“The year 2022 will go down in history as the year of multiple crises. Since the beginning of the reporting year, we have been waking up in a new world every day. Crisis has become the norm rather that an exception. The war in Ukraine, energy costs, inflation, skills shortages, climate change and enduring pandemic conditions – these multiple crises made again for a very challenging business environment. Thanks to our employees and to our taking advantage of a wide range of opportunities and possibilities, we were still able to put ourselves in a strong position and even generate new business, partnerships and projects.”
This was the conclusion reached by BLG’s CEO Frank Dreeke in his report at the 143rd Annual General Meeting of BREMER LAGERHAUS-GESELLSCHAFT -Aktiengesellschaft von 1877- concerning the completed financial year 2022. For three years the Annual General Meeting was held virtually due to the pandemic. This year Frank Dreeke was able to thank the attending shareholders, representing around 78 percent of the share capital, personally again on behalf of the Management Board and inform them about the situation of the company.
Revenue climbed 6.5 percent
The BLG Group recorded revenue of EUR 1.12 billion for the 2022 financial year. This is 6.5 percent above the previous year’s figure. This means we were able to reverse the decline of the last two years. Revenue increased in all three divisions – AUTOMOBILE, CONTRACT and CONTAINER.
Overall, the Group recorded earnings before tax (EBT) of EUR 55.7 million and thus EUR 3.5 million more in the 2022 financial year than in 2021. The EBT margin is 5 percent, as in the previous year.
Different developments in the business areas
The AUTOMOBILE Division recorded earnings before tax in the amount of EUR 11.7 million. A number of exceptional effects, such as depreciations, amortizations and impairment losses, played a role. Other factors impacted developments in this business area as well: At the beginning of the year, the effects of the coronavirus pandemic were still being felt as a result of the zero-COVID strategy in China, putting pressure on the availability of components. With the start of the war in Ukraine, the pressure on supply chains further intensified, and sales markets came under additional strain. The energy crisis and rising inflation made the situation on the procurement markets very challenging.
With EBT of EUR 11.3 million, the CONTRACT Division developed very well, despite the difficult market situation. Here the greater customer diversification had a positive effect on business. In the 2022 reporting year we regrouped contract logistics under the title “Roadmap CONTRACT 2027.” Sites and countries are now managed in a regional structure; technology and sustainability are more strongly anchored in the organization and thus upgraded.
The high investment income of the CONTAINER Division crucially contributed to the positive result of the BLG Group. The share of earnings from the equity investment in EUROGATE is EUR 76.7 million and thus 14.9 percent above the previous year’s figure. Even though throughput volumes declined (Germany 8.3 percent, in total 2.8 percent), EUROGATE reported a noticeable increase in revenue of around 13 percent. High storage fees resulted in earnings that were considerably higher than planned. However, these storage fees are one-time effects. While their impact is positive, it is therefore only temporary. This makes it imperative to forge ahead with implementing the transformation measures aimed at stabilizing the future of the EUROGATE Group.
“Despite all global insecurities, we were able to further expand our business in the multi-crisis year 2022 and position the BLG Group in a way that makes it viable for the future.”
People and Possibilities
The motto of the BLG Annual Report for 2022 is: “People and Possibilities.” The employees are crucial for the company’s success and its engine, its backbone, as BLG’s CEO Frank Dreeke emphasized in his speech. “We can only act in a comprehensive and broadly sustainable manner if our employees share our goals and become personally involved. To achieve this, we rely on feedback and dialog,” he continued.
Climate protection and the conservation of resources are integral aspects of the operating divisions of the BLG Group. A prime example of this is the logistics center C3 Bremen, which we have operated for our key account Mercedes-Benz since the end of the reporting year. On May 2, 2023 we inaugurated the environmentally, economically and socially forward-looking lighthouse project in a festive ceremony. (More information is available here.)
In 2022 further groundbreaking projects were implemented. In Magdeburg we acquired a well-known customer for a 60,000-square-meter, high-tech logistics center, and in Cologne, the company Deutz AG. With DEKRA, a strategic partnership was created that allows us to offer customers in the AUTOMOBILE Division comprehensive packages of expert and logistics services.
