Despite volatile market conditions, the transport and logistics provider was able to increase its turnover for the fourth year in a row, generating preliminary net sales of roughly
1.2 billion euros for the 2013 fiscal year. “Given that the first half of the year was rather disappointing for us, we are quite satisfied with this financial statement,” says CEO Wolfgang Niessner with regard to the balance sheet for the past fiscal year. Thanks to the upturn in the economy in the second half of the year, the group achieved its targets for 2013, and the positive trend of the past years was consolidated with a slight increase in turnover of 3.3 per cent. “The land transport, Air & Sea, logistics solutions and CEP sectors have once again proven themselves as pillars of our success,” Niessner continues.
The strategic orientation of Gebrüder Weiss has also remained constant. In 2013, the Group not only consistently pursued its corporate goal of achieving service excellence, but also successfully continued its strategy of expanding eastwards. Gebrüder Weiss made clear moves in this direction with the takeover of the freight forwarder Far Freight, which specialises in the CIS and Caucasus countries, the commissioning of a new logistics centre in Tbilisi, Georgia, as well as the opening of its first Turkish site in Istanbul. “In this way, we are keeping up with our customers, who are also increasingly active in these markets,” explains Niessner.
Ambitious Investment Activities
CFO Wolfram Senger-Weiss agrees: “Expanding our expertise in the Middle East and Central Asia as well as in the Caucasus is of great strategic importance for us. It is here that central hubs for transport between Europe and Asia are developed by Gebrüder Weiss – all of them modern logistics facilities in line with the highest Western European standards. This allows us to offer our customers real value added.” In total, Gebrüder Weiss put together an investment package of around 57 million euros in 2013, once again significantly increasing its investment volume by 16 per cent compared to 2012. The high equity ratio remained essentially unchanged, guaranteeing the company substantial independence from credit institutions. The ratio stands at just above 58 per cent.
As in previous years, Gebrüder Weiss also invested heavily in network expansion in Central and Eastern Europe in 2013. In the Czech Republic, two new facilities became operational: Jeneč near Prague and Jablonec nad Nisou in Northern Bohemia. In the neighbouring country of Slovakia, the Senec logistics terminal saw the addition of two logistics halls. In July 2013, the branch in Győr became the latest addition to the Hungarian network. Further construction projects were launched, and are set to be completed in 2014. In Elin Pelin, Bulgaria, construction started on a modern logistics centre to replace the former branch in Sofia. In Wels and at the company headquarters in Lauterach, comprehensive site extensions are under way. Furthermore, the acquired Southern German freight forwarders Diehl and Sprenger have successfully been integrated into the Gebrüder Weiss infrastructure.
Land Transport & Logistics Solutions Put in a Strong Performance
With a consolidated turnover of 801.2 million euros, the land transport business area put in a strong performance as usual in 2013, thus slightly improving on the previous year. “Given the difficult conditions, this performance is very satisfactory,” says Wolfgang Niessner. The established cooperation within the partner network System Alliance Europe, and the good feedback received on the Europe-wide general cargo and groupage freight product “GW pro.line” – including the new B2C service “GW pro.line home” – made a decisive contribution to the good result achieved. In total, around 10.2 million consignments were processed. Multimodal transport solutions played an ever more central role, and increased efforts will also be made in future to develop them further.
With innovative concepts, the logistics solutions business area also demonstrated strength and expertise, completing a series of important customer projects in 2013, many of which were in Central and Eastern Europe. This enabled a significant broadening of the Gebrüder Weiss logistics portfolio, above all to encompass comprehensive supply chain solutions.
Air & Sea Area Successfully Tackles Market Volatility
Positive developments were also recorded in the area of air and sea freight. Despite a high level of volatility in the markets, consolidated turnover increased by around six per cent, reaching 256.7 million euros. “This is above all the result of the consistent expansion of our global infrastructure and our efforts to offer special, customer needs-oriented solutions for air and sea freight,” says Air & Sea Board Member Heinz Senger-Weiss. “GWconsolution” was established as a new groupage freight product for sea cargo, thus developing standardised service levels with direct sea routes as well as uniform process standards. Moreover, special attention was paid to further development of the inner Asian activities and expansion of the specialist know-how in the Far East. In Shanghai, Changchun and Chengdu, warehousing logistics activities will be extended significantly – with a focus on the automotive sector. The newly installed product management for sea freight in Shanghai aims at prospectively implementing the Group strategy in the region and strengthening relations with Asian shipping companies. Development in the numbers of sea freight container loads was particularly gratifying. Here, a volume of 125,000 standard containers (TEU) was achieved, representing an increase of 30 per cent as compared to last year. Small losses were incurred in the air freight sector. Due to the heavily decreased export volume from China in the first half of 2013, the processed tonnage fell short of last year’s value by four per cent at roughly 45,000 tons. The relatively new department for special transports “Projects & Break Bulk” posted an impressive two-digit turnover of eleven million euros in 2013 for the first time and thus established itself as a key player.
Business Units and Subsidiaries Record Stable Success Rates
The Gebrüder Weiss parcel service, co-partner of the Austrian company DPD, was able to record modest growth in 2013, and closed on a consolidated turnover of 126.3 million euros. In the logistics consulting division, x|vise can look back over a very successful year which was heavily influenced by the subject of e-commerce, with an increase in turnover of 30 per cent. “By developing e-commerce concepts with the integration of web shop systems, we are meeting the needs of new value chains on the B2C market,” says Board Member and department head Peter Kloiber. Tectraxx, the Gebrüder Weiss group’s high-tech logistics specialist, performed at previous year’s level with a turnover of 10.5 million euros.
Inet-logistics GmbH once again had good reason to celebrate, as its global Transport Management Systems (TMS) are in great demand. The subsidiary founded in 1999 recorded growth of over nine per cent. Consolidated turnover for 2013 was 11.9 million euros.