BLG Logistics delivers

Germany’s BLG Logistics said earlier this month that group sales rose “to over a billion euros” in 2016, which was a solid performance in a difficult year.

CEO Frank Dreeke said the group was “able to achieve what we forecast a year ago and managed to increase sales in all three divisions”.

“The operating result of the BLG Group is slightly above that of the previous year. In our estimation, the economic situation of the BLG Group remains stable, but is capable of improvement,” he added.

Turnover grew 11.4% again one year earlier, thanks to inorganic growth.

Its financial performance was broadly in line with expectations; its three main divisions – automobile, contract logistics and container – “recorded significant growth in sales”, the group said, adding that earnings before taxes reached €30.8m, up 3.7% against one year earlier.

Contract Logistics was the best performer, with €574.5m of annual sales boosted by the purchase of Fortragroup at the beginning of the 2016. The deal helped the unit grow sales by “€95.7m compared to the previous year”.

The automobile division, meanwhile, increased sales by 2.6% to €473.7m, although its operating result was slightly lower than the prior year. BLG said lower operating income was due to “productivity losses and lower cargo handling volumes at the Bremerhaven Auto Terminal as well as self-contracting on the part of a client in Eastern Europe”.

Finally, the container business, which is represented by its part ownership of German container terminal operator Eurogate, turned over €639.4m last year, BLG noted, adding that it consolidated half of those sales in a year during which “Eurogate strengthened its position as a leading shipping-company-independent container terminal operator in Europe”.

The average number of employees, including Eurogate, rose 15% to over 10,000 having grown fast in certain verticals.

“This significant increase is due to taking over part of the plant logistics services for a client in the automotive sector and hiring around 700 employees in the industrial and retail logistics segments in Bremen as well as at the Bremerhaven Auto Terminal, more than two thirds of whom were hired from the GHB labour pool.”

As far as the outlook for 2017 is concerned, Dreeke said that “the world situation has not become any clearer (…) and possible trade barriers are a daily subject of discussion. It’s not getting any easier to make prognoses,” although the group “started off the year better than in the previous years”.

Source: Transport Intelligence, April 25, 2017

Author: Alessandro Pasetti