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Expert organisation DEKRA continues to expand


New growth markets in sight

  • Automotive services maintain leading international position
  • Industrial testing focuses on Chinese growth market
  • Temporary Work benefits from economic boom in Europe

Stuttgart - The globally operating testing group DEKRA expects an increase in sales of around 8% to EUR 1.84 billion for the 2010 financial year. "We have boosted our revenues to a record high and therefore maintained a high growth rate in a tough market environment compared with the previous year," said Stefan Kolbl, Chairman of the Management Boards of DEKRA e.V. and DEKRA SE on 9 December at a press conference in Stuttgart. According to Kolbl, Group profit will be at the high level of the previous year. The positive development of DEKRA is also reflected in the number of employees. The company increased its workforce by over 1,800 new staff members in 2010 and today DEKRA has around 24,000 employees worldwide. More than a third is now based outside Germany. The head of DEKRA announced that the expert organisation was focusing increasingly on growth markets. Furthermore, following the rapid expansion seen over the past few years DEKRA will concentrate on the strategic bundling of its broad range of services and the enhancement of internal processes in the coming financial year.

The highlights of the financial year included the acquisition of the Swedish industrial testing service provider AF-Kontroll. The takeover was a decisive step towards positioning DEKRA as a leading provider of testing services for the energy industry in the refinery, nuclear power and renewable energies sectors. With around 450 employees, AF-Kontroll posts revenues of some EUR 43 million. The company has 27 sites in Sweden as well as branches in Norway, the Czech Republic and Lithuania.

Chinese market as a key strategic region

In China the DEKRA Management Board chairman expects major growth in the testing business for products, buildings and industrial plants and for certification: "Since acquiring the Dutch company KEMA Quality at the end of 2009, we now have five product testing laboratories in China and employ more than 300 staff at nine locations. In future, as well as our European customers we will also support Chinese companies in their ongoing internationalisation."

DEKRA also expanded in the US. Following the acquisition of Truck Remarketing Services, the company can now carry out truck appraisals throughout the entire US and Canada. DEKRA's range of services in the US was additionally extended by the purchase of the inspection company Magoo's. With 4,000 inspectors, the Californian company specialises in online-supported value and damage assessment for passenger cars, trucks, motorcycles and boats. DEKRA also boosted its automotive business with the Coorevits Group, the leading organisation for motor vehicle inspections in Belgium. In Italy the MC Group with consulting services for the motor vehicle and transport industry was added.

On-road testing of electric cars

Automotive services were one of the Group's growth engines in 2010. Sales of the DEKRA Automotive business unit have gone up by around 5% this year to EUR 1.1 billion. DEKRA Automobil GmbH in Germany made a major contribution to this performance. One of this year's predominant themes was electric mobility. DEKRA is preparing intensively for the testing of electric vehicles. On-road testing of the suitability for daily use of electric vehicles is being carried out at many branches.

Enhanced capacity through corporate mergers

With an upturn of 23%, the Industrial Testing Business will this year achieve sales of almost EUR 500 million. Sales have been increased tenfold within six years. The reorganisation and merging of individual group companies in France and Germany have enabled enhanced capacity and efficiency to be attained. The French subsidiary DEKRA Industrial S.A. will also be responsible for expansion in Southern Europe, North and South Africa and in the Near and Middle East.

Temporary Work benefiting from economic upturn

Despite economic challenges, the Personnel business unit will maintain its previous year's revenues of over EUR 300 million. The DEKRA Academy has felt the impact of government austerity measures in its publicly subsidised business. By contrast, the Temporary Work business unit benefited from the upturn in the automotive industry and the large personnel demand entailed by this. The Group increased its year-on-year revenues by a strong 34% to around EUR 145 million.

Setting the course strategically

In his outlook for the 2011 financial year, DEKRA boss Stefan Kolbl announced new goals in the Group strategy. "We have succeeded in almost doubling the revenues of our company since 2004 and building up a strong and stable company. As well as concentrating on global growth markets, our focus lies on the strategic bundling of our broad range of services and the enhancement of our internal processes," said Kolbl. "In the weeks to come we will present a new growth and efficiency enhancement program that we intend to implement by the year 2015."

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