‘We were let down badly by Poggenpohl US,’ admits Nobia

Nobia has revealed that it felt ‘let down badly’ by the Poggenpohl accounting error in the US earlier this year, which saw the company suffer a one-off cost of £7.8 million.

The kitchen giant has also denied ‘intense rumours’ that it intends to put the Poggenpohl brand up for sale.

Speaking to kbbreview, Mikael Norman (pictured), Nobia chief financial officer, said: “We had a big hit and were let down badly by Poggenpohl in the US. Of course, that is still problematic, as you can imagine. The shockwave that went through the Poggenpohl system as a consequence hasn’t completely vanished. So, we are working with them to make sure that they come up to full speed again, especially in the US.”

Nobia has now announced it is seeking a partner in luxury products for the Poggenpohl brand.

The strategic partnership plans to aid the development, production and sale of Poggenpohl kitchens.

A chosen partner will also acquire a minority share in Poggenpohl.

When asked whether the move was related to the accounting error that affected group profits reported earlier this year, Norman said: “This is more a business-related conclusion. We at Nobia feel Poggenpohl is so different in its nature and is addressing such a different segment of the market than the rest of the company. Poggenpohl makes up around 7% to 8% of Nobia, so even if it is a well-known, fantastic brand, it is such a small part that it doesn’t attract the attention that the brand deserves within the bigger company.

“Hence, we and the board have concluded that Poggenpohl could benefit from getting more luxury segment competence into the overall picture. That can be done, of course, in different ways, but the decision the board came to very recently was we are going to explore the opportunity of inviting people to propose a solution along these lines and see how that will fit with our thinking. It’s still very early and we haven’t really started, but we felt that we had to go out publicly with this statement because of intense rumours in Germany around the incorrect situation that we were about to sell all of Poggenpohl. That created, for obvious reasons, unrest with the people and a lot of questions. So we wanted to be in charge of the communication flow and that’s why we went out and put it right.”

When asked about the swift exit of Poggenpohl global sales director Martin Gill last month, Norman commented: “There is nothing further we have to say on that. It’s nothing that we haven’t communicated and I don’t want to comment on that further. We had a good ride with Martin, but he is now outside of the company and we have put it behind us.”

Nobia president and chief executive Morten Falkenberg added: “Poggenpohl is a fantastic kitchen brand featuring world-class design and manufacturing quality. The company generates sales of around SKr1 billion (£84.4 million), with a positive sales and profitability trend. We are now exploring the possibility of entering into a strategic partnership to accelerate the growth of Poggenpohl.”

  • Norman will be resigning from his role at Nobia in October to “begin a board career”.
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