The company, which owns numerous leading brands including Worcester Bosch and Buderus, made the announcement as it revealed global sales rose seven per cent in 2008 to around €3 billion despite the worsening economic crisis.
It said despite the downturn investment in research and development was a key focus.
A company statement said: “Bosch Thermotechnology will push ahead the launch of new, innovative heating technologies such as micro co-generation. The company plans to test an electricity-generating heater based on Stirling technology in a field test involving 500 devices in several European countries already in 2009. Mass production is scheduled to start in 2011.”
Solar thermal sales hit record
The company said the political environment and high energy prices were helping maintain demand and it saw record solar thermal sales in Germany.
A company statement said: “Global sales of condensing boilers and renewable energy systems such as electric heat pumps and solar systems increased particularly strongly.
“In spite of the unfavourable economic outlook, Bosch Thermotechnology is well positioned for the future. Fundamental trends such as the catching-up process in the emerging markets and the growing demand for new resource-efficient heating technologies will open up additional opportunities for growth. Bosch Thermotechnology wants to outgrow the market and expand its competitive position.”
The company’s performance in German was particularly strong with total sales up 12 per cent on the previous year helped by the federal government’s market incentive programme.
Heat pump demand strong in Unitd States
Outside Germany sales grew by five per cent, or eight per cent in exchange rate adjusted term, although growth slowed down in the second half of the year. The strongest growth was seen in the United States with demand for heat pumps particularly high.
But, due to the expected slowdown headcount has been cut “moderately” to roughly 13,000 people with temporary employment contracts, especially in Germany and Portugal, not renewed.
Uwe Glock, President of the Bosch Thermotechnology Division, said: 'Bosch Thermotechnology is a global player offering a broad product portfolio. It comprises, for instance, condensing boilers, water heaters and renewable energy systems such as electric heat pumps, solar thermal systems and solid fuel boilers.
'The increased global demand for these resource-efficient heating technologies was the main driver of our growth in 2008.”