Annual report 2014

TAKKT

FRANZ HANIEL & CIE. GMBH
Business development at TAKKT was characterised by positive growth momentum in Europe and the US in 2014. Both revenue and operating profit increased. In addition, TAKKT continued to drive forward the expansion of its multi-channel business and continued to focus its portfolio with the disposal of the Plant Equipment Group and the discontinuation of business operations at Topdeq.

TAKKT REMAINS ON EXPANSION COURSE

TAKKT division revenue increased by 3 per cent to EUR 981 million – adjusted for the planned discontinuation of Topdeq’s business operations and for currency translation effects, revenue actually increased significantly by 6 per cent.

The business operation of Office Equipment Group, including the Topdeq brand, was discontinued incrementally as scheduled by September 2014. This process – in particular the clearance sale of the existing inventories – was financially satisfactory. In addition, TAKKT was able to sell the Topdeq trademarks to a competitor. Adjusted for the Topdeq discontinuation and currency translation effects, revenue at TAKKT EUROPE increased by 3 per cent thanks to improved general economic conditions. Within TAKKT EUROPE, both segments contributed to revenue growth – however, the Packaging Solution Group experienced stronger growth than the Business Equipment Group. Business development was particularly positive in the high-revenue home market, Germany.

FRANZ HANIEL & CIE. GMBH

Adjusted for currency translation effects, TAKKT AMERICA increased revenue by 8 per cent, with business in the three segments varying. The Office Equipment Group recorded especially solid growth. Among other factors, higher demand from US state government institutions contributed to this growth. The Specialties Group benefited from positive development in the North American restaurant sector and from strong growth momentum from GPA, a B2B direct marketing supplier for display products.

By contrast, the Plant Equipment Group, which operates in a highly competitive environment and owns the C&H main brand, recorded a slight decline in revenue.

In order to create better opportunities for development at the Plant Equipment Group, TAKKT concluded an agreement on its disposal with the strategic investor Global Industrial in December 2014. The transaction was completed at the beginning of 2015. By taking this step TAKKT can concentrate more resources on further developing its integrated multi-channel business.

OPERATING PROFIT LIFTED

Due to its strong business performance, TAKKT increased its operating profit from EUR 96 million in 2013 to EUR 111 million in 2014. This increase resulted – in addition to the elimination of one-off expenses for the Topdeq closure in 2013 – above all from the positive business development at TAKKT AMERICA. TAKKT EUROPE also increased profits slightly – adjusted for the Topdeq business.
However, projects launched in connection with the DYNAMIC initiative led to higher expenses in 2014.

EXPANSION OF THE MULTI-CHANNEL SALES FUNCTION CONTINUED

TAKKT is integrating various sales channels in connection with the expansion of its multi-channel sales function in order to address customers as needed: through the catalogue, online, by telephone and via employees in the external sales force. To that end, the B2B direct marketing supplier launched the DYNAMIC initiative in 2012 with the goal of orienting business activities even more strongly on the multi-channel sales approach. DYNAMIC comprises approximately 50 projects, which are individually tailored to the Group companies in question. The first projects have already been successfully concluded.

E-commerce is an important component of the multi-channel activities, which again developed very well in 2014. After reaching 28 per cent in the previous year, e-commerce’s share of total revenue expanded to 30 per cent during the financial year.

FRANZ HANIEL & CIE. GMBH