A Danish icon turns 90 – The Post

A Danish icon turns 90

But questions remain whether Bang & Olufsen will celebrate its centenary

These babies cost half a million! (photo: B & 0)
November 17th, 2015 3:16 pm| by Ray W

The consumer electronics giant Bang & Olufsen was founded in the small Jutland town of Struer 90 years ago today.

However, despite celebrating that major milestone, it remains to be seen whether the world-renowned brand will see out its 100th year as an independent company.

“It is very difficult to predict ten years into the future in a market where technologies change quickly,” Sydbank senior analyst Morten Imsgard told DR Nyheder. “By that time, television could be something we paint on the wall.”

A great achievement
Imsgard said the insecurity of the market-place is precisely why B & O should celebrate its 90th anniversary.

“It is a great achievement to survive 90 years in a business like consumer electronics, where the technology is constantly evolving,” he said.

Despite losses over the past two years, the company is celebrating its birthday in relatively good financial shape, partially due to its spring sell-off of its automotive division, which produces high-end car audio.

Divesting and reinvesting
“Selling off the automotive division freed up capital to invest in the remaining business,” said Imsgard.

Imsgard believes the company must continue to offer bold design combined with the latest in technology if it is to survive.

“B & O’s ability to enter into partnerships with major electronics manufacturers, which can deliver the newest technology, will prove crucial to them still being here in ten years,” he said.

READ MORE: Bang & Olufsen sells off US auto activities in billion kroner deal

Bang and Olufsen is marking its 90th anniversary with sales events connected to its new BeoLab 90 speakers at 50 stores worldwide.

A set of the speakers cost half a million kroner.