At the Annual Report Press Conference on 24 April 2019 in Bremen, the Managing Board of BLG LOGISTICS GROUP AG & Co. KG presented the results of the last business year. The CEO, Frank Dreeke, summed up the positive situation: “Today, BLG LOGISTICS is more stable than ever. We can look back over a successful business year. Of course, we faced a few challenges, but we can also report a lot of good news, above all considering the difficult and volatile political and economic conditions in many regions around the world.”
For 2018, the BLG Group posted a total sales figure of €1.14bn. That is an increase of €53.5m or 4.9% on 2017. Once again, earnings before tax (EBT) increased significantly, by €4m or just under 12%, reaching €37.5m (2017: €33.5m). This means that both sales and EBT were not only up on the year before, but also better than forecast. The strong increase in EBT compared to sales revenue results in a higher EBT margin of 3.3% (2017: 3.1%).
In 2018, BLG LOGISTICS defended its position as one of Europe's leading automobile logistics companies. In the entire network of the AUTOMOBILE division, the Group handled, transported or technically processed a total of 6.5m vehicles – 3.6% more than in the previous year (6.3m). Sales revenue in the AUTOMOBILE division amounted to €553.1m. The slight growth of 0.5% results from the stable handling volumes and good business development in automobile transport by rail. Compared to 2017, EBT increased from €13.2m to €15.5m (up by 18%).
The strongest division in terms of sales revenue was Contract Logistics, which accounted for some €600m in 2018. Sales revenue grew significantly by €51.4m, or 9.4%. The company increased its EBT by more than half: from €4.6m (2017) to €7.3m (2018). It achieved this by expanding business with existing and new customers in the fields of industrial and retail logistics as well as boosting the Forwarding Division. Since last year, this division has been operating under the name BLG International Forwarding GmbH & Co. KG. It offers customers all transport options not only from one source, but now also under one name.
The CONTAINER Division of the BLG Group is represented by half of the shares in EUROGATE. In business year 2018, the European terminal operating group generated sales of some €604m. The BLG Group's share in this was some €302m. Compared to the previous year (€304m), this was a small downturn. Nevertheless, the business activities of the EUROGATE Group developed well and in line with expectations under difficult general conditions. In the second half of the year, the EUROGATE Container Terminal in Hamburg achieved a significant increase in volume, reversing the negative trend of the two previous years. For the third consecutive year, the EUROGATE Container Terminal in Wilhelmshaven posted two-figure growth in quantities handled, amounting to 18.3%.
At the press conference, Frank Dreeke also risked a look into the future: “We still don't know how Britain will define its relationship with the European Union or how possible trade sanctions will affect us and the level of uncertainty they will cause. The global economic mood has darkened. Times remain challenging. But we're confident we will navigate these challenges successfully with our intelligent strategy, excellent employees and great passion for logistics. For business year 2019, we expect the BLG Group to generate sales at an equal level to the previous year, increase EBT in the range of 5-8%, and correspondingly increase our EBT margin.”
At the beginning of the conference, the CEO presented a range of current digitalization and innovation projects at BLG. He commented: „I'm proud that when it comes to digitalization, we have not only the desire but also the courage to simply drive ahead and get things moving. Our customers recognize this and see us as especially committed to and expert in automation. That's a massive compliment for BLG!“ Proof that a passion for innovative logistics and responsible, sustainable action do not contradict each other is provided by the fact that BLG has already achieved its CO2 reduction target originally planned for 2020. Two years ahead of schedule, the group cut its CO2 emissions by 20% – or more precisely 21.5% (against the reference year 2011). A whole raft of actions contributed to this, as detailed in the BLG Sustainability Report. The Managing Board also presented this report at the press conference, as well as the 2018 Company Report and Financial Report. The entire annual reporting is also available to download from the BLG website.