Hellmann continues last year's successful business development in Q1 2021
Profitable growth in a challenging market environment
While the first half of 2020 was characterized by volume declines, especially in airfreight, volumes for the year as a whole were kept stable thanks to strong and flexible product management and the addition of numerous new customers. Despite a slight overall decline in volumes, the Hellmann Group was able to increase annual revenue by 4.4 % to EUR 2.5 billion in 2020 and achieve an increased EBIT margin of 2.9 % on the basis of stringent cost management and the implementation of more efficient corporate structures. Cash flow increased significantly last year, so that the Group is net debt-free and thus on solid financial footing.
The positive trend continues in the current fiscal year 2021 across all products, with the Group's key figures for the first quarter of 2021 growing significantly above the previous year. Air- and seafreight recorded significant volume growth due to increased market demand. The contract logistics segment benefits from the implementation of new customer business and is further boosted by the ongoing increase in the e-commerce sector. Road & Rail is also developing positively on the basis of sustained volume and demand growth for land transports coupled with high demand for rail transportation between Asia and Europe.
Foundation laid for further sustainable growth
In 2019 the company's management charted the course for sustainable growth by introducing a new, globally uniform organizational structure and implementing a comprehensive digitalization strategy, thus enabling significant efficiency gains. At the same time, the realignment of Hellmann's global network and the establishment of a strong international management team allowed the company to strengthen its market position across all product areas. Now, the focus is to increase the level of digitalization including the introduction of new transport management systems (TMS), to expand the operating business and generate further growth. Hellmann is also seeking to acquire operational and strategically forward-looking investments, e.g. in the areas of digitalization and spezialised niche products.
"The year 2020 was a stress test for Hellmann, but we achieved our goal of generating profitable growth despite the massive challenges. The crisis did not slow us down, but rather highlighted our strengths: our flexibility, but also the enormous commitment and motivation of all employees. In the current financial year, we want to deliver on the goals of our growth strategy and gain market share in all products," says Reiner Heiken, Chief Executive Officer Hellmann Worldwide Logistics.