- Dividend of 40 cents per individual share
- Supervisory Board and CEO discharged with large majority
- Supervisory Board elects Dr. Klaus Meier as new Chairman of the Supervisory Board
"Our company's doing well. That's because we've taken important strategic decisions. And because the management team works together seamlessly and with great commitment, keeping a firm focus on the future." With these words, BLG CEO Frank Dreeke today opened the 138th General Shareholders Meeting of BREMER LAGERHAUS-GESELLSCHAFT -Aktiengesellschaft von 1877- in the Congress Center Bremen before reviewing business year 2017. On behalf of the Board of Management, he thanked the 230 shareholders and guests in the room – who represented some 88 percent of the share capital – for coming. Then he presented his report on the listed company BREMER LAGERHAUS-GESELLSCHAFT -Aktiengesellschaft von 1877.
Business year 2017 closed with a profit of EUR 1,536,000. This formed the basis for the dividend payments. Frank Dreeke said: "We're committed to a results-oriented and consistent dividend policy. One of our stated goals is to ensure our shareholders receive an appropriate participation in the company's success." Therefore, the CEO and Supervisory Board proposed using the net profit to once again pay a dividend of 40 cents per individual share. This corresponds to a return of some 15 percent on the dividend-entitled share capital of EUR 9,984,000.
Despite good business development, the BLG share price was subject to fluctuations during the reporting year. On the final trading day of 2017, the share price closed at EUR 14.49. That put it at a similar level to the start of the year.
Pre-tax profit better than expected
BLG LOGISTICS GROUP AG & Co. KG concentrates on the strategic control and development of the BLG Group with its three divisions Automobile, Contract, and Container Logistics. Frank Dreeke said: “In many ways, 2017 was a good year. In some respects, it was even better than expected. We increased sales revenues by four percent. And the two divisions AUTOMOBILE and CONTRACT alone broke through the one billion euro barrier again.”
Altogether, the BLG Group generated sales of EUR 1 billion and 87.8 million in 2017. That was an increase of EUR 42.2 million. Earnings before tax (EBT) grew significantly by EUR 2.7 million or 8.8 percent to EUR 33.5 million. Due to increased sales, the reporting year generated an EBT margin of 3.1 percent (previous year: 2.9 percent). That means both the EBT and the EBT margin were not only better than the year before, but also higher than forecast.
The AUTOMOBILE and CONTRACT divisions were almost equally strong in terms of sales revenue. Growth in the AUTOMOBILE division – with sales revenues up on 2016 by EUR 76.5 million – was the result of two factors: the sustained positive development on the German automobile market and the high volumes handled at a number of BLG locations. Sales revenues in the CONTRACT division amounted to EUR 547.8 million in 2017. That is slightly lower than in the previous year (minus EUR 26.7 million). This was mainly because a key account in the USA switched to another service provider. The CONTAINER division achieved sales revenues of EUR 304 million, in accordance with the BLG share of 50 percent in the company EUROGATE. That was EUR 15.7 less than in the previous year. Increased sales generated by the Bremerhaven location, the subsidiaries, and secondary services were not enough to offset the significantly lower handling volume at the Hamburg location.
"In total we were able to expand sales in 2017 despite diverse developments in our three business fields of automobile, contract, and container logistics. We even slightly exceeded our forecast target," summed up Frank Dreeke.
Sustained profit and further growth
After the CEO had intensively discussed the past business year in his report to the General Meeting, he turned to the future. "As a globally operating logistics company, we depend crucially on production and the associated goods flows in the global economy." He added: "In our AUTOMOBILE division, we expect a stable development of exports at a high level in 2018. We anticipate a growth in imports due to increasing production by German manufacturers abroad as well as potential new imports, for instance from China. For the CONTRACT division, we forecast growth in all business areas – industrial logistics, retail logistics, and shipping and forwarding. One of our goals is to further expand our logistics activities in e-commerce. We want to develop the entire value-creation chain in this area and also drive ahead with possible participations and acquisitions. Factors that will continue to be important for our CONTAINER division are the strong competition, further cooperation between and concentration of container shipping lines, the uncertain development of handling at our Hamburg location, and the not yet fully utilized capacity in Wilhelmshaven. What we expect in 2018 for the BLG Group as a whole are sales at least as high as the previous year's level, an increased EBT of between five and eight percent, and a correspondingly higher EBT margin." The express goal, Dreeke said, was making a profit in all areas and continuing to grow.
