German cabin interiors specialist Recaro Aircraft Seating is aiming to become the No. 1 business-class seating supplier, after posting 15 years of double-digit revenue growth.

In 2018, Recaro’s full-year turnover grew 22% to almost €600 million ($671.5 million). The company estimates the global passenger seat market grew 5% growth over the same period.

“Over the past 15 years we grew approximately 10% annually, twice the rate of the market. Last year, however, we outperformed the industry four times and grew 22%,” Recaro Aircraft Seating CEO Mark Hiller said, announcing the record result April 24.

Recaro plans to reinvest 10% of the 2018 revenue figure back into the company to support further growth and to establish itself as the market leader in business-class seating. Recaro already claims the title of global market leader for economy-class seating.

On the one hand, this will be utilized to ignite expansion in Germany and globally. On the other, it enables extra investment in research and development. This will help Recaro achieve its goal of—next to remaining market leader in the economy-class segment—becoming the number one supplier in the business-class seat market in the long run,” Recaro said.

While the exact business-class investment was unspecified, Recaro said it is investing “hundreds of millions in product innovation in business-class seating.”

Over the next five years, Recaro will significantly expand its headquarters in Schwäbisch Hall (Germany), as well as its sites in China, Poland and the US. This expansion forms part of its space2grow project, which saw the opening of a new “cut2dress” dress-cover site in Poland in November 2018.

Recaro hired 430 new employees in 2018, taking its headcount to 2,600 staff. “In 2019, the company plans to increase the global headcount to approximately 3,000,” Recaro said. In Germany alone, the aircraft seat manufacturer said it will hire more than 100 employees.

Victoria Moores