- Group sales up to € 1,153.6 million (+ 3.3 per cent)
- Operating profit (EBIT) before neutral result climbs to € 69.8 million (+ 12 per cent)
- Share of international business: 26.9 per cent
- Number of employees: 10,172 (+ 311)
- Investments break the € 50 million barrier
Hanover/Essen/Hamburg: The TÜV NORD GROUP has now recorded growth for three years in a row, and all the relevant key ratios increased in 2016. Revenues increased to € 1,153.6 million; operating profit before neutral result rose by 12 per cent to € 69.8 million. “All the business units have contributed to the good result,” said Chairman of the Board of Management Dirk Stenkamp at his first press conference in Hanover. “Classical and digital technologies are converging ever more strongly in the TÜV NORD GROUP. In the digitalised and networked world we need independent third-party testing more than ever if we are to continue to make our contribution to security and trust in the future.”
Dirk Stenkamp stressed that the requirements on technology service providers such as TÜV NORD were evolving rapidly. “The core task of our work is and remains the protection of human beings from the hazards of technology. Thanks to digitalisation our mission is expanding. In the future we’re also going to have to protect technology from people. Valuable data and IT infrastructures must not be allowed to fall into the hands of cyber-criminals and data thieves,” Stenkamp explained. "We’re investing in our employees, in equipment and new services to meet the future requirements of our customers.”
High levels of investment in the future of the company, both nationally and internationally
CFO Jürgen Himmelsbach was satisfied with the year under review: “We managed to increase our return from sales from 5.6 to 6.1 per cent and invested over € 50 million. This augurs well for the future viability of the Group.” He underlined the fact that the TÜV NORD GROUP had also managed to improve its positive net financial position still further (€ 38.8 million).
The international companies have contributed significantly to the good overall result. Himmelsbach singled out China, India and Europe for special mention. Revenue from the international business increased from € 284.2 to € 309.7 million, achieving a share of 26.9 percent of the total revenue.
Himmelsbach summarised the position thus: "Our solid financial strategy is designed to meet our existing financial obligations and also to maintain sufficient leeway for investments, for example in digitalisation and innovation. We will continue on this course in the years to come.”
International: Targeted investments in industries of the future
Internationally, TÜV NORD continued to make targeted investments in the markets of the future in the form of laboratory and testing facilities:
- In Shanghai, a large photovoltaic laboratory, whose functions include the testing of solar modules, was opened.
- With its significantly expanded food testing laboratory in Indonesia, TÜV NORD is meeting the rising demand for tests of foodstuffs in South-East Asia.
- A product testing laboratory was inaugurated in the Indian city of Pune. It offers tests for electronics, electrical engineering, IT and AV products and industrial machinery.
- Eight TÜV STATIONS for used car services have started up (joint venture), mainly in the greater Shanghai region.
Targeted acquisitions in 2016
With two acquisitions, the Group systematically expanded its portfolio of services last year:
With the involvement of Ingenieurbüro Hofmann in Bamberg, TÜV NORD has further established a presence outside its traditional mobility market territory in Northern Germany and North Rhine-Westphalia. This will result in the expansion of the Group’s portfolio of official services of vehicles and its damage appraisal and valuation business in southern Germany.
The Aerospace business unit has been further boosted by the addition of Optocap from the Scottish town of Livingston, a world leader in the fields of opto-electronics, micro-electronics and microsystems (MEMS). Its customers include the European Space Agency ESA in addition to well-known international companies.
TÜV NORD proposes unified IT security architecture for all industries
As Dirk Stenkamp emphasised, Germany meets all the conditions to remain one of the world's leading centres of technology in the digital era. “We increasingly see our task as also to focus on the data security of products right from their development phase. At the same time, technology must from the outset be so designed as to ensure that privacy is protected and users maintain control over their own information,” Stenkamp said. He is calling for a unified IT security architecture. This would require the setting of minimum standards for all networked products across all industrial sectors.
For vehicles, for example, an automotive platform is on the table. With this communication platform, the data would be protected from external attacks. But data protection would be fully taken into account in as much as the user data would be anonymised. Stenkamp: “All the data from networked products should be treated in line with these basic principles.”
“Digital Academy” for employees to launch in 2017
Human Resources (HR) Director Harald Reutter was delighted with the worldwide increase in the number of employees (up 311 to 10,172). At the end of 2016 the Group employed a total of 13,054 men and women worldwide. Reutter cited the example of the Group’s own IT department as evidence of its evolution into an IT service provider. According to the plan, between 2010 to 2017 the number of employees in this area will increase by more than 40 per cent to 230, by which time 50 new appointments will have been made in 2016 and 2017 alone. “We impress upon all our staff that digitalisation is already part of their job,” said Reutter, who simultaneously also announced a new project: “In the ‘Digital Academy’ we’re going to get all our staff ready for the digital transformation of our core business and train them in their future tasks. The preparations are under way, the launch is set for 2017,” said the HR Director.
All business units contributed to the success of 2016
The largest business unit, Industrial Services, turned out to be the cornerstone of the company’s success in 2016. The industrial sector generated revenues of € 538.1 million (previous year € 516.5 million).
The Mobility business unit was also growing at the end of 2016. Revenues totalled € 333.4 million (previous year € 323.9 million). The growth is primarily attributable to an upturn in the car dealership and workshop segments.
The Training business unit reported a slight increase in revenue to € 107.4 million (2015: € 106.5 million) in spite of the planned closure of two vocational colleges in North Rhine-Westphalia.
The success of the Natural Resources business unit (DMT) was mainly down to major projects in the seismology sector. Revenues increased from € 103.6 million (2015) to € 106.9 million.
The revenues of the Aerospace business unit, at € 47.2 million, were roughly equivalent to those of the previous year (€ 47.6 million).
Due to the unrelenting increase in demand across the world for IT security solutions, revenues in the IT business unit increased from € 14.2 million to € 15.5 million.
About the TÜV NORD GROUP
With over 10,000 employees, TÜV NORD GROUP is one of the largest technical service providers, offering its advisory, service and inspection expertise in over 70 countries throughout the world. Areas of activity include Industrial Services, Mobility, IT and Education and Training. TÜV NORD GROUP occupies a unique position in the sector based on its work in the fields of raw materials and aerospace and is firmly committed to its guiding principle and watchword: “Excellence for your business”.