Although the economic environment continues to present problems, the Group with its two divisions, the Doka Group and the Umdasch Shopfitting Group, developed well above the average for the sectors concerned. In an international comparison the Umdasch Group was able to gain important market shares. This success can be traced back not least to the strategy of international expansion which the company has adopted, through which notable growth was achieved especially in Latin and North America as well as in Asia and the Middle East. In these regions an increase of 21 percent was recorded. In combination with a solid business development in the core markets this made it possible to achieve an excellent overall performance in 2012. In addition to the revenues, the concern also increased its EBITDA, which improved by 3.4 percent compared with the previous year. “The past year shows us clearly that the group’s strategic orientation is correct. And so we shall continue to pursue our chosen path with energy,” commented Andreas Ludwig, Chairman of the Umdasch Group.
In order to main this high level of growth, the Umdasch Group is continuing to invest in international expansion. Sales in the growth markets were markedly strengthened during 2012, with the geographical focus lying primarily on the emerging markets. New branches were established, for example in Mozambique and Peru. During 2012 the lion’s share, amounting to almost € 100 million, lay in investments in installations and acquisitions such as the purchase of the sales partner in Switzerland. The Group also invested to a considerable extent in staff; the number of people employed worldwide increased by 368. Thus, during 2012, the Umdasch Group recorded an average of 7,430 employees. Since qualifications are also important, an international succession and talent management system and a tailor-made staff development programme were introduced and the continuous improvement process “Great Place to Work” was implemented.
The financing base for all these growth measures was the issue of a bonded loan amounting to € 200 million last autumn. This permits the concern to pursue its expansion policy independently of developments on the money and capital markets. The concern’s equity ratio lies at about 50 percent and will be maintained at this level.
The past business year was once again characterised by a highly dynamic situation and volatile markets. Through the consistent focus on non-European markets it was possible to achieve an increase in revenues which lay well above the current market growth rate. With an increase in revenues of almost 12 percent the Doka Group sets the standard in the market as well as in competition. In Austria too, Doka Austria demonstrated its expertise and performance capability in the implementation of numerous challenging projects such as the Kühnsdorf tunnel on the Koralm railway and the Lehen power station in Salzburg. The company can also point to a large number of international showcase projects, including the Lotte World Tower in Seoul, at 555 metres the tallest building in East Asia.
The Doka Group was able to demonstrate its specialist expertise in the field of formwork technology in the two 135-metre-high pylons for a bridge over the Orinoco in Venezuela, as well as in the construction of the Tverlandsbrua in Norway. Outstanding projects in 2012 also included the Twin Towers in Qatar, the Minerva Tower in Mumbai, the Taunus Turm in Frankfurt, the Bouregreg Bridge in Morocco and the Midtown Tunnel in the United States. In addition to implementation and execution, during the last year the Doka Group also focused on the services and consultancy sectors – strategically speaking an important extension of the company’s portfolio which it will continue to promote in future.
Against the background of a turbulent market environment which resulted in a stagnating retail sector in Western and Central Europe, the Shopfitting Division achieved increased revenues of € 1 million, thereby producing a positive result. In addition to the difficult external circumstances, 2012 was characterised for the Umdasch Shopfitting Group by far-reaching strategic, organisational and staff-based changes. In full awareness of the fact that strength lies in unity, the Group developed a strategy for a successful growth course. Since the beginning of May 2013 the Umdasch Shopfitting Group has a new Chairman in the person of Silvio Kirchmair. He will pursue and implement the Group’s ambitious goals. During 2012 it was possible to demonstrate impressively that the division is a first-class partner in the design and realisation of pioneering store concepts. Contracts from rollout customers such as Reno Schuhe, Sportalm, Wolford, Bipa, Spar and Dänisches Bettenlager underlined this fact. The A1-Shops, Reiter Betten und Vorhänge and numerous Jet shops at petrol stations are additional illustrious names on the customer list for the past year. The trend towards becoming a full-service provider was demonstrated clearly in the G3 shopping centre in Gerasdorf near Vienna, where several projects were realised simultaneously. The strategy of offering the entire range of shopfitting services in an integrated manner can also be seen in the new single-brand policy. In future the company will operate exclusively under the name Umdasch Shopfitting Group.
In line with the general economic prognoses, the Umdasch Group is aiming in 2013 for relative growth in the mid-single-figure percentage range. This goal can be regarded as realistic since it is expected that the construction industry will recover slightly during 2013. The international expansion course which has already been set will be continued systematically. The Group has sufficient capital available and is well-placed within the market, and therefore well equipped for further expansion.
The internationally successful Umdasch AG with its divisions Doka Group and Umdasch Shopfitting Group operates in some 70 countries at more than 170 locations. The family concern is one of the leading companies in the fields of concrete formwork technology and shopfitting and currently employs a staff of approx. 7,600. With revenues of over € 1 billion it is one of the top players in the domestic industrial sector. Placing the core focus on the international expansion of the Group will continue to provide the growth impulse of the Umdasch Group in future. Almost 90 percent of corporate revenues are currently generated abroad.