The 2016 financial year was the most successful year in the 169-year history of Possehl. Both in terms of sales and earnings, the Lübeck conglomerate was able to achieve new record figures and surpass the already good prior-year figures. The preliminary key data at a glance:
- Group sales up 10% to EUR 3.9 billion
- Profit before tax increases significantly to EUR 242 million
- Operating profit growth and one-time deconsolidation gains responsible for earnings leap
- Equity ratio and financial position further improved
According to provisional and not yet conclusively audited figures, Group revenues grew by around 10% to EUR 3.9 billion. A significant portion of the growth in sales is attributable to the precious metal recycling business and is the result of higher precious metal prices. Excluding this positive pricing effect, consolidated sales remained stable compared to the previous year, with a generally subdued global economy and numerous economic uncertainties.
NEW RECORD EARNINGS
Consolidated earnings before taxes rose by more than 50% to the record value of EUR 242 million. In addition to an increase in the operating earnings in the divisions, the significant increase in profits is also due to the one-time deconsolidation, in particular the sale of the smart-card business for the chip-card industry. The EBIT return on sales (earnings before interest and taxes), adjusted for precious metal losses and one-off income, was at the same level as the previous year at around 7%.
Uwe Lüders, Chief Executive Officer at Possehl, is very satisfied with the financial year 2016: “We achieved new record levels of sales and earnings. All employees have worked hard to achieve this success, and I am proud of what we have achieved together. Our eight business divisions are generally well positioned and have continued to develop positively over the past year. Our financial success gives us a great deal of space to continue investing in our future, be it in our existing business segments or through the acquisition of new companies.”
SME INVESTMENTS PROVIDE VALUABLE CONTRIBUTION
An important contribution to the overall earnings was made by Possehl Mittelstandsbeteiligungen. In the past few years, the medium-sized enterprise segment has grown in double figures with sales of more than EUR 300 million. Last year, the increase was 20%, essentially driven by the acquisition of ARBAprocessing.
In addition to the earnings figures, the Group’s key financial data have also improved once again. The equity ratio in the Group increased to 54.3%, and the freely available net liquidity rose to the record value of EUR 352 million. “We want to invest this very high amount of money with care to hedge Possehl’s future. We will not allow ourselves to be led astray into risky ventures by low or even negative interest rates. We will continue to pursue our path of sustainable and profitable growth in the future”, says Uwe Lüders, looking ahead to the future.