Stuttgart – The Stuttgart expert organization: DEKRA will continue to be an extremely attractive employer in the future. “We will continue to be a strong job engine, creating more than 10,000 new jobs in our Group by 2015,” announced DEKRA head Stefan Kölbl on 26 May as he presented the 2010 annual report to journalists in Stuttgart. Kölbl expects more than 2,000 new jobs to be created in 2011. According to Kölbl, the company set new records in terms of sales, earnings and workforce in the 2010 financial year: Consolidated sales rose by 9% to almost €1.86 billion. At €121.6 million, EBIT was up by a considerable 32.6% on the previous year. Roland Gerdon, DEKRA e.V and DEKRA SE’s Management Board member for Finance, HR and IT, added: “DEKRA is in the best of health, has no net debt and has significantly increased its equity ratio to 25.2%.” Gerdon continued, “DEKRA now has more than 25,000 employees. That is around 3,000 more than last year. 40% of our workforce is already employed outside Germany, contributing a third of our total sales.”
With the DEKRA 2015 strategy program, the testing group is preparing the way for further internationalization and profitable growth. “It is our goal to take the lead in the standings of the Champions League of international expert organisations,” said Kölbl. To do so, the company must focus systematically on business excellence, profitable and efficient structures and attractive and secure jobs. “To this end, we plan to place an even stronger focus on strategically important business fields in future. This means both robust organic growth and further acquisitions. Our target for 2015 is to generate sales of around €3 billion.”
Focus on strategic regions
According to Kölbl, the initial strategic course has already been set: “Our key strategic regions are Greater China as well as North and South America. We are establishing Chief Regional Officers there to control activities in all lines of business.” The Organisation and Processes central unit has been set up in the headquarters in Stuttgart to promote cooperation between the companies, optimise internal procedures and to create more synergies. The harmonisation of financial processes and IT systems is equally important.
2010 was an important milestone for the company’s dynamic development. “Our sales have almost doubled since 2004. With seven targeted automotive and industrial acquisitions in 2010, we have further expanded our global network in more than 50 countries and added to our service portfolio. We are currently well ahead of the rest of the market with our automotive services. And with our portfolio as a whole, we one of the three largest providers of expert services worldwide,” emphasised Kölbl.
Structured expansion of automotive activities
The DEKRA Automotive business unit is the Group’s leading source of sales. Here, sales increased to €1,028 million – an increase of more than 4% and a new record. The key pillows of business are the vehicle testing and expert appraisals service lines with combined sales of more than €900 million. There was strong growth in the used car management, consulting & mystery shopping and international claims regulation segments.
The company has also made thorough preparations for the future issue of electro mobility. The new DEKRA e-mobility competence centre brings together the broad range of international activities and coordinates all projects within the entire Group.
The Business unit’s international operations recorded double-digit revenue growth in 2010. In France, the Group’s second domestic market, DEKRA Automotive S.A. performed positively. Despite a declining market volume in the testing business for cars and trucks, the company generated a 6% increase in sales. Since 2010, the company has been responsible for the automotive companies in Spain, Portugal and Morocco.
The international expert appraisals area was strengthened by the acquisition of the Coorevits Group, the leading organisation for car appraisals in Belgium. In the US, the companies Truck Remarketing Services and Magoo’s Automotive Consultants were acquired. In China, DEKRA focused particularly on expanding homologation services.
Sharp increase in industrial activities
The Group’s second pillow and strongest growth driver is the business unit DEKRA Industrial. This business unit recorded sales growth of around 23% in 2010 to nearly €500 million. “We have seen a ten-fold increase in sales over the past six years. Our overall portfolio now includes material testing, inspection services, product testing and certifications. This puts DEKRA Industrial among the world’s top ten industrial test services providers,” explained Stefan Kölbl.
The highlights of the financial year included the acquisition of the Swedish industrial test services provider, ÅF-Kontroll, with 27 locations in Sweden and branches in Norway, the Czech Republic and Lithuania. The company now operates under the name of DEKRA Industrial AB. The takeover was a decisive step towards positioning DEKRA as a leading provider of testing services for the energy industry in the refinery, nuclear power and renewable energies sectors. DEKRA head Kölbl sees good growth opportunities for the future areas of renewable energies, energy efficiency and sustainability management. Kölbl commented: “We intend to considerably expand our range of services in these sectors in particular.”
The certification and product testing areas also performed very successfully. An important milestone was the launch of the joint venture DEKRA WIT in Huangzhou to consolidate existing activities in China. DEKRA considers China to be a key market for the future.
Growth in temporary work
The DEKRA Personnel business unit regards itself as a full-service provider for qualification and temporary work. Despite economic challenges, sales increased by nearly 7% to a record €323 million. The qualification business in DEKRA Akademie GmbH, one of the largest training companies in Germany, was dominated by government austerity measures with respect to subsidised advanced training measures. The flexible cost structure allowed responding in good time with appropriate adjustments. Sales in the corporate customer business also increased. Sales reached a total €173.1 million.
The DEKRA Arbeit Group achieved a strong increase in sales of 52% to more than €137 million. DEKRA Arbeit GmbH participated in the strong upturn in the automotive industry while also obtaining large order volumes in other sectors. Stefan Kölbl commented: “Our main concern at DEKRA Arbeit is to focus on highly qualified employees and increase the internationalisation of our activities. We are confident that temporary work will become increasingly important in the future, both in Germany and beyond. The DEKRA Arbeit Group currently operates in 20 European locations.”
Good start to current financial year
The first months of this year also show that DEKRA is on precisely the right path for growth. At the end of April, consolidated sales have already increased by almost 7% year-on-year. “We have thus made great steps towards achieving the ambitious targets we set in connection with our strategic programme <<DEKRA 2015>>, commented Kölbl. “DEKRA is well positioned for the years to come and has excellent international market opportunities. We will continue to expand at a high level and rigorously develop our business units internationally. The global rethink on the topic of energy supply means excellent development opportunities for us,” summarised Kölbl.
May 27, 2011
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