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Umdasch Group continues on the path to success

30.06.2016 | Press
The Umdasch Group AG is a concern which is 100% family-owned and which has its headquarters in Amstetten. During 2015 it grew significantly once more and was thus able to demonstrate the success of its growth strategy for the fifth time in succession.

Impressions

  • Juma Al Majid Tower, UAE
  • Lahntal bridge, Germany
By comparison with the previous year the revenues increased noticeably by almost 11% (2014: EUR 1,096 million; 2015: EUR 1,215 million). What is also impressive is the overall picture over the five-year cycle: since 2010 (revenues EUR 908 million) the group has grown by exactly one-third. This growth can be attributed primarily to the active expansion policy of the subsidiary company Doka Group, an international leader in the formwork technology sector.

Other important key data underline the successful course. The operating profit in the reporting period rose from EUR 83 million to EUR 98 million – a growth of 18%. The annual surplus amounted to EUR 54 million – a plus of 15% compared with 2014. The number of employees rose from 7,297 (2014) to 7,329 (2015). The fact that this rise is only marginal compared with the growth is a sign that productivity was increased considerably through improved organisational structures, more efficient processes and innovative tools. Investments increased during the reporting period 2015 by 72% to EUR 43 million. The change in the gross cashflow (EUR 160 million in 2014 to EUR 64 million in 2015) is based mainly on an increase in the working capital, which grew in line with revenues.

In addition to the return on investment, the equity base of a company is an important indicator of performance. With an equity ratio of 57% the company demonstrates an above-average capacity to bear risk.

Thus the Umdasch Group AG, with its two 100% shares, the formwork company Doka Group and the shopfitters Umdasch Shopfitting Group, is fit to face the future. The concern sees here the basis for long-term and sustainable development.

Umdasch Foundation

In addition to its numerous cultural, sporting and social commitments the Umdasch Group AG has decided to make the fields of education and knowledge transfer the focus of its Corporate Social Responsibility. For this reason the Umdasch Foundation was established during the previous year. This is an initiative which supports training and further education within the company as well as in the wider social context. The need to supply the business sector with sufficiently trained employees is increasingly becoming a challenge. This is one important reason why the Umdasch Foundation supports numerous international and national projects in which the focus lies on equality of education and opportunity. This investment represents a contribution not only for society, but also for the company, because the Umdasch Group with its knowledge- and technology-based business models in the Doka Group and Umdasch Shopfitting profits in particular from well-trained existing or potential employees.

The Doka Group – a successful business model and a lively organisation

The Formwork Experts, the Doka Group, attracts attention this year with its 12-percent operative growth. This is not least due to the company’s successful business model. Since the 1950s the Doka Group has developed, produced and sold components and systems and special formwork.
The formwork products are not only sold in 70 countries throughout the world. In about 50% of cases the formwork systems are also rented out. Increasing numbers of construction firms are executing projects outside their accustomed markets. In this case it is important to have a partner on the spot with formwork material available in adequate quality and quantity and at the precise time when it is needed. The rental model is capital-intensive – the investments in the international rental park are high and are reinvested over their life cycle – but it is both sustainable and economical as regards resources.
The double-figure growth can largely be traced back to the developments in the United States and the Middle East, both of which are growing at an above-average rate. While Doka North America, which also includes Canada, can realise its opportunities exceptionally well in a booming market with a highly developed organisation, Doka in the Middle East profits from its position as market leader and a positioning as the No. 1 partner in planning, managing and executing large-scale, sometimes very unusual projects.

The greatest growth potential lies indisputably in the East Asia Pacific Region with markets like China, India or Australia – countries in which the Doka Group is still only just embarking on its development. Visible growth was achieved in 2015 – albeit, starting from a modest market share. In Latin America a number of individual countries like Chile and Peru are doing very well, but the situation is overshadowed somewhat by the standstill in Brazil, the biggest market in South America. The problem is political in nature, but is also having major economic consequences. All in all, development in the markets outside Europe is very satisfactory. This led in 2015 to the fact that the share of revenues here compared with Europe was higher than 50% for the first time. For the Doka Group this was proof that the key to the sustainable development and long-term survival of the company lies in the geographical diversity of its markets and its investment in regions outside Europe.

The situation in Europe was very different. While the region of Western Europe with a strong performance by countries like the United Kingdom or the Scandinavian states has developed extremely well, the development of the markets in Eastern and Southern Europe continued to stagnate. The situation reflects the general economic situation, which to date has failed to reach the level it had before the economic and financial crisis.

