BLG LOGISTICS records moderate growth in all divisions

  • Sales rise by 3.3 percent to EUR 882.8 million
  • AUTOMOBILE: New record handling volume of 2.3 million vehicles in Bremerhaven
  • CONTRACT: Car parts logistics in Bremen with 1,900 employees on 300,000 square meters
  • CONTAINER: EUROGATE remains Europe’s market leader in container handling
  • Expansion planned in e-commerce and freight forwarding segments

The Board of Management of BLG LOGISTICS presented the results of the 2014 financial year at the balance sheet press conference in Bremen on April 29, 2015. BLG head Frank Dreeke stated: “We had anticipated that 2014 would be a difficult year. Nevertheless, we succeeded in achieving and even surpassing the targets we set in terms of sales and earnings.” One reason was the positive business development among existing clients. In addition, BLG was able to successfully acquire a number of new orders.

For 2014 the corporate group reported sales of EUR 882.8 million, representing a plus of 3.3 percent. Growth was equally accounted for by all divisions. The pre-tax earnings (EBT) rose by EUR 17.4 million to EUR 30.1 million. Major influencing factors here included the increased earnings in the AUTOMOBILE and CONTAINER Divisions as well as the absence of one-off effects from 2013, namely restructuring of BLG’s commitment in Ukraine. Altered accounting principles applying to BLG’s reporting for 2014 also had an influence on the financial statement and the KPIs. The EUROGATE shareholding is reported as a financial asset and its after-tax earnings are taken into account in BLG’s result from participations and EBT (so-called at-equity reporting). The figures for 2013 were converted accordingly so that comparability is provided for within the current Annual Report.

The price of the BLG share developed extremely positively in 2014. It recorded over 37 percent growth in value. Frank Dreeke: “That has never happened before and it shows the appreciation in the market.” The proposal submitted to the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on May 27 will again call for distribution of a dividend of 40 cents per share.

In 2014 BLG once again showed strong performance in the AUTOMOBILE Division – in spite of the poor economic development in Eastern Europe. With a volume of 7.4 million vehicles handled, transported or technically processed, however, the division asserted its position as market leader in Europe. An increase in technical value added, an effective efficiency enhancement program at the BLG AutoTerminal Bremerhaven and a considerable car export volume are responsible for this result. Bremerhaven further expanded its position as leading car terminal in Europe with a new record handling volume of 2.3 million vehicles (a plus of 4.9 percent). As the German automotive industry expects further growth in its exports in the coming years, BLG is investing in a new parking deck in Bremerhaven with 7,000 spaces. Business activities were boosted at the inland terminals in Duisburg, Kelheim and Dodendorf and excellent earnings were achieved. The 500 trucks that serve the distribution network in northern Europe for BLG were equipped with state-of-the-art control technology. In the rail transport segment BLG extended its range of activities to include more value added activities, such as by commissioning a modern railway wagon service and logistics center in Brandenburg.

The CONTRACT Division develops comprehensive individual logistics solutions for customers in industry and trade. The focal points of its services are car parts logistics, industrial and production logistics, retail and distribution logistics, seaport logistics for conventional goods in Bremen as well as logistics for the offshore wind energy sector in Bremerhaven. In spite of the challenges the CONTRACT Division faced in 2014, it won over new business. The latter includes production logistics services for Siemens in Falkensee near Berlin, production and distribution logistics for Siemens in Krefeld as well as handling returns for a key account in the workwear sector in Frankfurt. The retail logistics segment recently received the “elogistics award 2015” for the robot-aided intralogistics concept there. In 2014 BLG handled an extremely high volume in car parts logistics, destined for the USA and South Africa. Furthermore, the indoor areas in Bremen were again expanded. In total, the company with a long tradition currently manages 300,000 square meters with 1,900 employees. The value added activities in the wind energy segment came to an end on completion of the Global Tech 1 offshore wind farm in the North Sea. BLG WindEnergy Logistics now concentrates on other sectors, such as plant, power station and mechanical engineering, whom it offers solutions for transporting XXL components. The port logistics segment received the contract award for a pipeline project in the second half of 2014. This involves handling large pipes. In future the CONTRACT Division will further boost its logistics activities in the e-commerce and freight forwarding sectors.

The EUROGATE joint venture develops the CONTAINER Division. In 2014 EUROGATE was able to increase the container handling volume by 4.2 percent to 14.8 million standard containers (TEU). With these new record results EUROGATE remains the market leader in container handling in Europe – in spite of the prevailing competitive pressure for the container terminals and the absence of full capacity utilization in Wilhelmshaven. EUROGATE handled 8.1 million TEU at the German locations in Bremerhaven, Hamburg and Wilhelmshaven, corresponding to a plus of 3.5 percent. The joint venture thus consolidated its position as the largest terminal operator in Germany. Wilhelmshaven is experiencing increasing demand among shippers. The cargo handling volume developed gratifyingly in Tangier and Ust-Luga, too. EUROGATE already serves the biggest container vessels in the world in Hamburg, Bremerhaven and Wilhelmshaven.

As an international seaport and logistics service provider with over 100 companies and branch offices in Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia, BLG LOGISTICS needs committed, motivated and qualified employees for its success. In 2014 the average number of employees in all divisions rose to 8,027, a plus of 7.5 percent compared to the previous year. New staff members were hired particularly in the industrial and retail logistics segment of the CONTRACT Division and in the AUTOMOBILE Division. Including all shareholdings, BLG currently has around 16,000 employees all over the world.

BLG develops its staff on all levels – whether during initial vocational training, in a dual course of study or via internal and external continuing training. As a modern employer, it gives consideration to the needs of working parents. The individual support for employees begins right from the training period and extends to care for family members, such as on the basis of flexible working time models. A whole range of healthcare and vacation options as well as in-company social consulting round off the attractive offerings. An important concern for BLG is to harmonize economic performance, social responsibility and commitment to the environment. The Sustainability Report 2014 provides more detailed information on this.

Frank Dreeke provided an outlook for 2015 at the balance sheet press conference: “Although the development of the past months has persisted at the beginning of this year – sluggish economic recovery, structural adjustments in the euro area, slow growth in newly industrializing countries, geopolitical unrest – I anticipate continuation of the moderate growth course. We assume that sales in the CONTRACT Division will rise by four to five percent. That’s where we still see the best opportunities since the market is very heterogeneous with plenty of potential customers. In the AUTOMOBILE Division we expect sales growth of three to four percent for 2015. For this reason we are investing in the Bremerhaven Auto Terminal. In our estimation sales in the CONTAINER Division will increase by 2.5 to 3.5 percent.”

April 29, 2015

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