Forbo flooring
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Forbo flooring

About Forbo

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.

Our history


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.


Mission Statement

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

satisfied customers.

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

synthetic materials)

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.


Werner Kummer

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).


Cushion Vinyl

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

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