Forbo is a global company, which employs some 5,800 people worldwide.
Forbo has leading market positions with its attractive product portfolio
and brand names of global reputation.
Forbo strives to expand and further its existing product range and
encourage innovation. The Forbo Group attaches great importance to quality
assurance, quality enhancement and environmental compatibility.
Set up of Continentale Linoleum Union, a loose grouping of European
linoleum manufacturers in Germany (DLW), The Netherlands (Krommenie),
Sweden (Forshaga), Switzerland (Giubiasco) and France (Sarlino).
The production of inlaid linoleum began in 1895, using a type of screen-
printing process in which collared granules of linoleum „mix“ were applied
directly onto the backing canvas. (Production ends 1965).
As a result of political influences during the war years DLW drops out.
Women laying pre-cut linoleum shapes onto patterned canvas.
The Group expands into the manufacturing of substitute products, carpets
and PVC flooring.
Set up of new central management.
Renaming of Continental Linoleum Union to Forbo.
By strengthening its core competences and by acquiring further companies,
Forbo evolves into an international group that operates on all five
continents of the world. Forbo’s product-line organization is
decentralized, the know-how acquired throughout the years in transferred to
other activities, enlarged and developed.
The company implements a new corporate strategy by concentration on the
four core strategic business units (SBUs) Linoleum, Cushion Vinyl, Belting
and Adhesives. The industry activities Extruded Profiles, Decorative Films
and Coated Textiles are divested during 2000. With these divestments Forbo
is enhancing its focus on core activities.
Forbo will focus more intensely than before on its core businesses
which offer strong and
sustained potential for earnings growth, sales growth, market leadership
and synergies. All
Strategic Business Units must secure leading positions either worldwide or
in their most
important markets. High-quality and innovative products are the basis for
The sectors that we have designated as strategic business units are
Linoleum and Cushion
Vinyl in the Flooring Division, Belting (conveyor and drive belts made from
and Adhesives in the Industry Specialties Division.
The Forbo organization is product driven. The business units,
responsible for a specific core product, carry responsibility for the
business success. In particular, the units have to ensure profitable
Our mission is to achieve a sustained increase in enterprise value.
Each and every operational unit must satisfy this requirement. The best
guarantee for the success is a combination of strong earnings power and
growth. Our business strategy is closely and consistently geared to the
creation of value.
Chief Executive Officer
Caring for the environment is a must. Our quality of life and – even more
important – the viability of future generations will essentially depend on
it. The responsible interaction with our environment is in fact gaining in
importance. This is a task that future oriented companies cannot afford to
neglect. Responsible operation in consideration of the environment’s needs
is a substantial precondition of sustainable entrepreneurial success. This
has been Forbo’s credo since the company’s foundation in 1928: Producing
environmentally compatible products with appropriate methods of production,
and as economically as possible.
Forbo Flooring products
Strategic Business Units Linoleum and Cushion Vinyl make up Forbo´s
Flooring division. Carpet and Parquet Flooring complete the division’s
The market for textile flooring still continues to contract. Since the
business unit carpets managed to stay clear of unprofitable sales, the
overall sales in 2000 did not exceed CHF 213 million.
The production of tufted floor coverings was moved to the French plant
in Reims, and the production facility in Wermelskirchen (Germany) was
closed down. All Swiss-based textile floor covering operations had been
concentrated in Ennenda (Switzerland). In the business year 2000 a
restructuring of the company’s European carpet operations was carried out.
To achieve this objective, the Carpets Business Unit was reorganized.
In the business year 2000 a restructuring of the company’s European
carpet operations was carried out. To achieve this objective, the Carpets
Business Unit was reorganized. The restructuring measures were completed by
the closure of the production plant in Wermelskrichen (Germany).
The year 2000 was characterized by difficult market conditions. The
problem of excess capacities was further
aggravated. Despite these
conditions, Forbo succeeded in maintaining its position in the major
European markets. Thanks to its extraordinary design and excellent benefits
the inlay chips technology of Forbo Novilon® gained further headway in
terms of market popularity. In 2000, sales grew by 2% to CHF 346 million.
Business in the European core markets remained under pressure. The export
business to Eastern Europe and overseas brought some compensation.
At Forbo Novilon produktiebedrijven bv in Coevorden (Netherlands) the
first phase of a new production line had been finished in 1999. In the
current business year the second phase of the new plant will be completed
and put into operation. This will give Forbo the necessary edge in
production technology to manufacture innovative cushion vinyl.
Forbo Sarlino SA in Reims (France) expanded its market position in
vinyl floor coverings offering strong sound insulation characteristics.
With a market share of more than 60%, Forbo is the world’s leading
supplier of Linoleum, one of the Group’s core products. In 2000, sales
amounted to CHF 411 million, an increase of 2% compared to the year before.
Substantial marketing efforts were one major factor in achieving this
result. In America and Asia linoleum demand was up 27%. The new Artoleum® 2
design collection launched in 1999 was met with great acceptance in the
market. Forbo’s collections attracted great attention at Europe’s leading
trade fairs, Domotex in Hanover and Bâtimat in Paris.
Forbo also performed especially strong in North America, where Linoleum,
although commanding a relatively small share of the market, continues to