Outlook for 2023
For the current financial year, forecasts would remain difficult, Frank Dreeke said: “The war between Russia and Ukraine will continue, and so will tensions between the USA and China. Nor will the energy crisis be overcome. We know that the economic uncertainties will probably further increase in 2023 and are preparing accordingly.“
At the conclusion of his speech, Frank Dreeke still had a positive outlook on the coming months: “Despite all the challenges, we are shaping the future with confidence, innovative strength and entrepreneurial courage, because what is special about BLG LOGISTICS is what we do every day. Our colleagues worldwide bring their experience and passion to bear in order to create logistical possibilities and solutions for our customers.”
Following this report and questions from the shareholders, the Annual General Meeting approved the actions of the Supervisory and Management Boards by a large majority and also agreed to the payment of a dividend in the amount of EUR 0.28 per share for the 2022 financial year.
New Supervisory Board elected
With the end of the Annual General Meeting, the term of office of all BLG Supervisory Board members ended as well. Therefore it was necessary to hold a new election. This committee, which consistently monitors and accompanies in an advisory function the work of the Board of Management, is composed of eight employee representatives and eight shareholder representatives. The employee representatives on the Supervisory Board were elected on April 27, 2023 in accordance with the provisions of the Codetermination Act with effect from the end of the Annual General Meeting. The election of the shareholder representatives was conducted by way of individual votes at the Annual General Meeting.
Subsequently the constituting meeting of the new Supervisory Board was held – it was the 800th meeting of this committee in the history of BLG. The first item on the agenda was the reelection of Dr. Klaus Meier as Chairman of the Supervisory Board.
Members of the Supervisory Board of
BREMER LAGERHAUS-GESELLSCHAFT -Aktiengesellschaft von 1877-:
Dr. Klaus Meier, Bremen (Chairman) Managing Partner of wpd Windmanager GmbH & Co. KG, Attorney
Christine Behle, Berlin (Vice Chairwoman) Vice Chairwoman of Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft (ver.di), Berlin, Head of the Public and Private Services, Social Insurance and Traffic department
Sonja Berndt, Ritterhude Vice Chairwoman of the Works Council of BLG LOGISTICS GROUP AG & Co. KG, Bremen, Vice Chairwoman of the Group Works Council of BLG LOGISTICS GROUP AG & Co. KG, Bremen
Ralf Finke, Bremen Chairman of the Works Council of BLG LOGISTICS GROUP AG & Co. KG, Bremen, Chairman of the General Works Council and the Group Works Council of BLG LOGISTICS GROUP AG & Co. KG, Bremen
Melf Grantz, Bremerhaven Mayor of the City of Bremerhaven, Bremerhaven
Peter Hoffmeyer, Bremen Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Panta Re AG, Bremen
Olof Jürgensen, Rosengarten GT Tötensen Chairman of the Works Council of EUROGATE Container Terminal Hamburg GmbH, Hamburg
Tim Kaemena, Bremen HR Director at BLG Handelslogistik GmbH & Co. KG, Bremen
Wybcke Meier, Hamburg CEO of TUI Cruises GmbH, Hamburg
Dr. Tim Nesemann, Bremen Chairman of the Board of Management of Finanzholding der Sparkasse in Bremen and Chairman of the Board of Management of Die Sparkasse Bremen AG, Bremen
Hasan Özer, Bremerhaven Chairman of the Works Council of EUROGATE Container Terminal Bremerhaven GmbH, Bremerhaven and Vice Chairman of the Group Works Council of EUROGATE GmbH & Co. KGaA, KG, Bremen
Thorsten Ruppert, Geestland Chairman of the Works Council of BLG AutoTerminal Bremerhaven GmbH & Co. KG, Bremerhaven
Dr. Claudia Schilling, Bremerhaven Senator of Science and Ports, Bremen and Senator of Justice and Constitution of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, Bremen
Dietmar Strehl, Bremen Senator of Finance of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, Bremen
Dr. Patrick Wendisch, Bremen Managing Partner of Lampe & Schwartze KG, Bremen
Ralph Werner, Strausberg Union Secretary of Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft (ver.di) Division B: Public and Private Services, Social Insurance and Traffic
More information about the BLG Annual General Meeting and the Annual Report 2023:
The entire Annual Report including an Online Magazine is available at the following link.
We have compiled all documents concerning the Annual General Meeting 2023 for you here.
The speech of CEO Frank Dreeke is available at the following link.
The press release on the financial statement press conference is available here.