OPERATING PROFIT LIFTED
Thanks to greater efficiency in operating processes and better quality of service, CWS-boco increased operating profit in 2014 compared to the previous year from EUR 64 million to EUR 71 million, thus continuing the positive earnings trend of previous years. Key measures implemented in this context included the optimisation of the Europe-wide laundry network as well as the construction of a central warehouse and service location in Poland in which, among other things, replacement clothing for customers is stored and prepared in accordance with customer requirements. The modernisation of the laundry network focused primarily on enhancing efficiency and reducing the use of resources such as energy and detergents. Moreover, the aim of the central warehousing and service location in Poland is to ensure that uniformly high quality standards are applied in the workwear business throughout Europe and that processing times are reduced.
STABLE REVENUE DEVELOPMENT
At EUR 751 million, CWS-boco’s revenue in 2014 – also adjusted for business combinations and disposals as well as currency translation effects – was at the previous year’s level. While CWS-boco posted positive business development, above all in Germany, revenue development in other countries such as the Netherlands or Italy was characterised by a difficult market environment. In addition, the strategic decisions to exit the flat linen business and the related intensified focus on the cleanroom business at the Beijing location contributed to this development.
Revenue in CWS-boco’s core business – the rental service for workwear, washroom hygiene products and dust control mats – remained stable in 2014. Among other things, CWS-boco succeeded in further reducing contract cancellation rates for dust control mats and washroom hygiene products. Cancellation rates remained virtually stable at a low level for workwear. The division achieved this by further intensifying customer care and expanding its focused complaint and cancellation management efforts. Adjusted for business combinations and disposals as well as currency translation effects, revenue from the rental business remained at the previous year’s level as well.
CWS-boco supplements its service business by selling consumables, such as soap, disinfectant and paper, as well as dispensers and workwear. Revenue in this trade business increased in 2014 by 1 per cent year on year – adjusted for business combinations and disposals as well as currency translation effects, trade revenue remained stable.
CWS-BOCO EXPANDS SALES AND CLEANROOM BUSINESS
CWS-boco is expanding its sales function in order to enable further growth in the highly competitive sector. To that end, the division increased the number of sales employees and launched the Sales Excellence programme. This twelve-month programme offers a variety of theoretical and practical training units to sales employees, culminating in a TÜV certificate. In addition, participants are also assigned a mentor for the full term of the course, who supports them in honing their skills and applying them in practice. After the first participants successfully completed the training programme in Germany, it is now being adapted to specific products and extended to additional foreign subsidiaries.
Additionally, CWS-boco has strengthened its competitive position in the growth market of the cleanroom business in the past year. Based on the existing cleanroom expertise gained in Belgium, Ireland, Poland and China, the first cleanroom laundry was opened in Germany during the first half of 2014. In addition to this, CWS-boco initiated the acquisition of an established provider in southern Germany in the second half of the year. Hence, CWS-boco now also offers professional preparation of cleanroom apparel in Germany, while satisfying the highest certified standards for particle-free clothing. The target group includes companies in the pharmaceutical, medical technology and electronics industries.
With respect to the product portfolio, CWS-boco brought an important addition to the market to complete the no-contact washroom: the hygienic Clean Touch door handle. A hygienic film that is replaced automatically enables the handle to be used without direct skin contact.