- Comparable Group sales drop by 4 %
- Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) amount to €139 million
- Equity ratio of 58 %
- Net liquidity rises to €355 million
It is the combination of a highly diversified business model and a sustainable operative management that has enabled the Possel Group to pull through the 2020 crisis in good shape. Based on preliminary figures, the consolidated sales of €4.4 billion achieved by the Lübeck-based Group of companies even means a new record high, which was, however, also promoted by high precious metal prices. On a comparable basis, sales dropped by 4 % year-on-year. The Possehl Group sees this development as an endorsement of its successful portfolio management, which is based on the principles of broad diversification to balance out fluctuating business, as well as a high level of decentralisation and entrepreneurial independence of the Group’s individual divisions.
In the financial year ended, Group earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) amounted to €139 million. Given the fact that both the automotive supply business and parts of the mechanical engineering segment reported substantial downturns in sales, this solid overall performance is also the result of efficient crisis management. In comparison to the previous year, Hako Cleaning Technology, the largest division within the Possehl Group, was able to keep its result almost stable at a very healthy level. Three divisions even reported significant growth in this crisis-ridden year:
- The products of Heimerle + Meule (Precious Metals) proved very popular with customers as the market saw a high demand for investment products.
- The Special Purpose Construction division, headed by the lead companies Possehl Spezialbau and Mickan, seized the favourable domestic construction market trend and high level of public sector investment to further expand its already strong market position.
- The Intralogistics division with its lead company Böwe Systec was able to use the strong development in the e-commerce sector by offering new and innovative products, which led to a double-digit growth in this segment.
“The portfolio of the Possehl Group is robustly balanced in terms of result, risk, and future viability. We invest exclusively in businesses that we understand well”, outlines Dr Joachim Brenk, Chairman of Possehl’s Executive Board, to explain the positive result. “Overall, our Managements have successfully steered their companies through the crisis with commitment and foresight. We had to deal with extreme fluctuations in demand. Cost transparency and in-depth understanding of the business enabled us to quickly change course wherever necessary.”
Possehl continues to enjoy a very solid equity and liquidity base. At the end of the financial year, the Group’s equity ratio was 58 %. Net liquidity even rose to 355 million last year.
The Possehl Boss goes on to add: “These are solid figures. On the one hand, they document Possehl’s high level of stability and reliability, and in addition, they are the basis for paying dividends to the Possehl Foundation as scheduled and investing in digitisation, even in times of crisis. We have deliberately intensified our innovation activities in order to further strengthen our competitive position in the markets. One part of it is our Group-wide digitisation initiative, which has recently spawned two startups: ‘Possehl Analytics’ and ‘Possehl Online Solutions’. Moreover, we are currently in the process of founding our future division for Software and Digital Business to complement our existing entrepreneurial activities and further develop our diversified portolio in a future-oriented manner.”
However, investing in new activities does not mean that Possehl is neglecting its core business. One example is the double-digit million euro investment in the sustainability and future viability of the Tyre Technology division’s two German production sites located in Hamburg-Harburg and Freudenberg.
Against the background of an only gradually recovering global economy, we expect sales and earnings to increase only moderately in 2021. Presumably, the Possehl Group’s business figures will only return to pre-crisis levels in 2022.