The Board of Management of BLG LOGISTICS GROUP AG & Co. KG presented the results of the 2022 financial year at its annual press conference on 26 April 2023, enabling the company to close another challenging financial year well in its entirety. The BLG Group posted sales of over 1.1 billion euros for 2022, 6.5 percent more than in the previous year. Sales revenue increased in all three divisions - AUTOMOBILE, CONTRACT and CONTAINER. Overall, the corporate group is reporting earnings before taxes (EBT) of 55.7 million euros for the 2022 financial year, 3.5 million euros more than in 2021. The Chairman of the Board of Management of the BLG Group, Frank Dreeke, is satisfied with this result: “Despite all the global uncertainties, we have succeeded in further expanding our business in the multi-crisis year 2022 and positioning the BLG Group for the future. However, we continue to face a volatile market environment."
AUTOMOBILE division: Tense situation
BLG's Automotive Logistics Division generated sales revenue of 579.7 million euros. This means that sales revenues rose by 61.8 million euros or 11.9 per cent compared to the previous year. This is essentially due to higher revenue in the transport sector as well as to storage fees. EBT, at minus 11.6 million euros, is significantly below expectations. The reasons for this are various factors that have influenced developments in the AUTOMOBILE sector along the global value chains of the automotive industry: Due to the energy crisis and rising inflation, the situation on the procurement markets was very challenging last year. High price increases burdened the value chain and dampened consumer spending.
“Despite the challenging environment, we were able to handle a volume of 4.7 million transported, handled and technically processed vehicles in the entire AUTOMOBILE division, which was almost on a par with the previous year," explains Matthias Magnor, who has been responsible for the two operating divisions AUTOMOBILE and CONTRACT as Chief Operating Officer (COO) since 1 December 2022. "However, we have to assume that sales of new vehicles in Germany will decline due to inflation and uncertainties in the energy supply. The situation in the AUTOMOBILE division remains tense", Matthias Magnor continues. A big challenge is the BLG AutoTerminal Bremerhaven. Around 1.7 million vehicles were handled, transported or technically processed here in 2022 - before Corona the level was 2.1 million vehicles (2019). BLG AutoTerminal Bremerhaven has been undergoing restructuring since mid-2022. In the course of this, an employment protection collective agreement was agreed with the collective bargaining parties. The primary goal is to ensure that the Bremerhaven site is robust and fit for the future in the long term, even without such an agreement.
CONTRACT division: Respectable performance
The turnover in the CONTRACT division amounts to 548.1 million euros in 2022. This result corresponds to an increase of one percent compared to the previous year (542.7 million euros) and is mainly due to the expansion of business in the Sports & Fashion division. EBT increased by 2.5 million euros to 11.2 million euros compared to the previous year. This corresponds to an increase of 29.1 percent. The EBT margin rose to 2.1 percent. The CONTRACT division was able to win new customers, such as Deutz AG from Cologne, and expand business for existing customers. On the other hand, high prices for energy, among other things, burdened the business. BLG Group reacted to the rising costs at an early stage and reached agreements with customers on cost sharing.
Overall, the CONTRACT division was able to meet the earnings expectations. "This is a respectable achievement in view of the many crises and challenges and shows that we have taken the right path with the reorganisation of the division last year," explains COO Matthias Magnor. The division was reorganised under the title "Roadmap CONTRACT 2027". Locations and countries are now managed in a regional structure; technology and sustainability are more strongly anchored in the organisation and thus upgraded.
CONTAINER division: high investment result
The high investment result of the CONTAINER division made a significant contribution to the positive result of the BLG Group. CONTAINER division contributed significantly to the positive result of the BLG Group. "As in the previous year, the positive result of the BLG Group was generated by CONTAINER division, i.e. through our Eurogate investment, as in the previous year. The share of earnings from the equity investment amounts to EUR 76.7 million and is thus 14.9 % above the previous year's figure," explains Christine Hein, CFO of the BLG Group. The result of the CONTAINER division at EUR 80 million is significantly above the previous year's level (69.8 million euros). EUROGATE was able to achieve a positive result despite a decline in handling volumes (Germany -8.3 per cent, overall -2.8 per cent), EUROGATE was able to record a noticeable increase in turnover of around 13 percent. The total throughput of the EUROGATE group is around 12 million TEU, which is below expectations. However, high storage funds ensured that the result was significantly above plan. However, these storage fees are special effects. In this respect they have a positive, but only temporary effects. "We are on the right track, but still far from reaching our goal. The further implementation of the transformation measures for a stable future for EUROGATE is and remains indispensable," emphasises Michael Blach, BLG board member responsible for the CONTAINER division Chairman of the Management Board of EUROGATE.
People and opportunities
In order to meet the tasks ahead flexibly and successfully, BLG LOGISTICS continues to tackle topics such as digitalisation, automation and sustainability with full force. The most important success factor is the people who work at BLG. The interaction between people and technology, dealing with new opportunities and opening up perspectives and horizons have shaped the 2022 financial year. "This year, our employees have once again shown that they stick together and work together, especially in difficult times, in order to handle our business processes well and safely," emphasises Labour Director Ulrike Riedel. "We attach great importance to the promotion and development of our colleagues."
In addition to traditional vocational training, internal and external qualification programmes are of central importance - especially in view of the shortage of skilled workers: BLG LOGISTICS offered a total of 165 training courses, seminars and qualification programmes in 2022. 3,479 employees made use of these. This brought the total to 4,364 training days, around 600 days more than in 2021. The company also creates numerous opportunities for career starters: 56 new apprentices and dual students started their professional lives at BLG in September 2022. A total of 241 young people and dual students were in training last year. There are around 20 different apprenticeship professions to choose from when starting a career at BLG. "The 20,000 or so people who work for us worldwide, including all our subsidiaries, are the backbone and the engine of our company. This is particularly evident in times of crisis. That is why we are dedicating this year's annual reporting to them under the motto 'People and Opportunities'," emphasised CEO Frank Dreeke at the end of the annual press conference.
The entire annual reporting including an online magazine is available under this link (in German).