For 2015 BLG LOGISTICS reports sales of 938.6 million euros. That’s a plus of 6.3 percent, which means the Group is exactly within the forecast target corridor. In some cases all three divisions – AUTOMOBILE, CONTRACT and CONTAINER – recorded significant growth in sales. Nevertheless, the pretax earnings (EBT) at 29.7 million euros remained slightly below the previous year’s level (-1.3 percent). The decisive factor behind this was the lower result in the CONTRACT Division. Although sales developed better than presumed, losses in the Port Logistics segment, in existing business in Brazil and the US as well as continuing uncertainty regarding development of the offshore sector impaired the result. Two big investments in the future also took place in the 2015 financial year: establishment of the new Fashion Logistics segment and construction of the eighth parking deck in Bremerhaven.
Once again the price of the BLG share showed a gratifying development. It recorded a growth in value of over 22 percent in 2015. A proposal will be made to the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on May 24 to pay out a dividend of 40 cents per share.
High vehicle handling volume in AUTOMOBILE Division
With a volume of 7.3 million handled, transported or technically processed vehicles the AUTOMOBILE Division further strengthened its position as one of the leading automobile logistics providers in Europe in 2015. The persistently high passenger car handling volume, essentially due to exports, increased technical value added at the inland terminals, optimized use of the company’s own truck capacities and a substantial share of spot shipments in rail transport were responsible for this. The EBT climbed to 13.1 million euros. Volume at our terminal in Bremerhaven remained stable at a high level, i.e. 2.3 million vehicles handled. The new N3 parking deck has been providing 6,000 additional parking spaces, thus taking pressure off the other areas, and greater productivity since November 2015. Among other things, BLG modernized its truck fleet and for the first time transported over 200,000 vehicles via inland vessel on the Rhine in 2015. When the Rhine inland vessel “Fuerte” is christened on April 22, BLG will have eight ships at its disposal for automobile transport.
Significant rise in sales in CONTRACT Division
The CONTRACT Division now provides extensive custom logistics solutions for customers in industry and the retail trade at over 40 locations in Europe and overseas. The significant rise in sales of 41.9 million euros as compared to the previous year shows the potential and growth opportunities of this division. The key influential factors were the extraordinarily good results in the Industrial Logistics segment in Europe, the establishment and parallel expansion of the new Fashion Logistics segment and a positive business development in South Africa. The Retail Logistics segment won the German Award for Supply Management, thus bringing it to Bremen for the first time in history – though for a logistics solution at the Frankfurt site. The volume in Car Parts Logistics at the Bremen logistics centers was so high that 700 employees were hired as permanent staff – many of them were previously employed at BLG via the Gesamthafenbetriebsverein (GHBV) labor pool. The fact that the operating result of the division remained substantially below expectations was due to the persistently low cargo handling volume in the Port Logistics segment and the fixed costs not covered as a result of that, the critical situation in Russia and Brazil, two consistently challenging large-scale projects in Bremen and the US as well as the lack of follow-up orders from producers for wind turbine components.
Expansion of the network in the CONTAINER Division
The CONTAINER Division of the BLG Group is represented by half of the shares in EUROGATE. The European terminal operator group earned sales of 591.3 million euros in the 2015 financial year. That’s 25.3 million euros more than in the previous year. The container handling volume at the German locations grew to a greater extent than the market. In Bremerhaven, Wilhelmshaven and Hamburg EUROGATE handled 8.2 million standard containers (TEU), 1.5 percent more than in 2014. The total volume of containers handled in the European Group was 14.5 million TEU, two percent below the previous year’s level, thus corresponding to the market development. The determining factor was the trend toward large container vessels, which EUROGATE now serves at all terminals. The Group invested in a Brazilian provider of intermodal container transport solutions and is currently taking part in the public tender for privatization of the Limassol Container Terminal in Cyprus.
Number of employees up by 8.9 percent
As an international seaport and logistics service provider with over 100 companies and branches in Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia, BLG LOGISTICS needs committed, motivated and qualified employees for its success. In 2015 the average number of employees (excluding EUROGATE) rose by 8.9 percent to 8,738 persons. In the Industrial and Retail Logistics segments in Bremen as well as at the Auto Terminal in Bremerhaven this substantial rise is due to taking over GHB staff and temporary workers. Another reason is the takeover of new sites, such as of BLG Sports & Fashion Logistics GmbH in Hörsel.
At the balance sheet press conference Frank Dreeke also presented an outlook for 2016: “Logistics experts expect a positive year for the German logistics sector – in spite of increasing risks for the world economy. We, too, assume that sales in all three BLG divisions will continue to grow: in the CONTRACT Division by 10 to 15 percent, in the AUTOMOBILE Division by 5 to 10 percent and in the CONTAINER Division by 2 to 5 percent. Group sales will presumably climb to over 1 billion euros.”
Apart from the financial report and the company report with the motto “Blazing new trails – showing courage”, the Board of Management also presented the 2015 Sustainability Report entitled “Acting responsibly” at the balance sheet press conference. Ensuring sustainable action is considered a key factor in the future development of the sector.