Letter from the Chairman of the Board of Management

Dear customers and colleagues, 

In 2023 – a year which was once again defined by territorial and trade conflicts – we succeeded in boosting the confidence of our global customers in the technical reliability, digital security and sustainability of products and processes. With our core services of testing, inspection, certification, training, consultancy and engineering, we were able to accel­erate the broad acceptance and implementation of technological innovations and new departures, thereby making ­active contributions to environmental and climate protection.

In our home market of Germany, as well as in many of the more than 100 countries in which we operate, we are helping to replace fossil energy generation with renewable energies. More and more electric vehicles, often type-certified by TÜV NORD, are plying their virtually silent routes on our roads, gradually replacing the combustion engines that have prevailed for 140 years. With the help of digital tools and platforms that we have tested for cybersecurity and certified in complex processes, banking transactions and purchases can now be executed at the click of a mouse. Satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles, tested and approved by our experts based on international standards and norms, are providing the data for an increasing number of digital services and new business models. As a technology-centric knowledge group, the TÜV NORD GROUP is a reliable partner to our customers and is actively promoting the energy, mobility, digital and sustainability transitions alongside the development and use of space-based technologies.

One of the successes of the 2023 reporting year was our tailoring of the structure of our business units even more closely to the future requirements of our customers. With the implementation of the NOVA growth project, we are creating new synergies and global networks, increasing our agility and ­resilience, and consistently aligning our service portfolio with the major transformations taking place in industry and society.

In 2023, as before, we continued to expand our portfolio in Germany and abroad with forward-looking investments and activities. Let’s take a few examples:

  • With the new and significantly expanded photovoltaic laboratory (PV lab) in Suzhou, we are further expanding our testing capacities for the world’s leading PV manufacturers from China and other Asian countries, thereby giving further impetus to our global PV business in regions including the Middle East, South America and Europe. 
  • With the acquisition of two companies in Singapore, we are strengthening our presence in the field of system ­certifications in the South Asian market. Avanta Global currently provides training and inspections to more than 5,500 companies. The Avanta Academy complements this offer by focusing on private customers.
  • Following the full acquisition of TÜVLITA in 2023, vehicle testing is acting as a strong driver of further TÜV NORD services in Lithuania, including in the areas of occupational health and safety, lift testing and renewable energy. As a result, revenue in the Baltic state have almost doubled. 
  • With its investment in the 3spin Learning start-up, a leading software provider for immersive learning experiences, TÜV NORD is pushing ahead with the digitalisation of its training and further education products. The trainings offer learners an opportunity to immerse themselves in a new, spatial world of experience. With 3spin, TÜV NORD is establishing a Group-wide competence centre for Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies. 

In 2023, the TÜV NORD GROUP continued its growth trajectory and was able to improve in all relevant key financial ratios: Revenue grew to 1,583.3 million euros (up 9.1 percent), while operating profit before special items (EBIT) amounted to 84.5 million euros (up 10.3 percent). I would like to thank all our employees worldwide for these very good results and the hard work that lies behind them. Without your personal commitment to, and passion for, the safe use of technology, it would not be possible to provide services of the highest quality and thus to achieve our corporate goals. My heartfelt thanks also go out to our customers, suppliers and partners for the trust they have shown in the TÜV NORD GROUP, and to our shareholders, supervisory bodies and staff councils.

Our innovative substance as a knowledge group was once again reflected in the many prizes and awards with which we were honoured in 2023. At the German Renewables Award 2023, TÜV NORD took first place in the “Hydrogen Innovation of the Year” category. The TÜV NORD GROUP’s social engagement and commitment to a liveable environment was reflected by its success in reaching the finals of the German Sustainability Award. The new Group-wide brand and cor­porate design were awarded the Red Dot Design Award and the International Design Award (IDA). At the Digital X trade fair, TÜV NORD received an award for a particularly successful digitalisation project on the future of work at TÜV NORD Mobilität.

All these examples illustrate the attractiveness of the company for employees and applicants alike. As TÜV NORD GROUP, we are the byword for a diverse, international and tolerant corporate culture. In the workplace, we have placed our faith in sustainable digital technologies whose aim is to bring about seamlessly connected collaboration and secure access to resources from anywhere in the world. Artificial ­Intelligence (AI) is set to play an increasingly important role in our products and services – as a supportive helpmate and “co-pilot”. And yet, our core services will always remain the focus of our work. The application of AI, which is already in operational use as TÜV NORD’s “Sophie” chatbot, the “Voize” speech recognition system and the “Safeguard” intelligent data platform, is increasing customer benefits, relieving employees of tedious routine tasks and making a measurable contribution to reducing bureaucracy. These developments, combined with flexible working time models, hybrid working and cross-divisional teamwork, contributed to our being able to welcome more than 2,000 new employees to the TÜV NORD family in Germany and abroad in 2023. Welcome to you, one and all!  

Precisely because the complexity and speed of technological developments are continuing to increase, the human element in our dealings with each other will remain the decisive factor in our aspiration to provide our customers with the best possible support in achieving their goals. It is against this yardstick that we will also be measured in the future.

Kind regards,

Dr. Dirk Stenkamp
Chairman of the Board of Management