With a large majority, the General Meeting discharged the Supervisory Board and the CEO and also agreed with all their proposed resolutions.
Supervisory Board newly elected
With the end of the General Meeting, the term of office of all Supervisory Board members ended according to regular practice. The body, which continually monitors the work of the Board of Management and provides advice, consists of eight shareholders and eight employees. The Supervisory Board members from the workforce were elected on April 19, 2018 according to the terms of co-determination law. The members who represent the shareholders were elected by individual votes at the General Meeting.
On behalf of the Supervisory Board, the mayor of the city, Karoline Linnert, thanked the departing Chairman Dr. Stephan-Andreas Kaulvers for his "sure hand, intelligence, and experience". She also thanked the departing members Dr. h.c. Klaus Wedemeier, Birgit Holtmann, and Andreas Wopp for their commitment. During the first meeting of the newly constituted body, the members elected Dr. Klaus Meier, Managing Partner of wpd windmanager GmbH & Co. KG, as the new Chairman of the Supervisory Board. He thanked his co-members for their confidence in him. "In today's ever more interconnected and digitialized world, BLG will face new challenges and also gain great opportunities. I'm very happy to have the honor of helping steer the company together with the Supervisory Board in such exciting times."
Members of the Supervisory Board of BREMER LAGERHAUS-GESELLSCHAFT
-Aktiengesellschaft von 1877-
Dr. Klaus Meier, Bremen (Chairman)
Managing Partner, wpd Windmanager GmbH & Co. KG, lawyer
Christine Behle, Berlin (Vice Chairman)
Member of the Federal Board of the labor union ver.di Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft, Head of Department 11, Transport
Sonja Berndt, Ritterhude
Member of the Works Council, BLG LOGISTICS GROUP AG & Co. KG
Heiner Dettmer, Bremen
Managing Partner, Dettmer Group KG
Karl-Heinz Dammann, Geestland
Chairman of the Group Works Council, EUROGATE GmbH & Co. KGaA, KG and Vice Chairman of the Works Council, EUROGATE Container Terminal Bremerhaven GmbH
Melf Grantz, Bremerhaven
Presiding Mayor of Bremerhaven
Martin Günthner, Bremerhaven
Senator of the Economy, Labor, and Ports as well as Senator of Justice and the Constitution of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen
Udo Klöpping, Bremen
Head of HR, BLG LOGISTICS GROUP AG & Co. KG
Karoline Linnert, Bremen
Mayor and Senator for Finance of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen
Wybcke Meier, Hamburg
Chairman of the Board of Management, TUI Cruises GmbH
Dr. Tim Nesemann, Bremen
Chairman of the Board of Management of the Financial Holding, Sparkasse in Bremen, and Chairman of the Board of Management, Die Sparkasse Bremen AG
Klaus Pollok, Bremerhaven
Process Manager, BLG AutoTerminal Bremerhaven GmbH & Co. KG
Stefan Schubert, Bremen
Head of State Department, labor union ver.di Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft, states of Lower Saxony and Bremen
Dieter Strerath, Bremen
Chairman of the Group Works Council, BLG LOGISTICS GROUP AG & Co. KG
Reiner Thau, Schenefeld
Chairman of the Works Council, EUROGATE Container Terminal Hamburg GmbH
Dr. Patrick Wendisch, Bremen
Managing Partner, Lampe & Schwartze KG