- Group sales reached previous year’s high level at 3.8 billion euros
- Operative result (EBIT) rose slightly to 176 million euros
- Numerous supplementary acquisitions were made
2017 was yet another successful financial year for the Possehl Group. According to preliminary figures, the Lübeck-based conglomerate achieved consolidated sales of 3.8 billion euros. Sales revenues, adjusted for the proceeds from precious metals sales and exchange rate variances, increased by around 8 %. “We outperformed our growth forecasts and improved our financial indices even further. Hence, the Possehl Group remains on its path of profitable growth”, said Dr Joachim Brenk, Chairman of the Board at L. Possehl & Co. mbH since 1 August 2017.
The Group’s earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose to 176 million euros. The operative EBIT margin with regard to the Group’s turnover without the proceeds from precious metals sales remained stable at 7 %. All of the Group’s nine business units contributed to the good result; however, the two segments Elastomer Plants and Electronics, both indirectly profiting from the booming global automotive business, recorded a particularly encouraging development. Through its affiliate Harburg-Freudenberger Maschinenbau GmbH, Possehl is the global market leader in supplying plants and machinery for the production of car tyres. Possehl Electronics is a major supplier of automotive electronics, semiconductors and LED headlights. The business unit Document Management Systems also achieved a double-digit sales growth through succeeding in reducing its dependency on the shrinking mail market and generating growth in the future markets eCommerce, parcel sorting plants and logistics. All other divisions within the Group remained stable and largely confirmed the good results of the previous year.
“Some of our business units would in fact have been able to report even better results if it hadn’t been for the economic boom preventing us from filling vacancies as quickly as would have been required. This holds true for qualified engineers as well as for vacant positions in both the technical and commercial sectors”, explained Mario Schreiber, Member of the Executive Board at Possehl. To counteract the shortage of qualified staff, Possehl intensified their centrally managed qualification and personnel development programmes last year in addition to staff development measures run at the affiliate companies.
The market for corporate transactions proved to be extremely difficult last year for long-term investors. Persistently low interest rates as well as financial investors feeling a serious pressure to invest combined with rising corporate profits in the past years continued to drive up the purchase prices for businesses. However, despite this challenging market environment, Possehl was able to acquire either all of the shares or participations in five different companies last year, focussing on acquisitions supplementing the existing business segments. “Having been able to win over such an impressive number of well-positioned medium-sized enterprises under such difficult general conditions is living proof of just how attractive Possehl is as a long-term investor and successor company in the mid-tier market”, outlined Dr Henning von Klitzing, Member of the Executive Board and responsible for Mergers & Acquisitions, to explain the success.
For the coming years, Possehl’s Executive Board also sees good opportunities for continued successful growth, through both organisational development and further corporate acquisitions.As far as acquisitions are concerned, the Group has already seen a successful start to the year when announcing the acquisition of the English jewellery manufacturer and supplier Weston Beamor at the end of January 2018.