In Central Europe, where the entire sector is suffering from enormous price pressure and where the economy is developing only very reluctantly, the Doka Group recorded growth. Here it profits from its decades-long position as a top player: a dense sales network, long-standing customer relationships and tailored products for the market are some of the main characteristics of success.

Efficiency on the building site

Developing and selling the right products to meet the requirements of the markets in question is a decisive criterion in competition. The trend in the highly-developed regions of the world is efficiency on the building site. The time factor is an important lever in working to budget or saving costs on a construction project. The Doka Group recognised this trend at an early point and has developed products to market maturity which are almost unrivalled when it comes to speed and economy. Thus Framax Xlife plus was launched in 2015 – a wall formwork which can be operated by a single man and allows for faster forming with it´s revolutionary anchor technology. A further example is Dokadek 30 – a floor formwork which can be operated easily and rapidly from the ground and which correspondingly matches up to the greatest demands for efficiency and safety.

Digitalisation – the formwork which communicates

The trend towards digitalisation on the building site is another important factor. Major investments were made in this respect during 2015. Moreover, Concremote has been launched onto the formwork market – a product which uses sensors to measure the strength and temperature of the concrete and thus informs the supervisor on the building site of the precise moment for stripping the formwork. This revolutionary development is an example of how the two mega trends efficiency and digitalisation on the building site are linked. The Doka Group works on several levels within the company on the building methods of the future and invests in the development, for example of digital applications or BIM, a method that permits the optimised planning and execution of buildings through the digital recording and interlinking of relevant building data.

Umdasch Shopfitting Group market environment continues to be challenging – restructuring on course

The shopfitting subsidiary Umdasch Shopfitting Group has undergone a radical transformation in recent years. With regard to the market and also structurally, this can be described as the repositioning of a producer of shelves and furnishings to a project partner that creates concepts for retail and experience areas and then implements them using its industrial skills.

With the acquisitions of two companies, Story Design and MMIT Retail, two important milestones for an expansion of the structural basis were set in 2015. Story Design opened the access not only to new customers but also to new markets. The sector portfolio was thus expanded by the automobile, technology and system gastronomy sectors. MMIT Retail – a start-up from Linz – is specialised in the development of electronic price labelling. Both acquisitions are investments in the competitiveness and future viability of the company – and a clear commitment of the owners to the Umdasch Shopfitting Group.

All in all, the Umdasch Shopfitting Group grew by about 2% in 2015. Positive development (+12%) was observed during this period by the Food & Care division, which serves the food and health and beauty stores sectors. The Premium & Travel Retail division, which is based in the United Kingdom, continued its growth course – its share of the total revenues grew in 2015 to 16%. On the customer list are new brands such as Ferrari, Christian Dior and Galeries Lafayette. After an initial conceptual phase in 2014 the new viBIZ division was able to make its mark on the market clearly with innovative products – electronic price labelling, mobile and interactive shopping walls, digital purchasing aids and frequency analyses.

Production in Amstetten will be transformed into a logistics hub

The situation in the Fashion & Lifestyle division remains very challenging. The strategy of the division lies in the acquisition of new customer segments. In order to strengthen the competitiveness sustainably the production in this area will be transformed into a logistics hub with installation teams for specialised projects. Approximately 90 jobs will be affected, but it is possible to compensate these by means of positions in the new hub, other areas and locations within the company as well as in the other subsidiary in the Doka Group, and in a few cases in supplier companies within the region. The production locations Leibnitz and Gleinstätten in Styria employ a workforce of approximately 500 and will be expanded correspondingly.

In 2015 forward-looking milestones on the way to a profitable company were set. The aim is that by 2020 the company should be one of the three leading shopfitting companies in the region Europe, Middle East and Africa. Today the company lies in fifth place.

Prospects 2016

It is planned that the growth course should be continued in 2016. After the first quarter of 2016 the company has achieved an average company-wide growth of 5.6% compared with the reporting year 2015 and is thus well on track. Both companies – the Doka Group (1st quarter 2016 +5.0%) and the Umdasch Shopfitting Group (1st quarter 2016 +9.5%) – are growing operatively. This development reflects the expectations for 2016 as a whole. The geographic diversity of the markets permits the Umdasch Group to be largely independent of developments in specific regions, for example political or economic declines – a major advantage for companies which operate globally. Independently of this, both operative companies are investing actively in future-related topics, innovative products, and qualified and motivated employees as an important criterion for success.

Details and facts and data about the Umdasch Group AG and success projects of both subsidiary companies can be found in the Annual Report 2015 under www.umdasch.com/annualreport. A printed copy can be obtained upon request.

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