At this year's Annual General Meeting of BLG in Bremen, the CEO Frank Dreeke presented the key points of the past year. Overall, BLG LOGISTICS was able to improve its result in a difficult financial year and close the year better than expected.
"BLG is adaptable and robust. That's because we have increasingly diversified our business over recent years. We have a broad and varied customer base. This has given us vital stability in these turbulent times," said Dreeke.
After the challenging year of 2020, the Covid pandemic and difficult market circumstances also dramatically affected 2021. Supply chains were disrupted and industry struggled with massive bottlenecks of intermediate goods. Additional safety and control measures required extra flexibility and had a high impact on the company's productivity.
Sales in the financial year 2021 amounted to just under EUR 1.1 billion, which was almost equal to the previous year. Earnings before tax (EBT) totaled around EUR 52.2 million.
Development in the divisions
The effects of the pandemic were particularly severe in the AUTOMOBILE division. The reasons included a shortage of intermediate goods, high costs and reduced productivity due to the Covid rules as well as high levels of sick leave. With a negative EBT of EUR -1.1 million, this division fell significantly short of expectations.
The CONTRACT division developed well, with an EBT of EUR 8.7 million. It was also affected by component shortages in industrial logistics, however this was offset by high demand for consumer goods and services in e-commerce.
In the CONTAINER division, represented by half of the shares in EUROGATE, income from investments increased to EUR 61.8 million.
Due to the good result in 2021 and the capital increase of EUR 53 million paid by the municipality of Bremen* in compensation for losses caused by the pandemic in 2020, the equity ratio is now back up to 12.8% from 5% in the previous year.
* This sum went directly into capital reserves. Therefore it is not part of the income statement for 2021.
In his speech, Frank Dreeke also reported other highlights. BLG is committed to climate neutrality by 2030. The company has achieved net savings in carbon emissions of 13.1 percent since 2018.
BLG continued to invest in training for future employees. There were 201 apprentices in 14 professions and two Bachelor dual study courses. The number of personnel in Germany increased slightly to just under 12,000. BLG provides 20,000 jobs globally.
Prospects for 2022
Dreeke stated that it was difficult to make forecasts for the 2022 financial year: "There is continued uncertainty. Although business with Ukraine and Russia only accounts for one percent of our sales, the conflict will have serious economic repercussions for the current financial year. The war has significantly disrupted the supply chains and production of our customers. Energy and diesel prices continue to rise drastically. The coronavirus pandemic is still affecting our business on various levels." Despite this, BLG closed the first quarter positively.
The Annual General Meeting approved the actions of the Supervisory Board and the Board of Management with a large majority and agreed to payment of a divided for financial year 2021 of EUR 0.30 per share.
Due to the pandemic, the meeting was conducted virtually for the third time.