI® as the leading Do-it-Yourself brand with a strong product portfolio, a substantial and loyal end-user following, and solid retail partnerships with broad distribution.
In Europe and rest of the world, new product introductions throughout the year enabled our AEG® brand to deliver solid growth. Key among them was the launch of a new range of professional cordless tools using Pro Lithium™, the next generation high performance lithium ion technology. The 12-volt Omni Pro™ multi-tool range has generated end-user excitement with its flexible multiple head attachments which deliver lithium power to perform different tasks for the professional user. In the consumer Do-it-Yourself segment, sales of RYOBI® products increased, driven by new products and distribution partnerships.
- MILWAUKEE® Shockwave Impact Duty™ 30° Knuckle™ Pivoting Bit Holder allows users to drive fasteners and drill holes in tight, difficult work areas. It is designed for use with Shockwave Impact Duty™ ¼” Hex accessories and is rated to handle up to 2,000 in-lbs of torque in impact drivers.
- The MILWAUKEE® M18® Cordless ¼” Hex Impact Driver delivers 2,200 RPM and a category leading 1,400 in-lbs of torque. Additionally, the Driver offers 0 – 3,200 IPM, providing more impact for increased productivity. It deploys MILWAUKEE®‘s Impact Mechanism, increasing driving speed and maximizing torque, and is driven by MILWAUKEE®‘s 4-Pole Frameless Motor maximizing tool efficiency and increasing run-time.
- The Ax Sawzall® blade range includes NAIL GUARD™ and FangTip™ innovation. NAIL GUARD™ has an aggressive 5 TPI pattern for faster cuts and a unique design that protects against tooth fracture. FangTip™ bites into the wood on first contact for steady and accurate cut.
- The Ax Sawzall® blades have been engineered to deliver the fastest cuts, longest life, greatest tooth durability and quickest plunge cuts of any wood demolition blade on the market.
- The MILWAUKEE® Fluorescent Lighting Tester (FLT) is a new-to-world tool that tests fluorescent lighting fixtures and cuts troubleshooting up to 10x faster. The FLT delivers complete Lamp, Ballast and Pin testing. Test Lamps before or after installing, and test without dismantling the fixtures.
Recognized for its award winning innovation, the FLT will dramatically improve the productivity of professional electricians and maintenance technicians. Instead of a “replace and hope” strategy, users can test their lighting fixtures faster and easier.
- MILWAUKEE® 6 IN 1 Combination Pliers feature a revolutionary dual head design for wire stripping and needle nose functionality. MILWAUKEE® 6 IN 1 Combination Pliers were uniquely designed with a reaming head to smooth out rough edges of metal pipe. The 6 IN 1 Combination pliers feature six applications (Reaming, Wire Stripping, Bolt Cutter, Wire Cutting, Pliers, Loop Maker) specific designs that allows professionals to carry less tools and get more done.
- Dedicated to delivering advanced solutions to increase productivity, MILWAULKEE®‘s Hand Tool category will continue to grow and offer innovative products for plumbers, electricians and contractors to expedite their work with higher productivity and greater ease.
Outdoor ProductsOutdoor products had a good year, as they benefited from the tremendous success of the RYOBI® power tools 18-volt ONE+ System®, which is now being applied to the outdoor products segment. We refreshed and expanded the RYOBI® 18-volt ONE+ System® through the launch of new products, including a new line trimmer and a hedge trimmer with HedgeSweep™ technology. Additionally, the new RYOBI® cordless 24-volt lithium ion platform exceeded sales targets as it captured the interest of end-users and garden enthusiasts, transforming their view of cordless outdoor technology by virtue of the products’ compactness, convenience, ergonomic design and high performance.
In Europe and the rest of the world, outdoor products benefited from the introduction of a range of RYOBI® 36-volt lithium ion cordless products. This technology breakthrough delivers power and run time performance that far exceeds other cordless products. As a result of the RYOBI® 36-volt range, consumers have a performance choice to replace gas driven products.
- RYOBI® ‘s 36-volt lithium ion Cordless Mower delivers gas performance and runtime, while providing maintenance and fade-free lithium ion power, cutting up to 4,000 square feet of grass in a single charge. The RYOBI® 36-volt lithium ion battery features IntelliCell™ technology that monitors and balances individual cells to maximize runtimes, storage life and safety, while providing up to 10% more usable power.
- HOMELITE® Chain Saws deliver incredible cutting performance in a light weight design for user comfort.
- ONE+ System® Hedge Trimmer – The new RYOBI® ONE+ System® 18-volt long reach hedge trimmer has a 4-position articulating head and a rotating rear handle, allowing users to trim higher hedges at ease.