RATIONAL is a German company and a global market and technology leader in innovative solutions for thermal food preparation in the professional kitchens of the world with a market share of around 50%. The company’s products replace conventional cooking appliances like the grill, stove or oven. iCombi Pro, the combi-steamer with intelligent cooking processes, transfers heat via steam and hot air.
The complementary product iVario cooks with contact heat or in liquid and can replace other traditional cooking appliances like deep-fat fryers, boiling pans or tilting frying pans.
Rational was established in 1973 with only 18 employees. Now 140 million dishes are prepared daily around the world in Rational units. With over 1,000,000 Rational units on the market, the company’s cooking systems have become a standard in professional kitchens all over the world.
Sales revenues of 211.6 million euros in the second quarter of 2021 were 3% up on the figure in the second quarter of 2019 (205.1 million euros), hence slightly exceeding precrisis levels. That was 81% higher than in the prior-year quarter, which was very weak due to the coronavirus pandemic (2020: 116.8 million euros).
In May 2020 and June 2020, Rational launched two completely new appliance generations, the iCombi and the iVario, which have since established themselves among their customers. In the iCombi product group, sales revenues were up 25% year-on-year in the first half of 2021, at 337.6 million euros (2020: 270.3 million euros). In the iVario product group, sales rose by as much as 51% to 41.7 million euros (2020: 27.7 million euros).
As a result, the gross margin improved to 56.3% in the first half of 2021 (2020: 54.7%). The EBIT margin was 22.3% (2020: 9.2%).
In our view, a key factor of this encouraging trend is the extensive use our customers have made of government support measures for investments in modern IoT-capable and resource-efficient cooking appliances such as ours. In addition, once the most difficult phase of the coronavirus crisis had passed, customers completed a large number of new-build or refurbishment projects. Not least, in some cases dealers ordered appliances for stock in order to prevent potential supply shortages.