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New strategy programme makes an impact:

10/12/2011

DEKRA begins next stage of growth

  • Automotive services remain on the up worldwide
  • Temporary work with record growth
  • DEKRA with premier on the capital market
  • Stuttgart - The globally operating testing group DEKRA continues to grow profitably. In the 2011 financial year, the company is expected to exceed the EUR 2 billion revenues threshold. "Our strategy programme, DEKRA 2015, introduced at the beginning of the year, is having an impact. DEKRA has started the next stage of growth on the way to peak performance," said DEKRA CEO Stefan Kolbl of the expected approximately 8% increase in revenues to journalists in Stuttgart on Thursday. "DEKRA's EBIT is also set to increase significantly," Kolbl continued. "As of the end of 2011, the Group employs approximately 27,900 staff worldwide. That is around 3,000 more than last year."

    In order to expand in a secure financial environment, the company has raised funds in the free capital market for the first time. "Investors response to our EUR 200 million promissory note issue was excellent," said the DEKRA e.V. and DEKRA SE Management Board Chairman. Kolbl sees the high demand as clear confirmation of DEKRA's potential for growth. With the proceeds from the issue, DEKRA is investing in the optimisation of its business processes and is securing essential financial reserves for potential acquisitions.

    European market leader in used car management

    One of the highlights of the past financial year was the takeover of the French used car specialist AutoContact Holding SAS. The company is one of the leading European providers in used car management. In the current financial year, their 430 employees generated revenues of over EUR 50 million. "Together with our new French subsidiary, we are now the European market leader in the growing used car management segment," said Stefan Kolbl.

    The market position in the area of process safety was also strengthened. With the acquisition of Chilworth Global, a British specialist in explosion protection and process safety services, DEKRA has become one of the leading international providers in this area. "India and the USA are especially important for us strategically, allowing us to open up further markets in Asia and the American continent from there," says the head of DEKRA.

    China in focus

    Another important growth market is China - particularly in product testing and certification. Today, DEKRA has five testing laboratories in China and employs around 600 employees at nine locations. In spring 2011, DEKRA began operations at the new Asian headquarters in Shanghai for product testing, certification, automotive testing and industrial testing. The building houses one of the most up-to-date electronics testing laboratories in China, in which DEKRA experts use high-tech procedures to test LEDs, for example.

    Further progress in internationalisation

    Automotive Services made a significant contribution to the success of 2011. "The Automotive business unit remains the backbone of the DEKRA Group. In this area, we have further reinforced our position as number one in the world," emphasised Kolbl. In the current financial year, DEKRA increased revenues by almost 8% to EUR 1.2 billion. The German DEKRA Automobil GmbH alone contributed approximately EUR 860 million to that figure. But DEKRA has also grown on an international level. With expert automotive services, the companies abroad contributed around EUR 310 million to Group revenues.

    In mid-November 2011, DEKRA acquired a majority stake in Brazilian inspection specialist JOPEMA. The company is one of Brazil's leading automotive inspection organisations and offers both damage assessment and claims management. "With the acquisition of JOPEMA, we are consolidating our position in this growth market quite substantially and are now a full-service provider of automotive services in Brazil as well," said Stefan Kolbl.

    Industrial testing services portfolio expanded

    Industrial testing services have developed positively in an environment characterised by fierce competition. Revenues climbed by more than 6% to approximately EUR 530 million. "With the acquisition of Chilworth Global, we have brought explosion protection and process safety expertise into the company and opened up new markets. We thus improved our access to multinational companies in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry," said Kolbl. In addition, the business unit has grown in the areas of renewable energy, construction and real estate.

    Just a few weeks ago, DEKRA Certification issued the US Hilton Group, with more than 3,750 hotels and resorts in 85 countries, with certification for quality management systems in accordance with ISO 9001 and for environmental management systems in accordance with ISO 14001. In addition to the classic ISO Standards, DEKRA developed an energy and sustainability standard especially for Hilton. Hilton expects savings of USD 74 million.

    Demand for temporary work accelerates growth

    The third key business unit, DEKRA Personnel, benefited from the economic upturn during the financial year. The DEKRA Arbeit Group's revenues rose by almost a third year-on-year to more than EUR 200 million. The number of temporary workers under contract increased by approximately 800 to currently around 8,000. DEKRA is represented at 17 locations abroad.

    The DEKRA Akademie Group has expanded its portfolio particularly in the corporate customer business, such as in the areas of air transport logistics, medical care and electromobility. Through a partnership with Shell FuelSave, driving skills were augmented with lorry driver training focusing on economical driving. With more than 120,000 seminar participants a year, the DEKRA Academy is one of the most important private education providers in Germany. However, due to government austerity measures, the DEKRA Academy's revenues remained below those of the previous year.

    The future holds market potential

    Despite economic uncertainty, Kolbl expects the company to develop positively in 2012. He estimates that global demand for independent inspection, monitoring, testing and certification will continue to increase. "As the leading global provider of testing and safety services, DEKRA will be in a position to exploit the available market potential," says the head of DEKRA. "As part of our DEKRA 2015 corporate strategy, we will also invest increasingly in our infrastructure and processes and further expand our international presence - by means of both partnerships and targeted acquisitions with which we will cement our current market position," Kolbl explained. For this expansion, DEKRA is focusing strategically on growth markets in North and South America and Asia.

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