Company development through targeted acquisitions and digital transformation
Friedrichshafen, April 13, 2018. The Zeppelin Group finishes the 2017 financial year having achieved the highest revenue in its history. Group sales totaled EUR 2.75bn (previous year: EUR 2.36bn), Group earnings before tax increased to EUR 93.5m (previous year: EUR 85.9m). The Creditreform Rating AG rating agency once again awarded the Zeppelin Group an “A-” credit rating with a stable outlook. The total investment volume was EUR 223.4m. The company is forecasting favorable financial conditions for 2018.
“The Zeppelin Group has had an extraordinarily successful year,” notes Peter Gerstmann, Chairman of the Management Board of Zeppelin GmbH. “2017 was marked by strong growth in orders and sales, and a number of strategic acquisitions. We also successfully drove forward digital transformation of the existing business and the development of new digital business models.” Christian Dummler, Member of the Management Board and CFO of Zeppelin GmbH, adds: “The markets relevant to Zeppelin showed extremely dynamic growth in places, during the last financial year. The CIS countries are showing clear signs of recovery.” Andreas Brand, Chairman of the Zeppelin Group Supervisory Board, congratulates the company on its outstanding success: “These record results for Zeppelin are down to the great commitment and extraordinary motivation of the Group’s Management Board and staff. Our course is set for strong business performance in 2018.”
Development of the Business Units
The Construction Equipment EU business unit continued on a growth trajectory. It managed once again to exceed the previous year’s sales figures and to further extend its leading market position. It increased incoming orders by focusing on additional markets, improving market penetration by recruiting new sales consultants, and optimizing sales and service processes as part of the digitization strategy to enable expansion of the range of products and services.
The markets for the Construction Equipment CIS business unit recovered slightly. Major projects in Armenia and Ukraine, along with other projects in Russia, contributed to a high level of incoming orders especially in mining equipment. As the official Mercedes-Benz Trucks dealer, Zeppelin was able to add trucks to the product range in the Russian Republic of Karelia and the Archangelsk region.
The Rental business unit surpassed the EUR 400m mark for the first time. It acquired and integrated Limes Mobil GmbH to strengthen its market position in site and traffic guidance. Various mergers enabled it to create structures to make collaboration between the individual areas much faster and more efficient. As part of the digitization strategy the business unit expanded its digital ranges, for example with the container configuration tool which allows the user to plan and visualize container systems. It developed its online rental product range further, matching it to customer requirements.
The Power Systems business unit achieved a high level of incoming orders and significantly expanded the service and spare parts business by comparison with the previous year. In the Marine business area the order book includes the supply to the Carnival Group of engines for seven new cruise ships. In addition it has agreed a full service and maintenance contract with Viking River Cruises AG for more than 40 inland vessels. Through the MWB Marine Services GmbH joint venture the business unit can now provide manufacturer-independent maintenance and repair services and spare parts for marine engines and drives.
The Plant Engineering business unit had the same high level of orders as the previous year. Development was positive in all market segments. The order for the construction of the world’s largest tire recycling plant was truly a milestone. In addition to expanding the product portfolio, the acquisition of the aviation division of Mauderer Alutechnik GmbH also increased welding production capacity. A joint venture enabled the unit to achieve a significant improvement in process and control technology skills. Recently developed digital solutions help customers optimize production using data captured during the process.
The Z Lab business unit amalgamated digitization resources to create a pool of expertise. The strategic goal of the Zeppelin Group is to provide a digital platform for holistic solutions – which is not dependent on a particular manufacturer – in the construction industry and the industrial sector.
Employer attractiveness and employee retention
In 2017 there were several initiatives to make the Zeppelin Group even more attractive as an employer. One priority is achieving an improved work-life balance. The berufundfamilie quality mark, which Zeppelin GmbH received in 2015, was extended to all of the German companies in the Group. The assessment considers measures to support employees, such as flexible working hours and additional employee benefits. There was also a strategic focus on developing a coordinated, uniform talent management system to enable key positions to be filled from within the company where possible. With the establishment of the Z NOW Zeppelin Network of Women, female skilled staff and managers are now specifically supported.
Outlook for the 2018 financial year
The Zeppelin Group expects favorable financial conditions to continue in the 2018 financial year, although the forecast indicates slightly declining growth rates. The stabilization and further recovery of raw material prices should lead to further growth in the global economy. Continuing high investment in infrastructure and a sustained high level of residential construction will support a continuing boom in the construction industry, which in turn will present good market and sales opportunities for construction equipment in Germany.
While the company does not expect any major improvements in the marine and oil and gas applications sectors, growth is set to continue in the energy sector. The Zeppelin Group is also forecasting stable demand for processing plants in the plastic, rubber and food sectors. Full order books support the positive revenue expectations for the Construction Equipment EU, Construction Equipment CIS, Power Systems, and Plant Engineering business units.
The Zeppelin Group is starting 2018 in a good market position in its field, with a full order book providing a good starting point for the year ahead.
Key figures at a glance
|Construction Equipment EU SBU||EUR m||1,308||1,205|
|Construction Equipment CIS SBU||EUR m||430||299|
|Rental SBU||EUR m||410||363|
|Power Systems SBU||EUR m||351||307|
|Plant Engineering SBU||EUR m||326||262|
|Z Lab SBU||EUR m||0||-|
|Group total||EUR m||2,751||2,362|
|Employees (average for the year, including trainees)|
|Earnings before taxes||EUR m||93.5||85.9|
|SBU: Strategic Business Unit|