The TAKKT division benefited in 2015 from continuing good business in the US and the strong US dollar. Both revenue and operating profit increased significantly. In the 2015 financial year, TAKKT drove forward its further development into an integrated multi-channel company, took up further digitalisation along the entire value chain as a key strategic topic, and expanded its portfolio with the acquisition of two strong growth companies.
TAKKT continues expansion course
In 2015, TAKKT strengthened its portfolio with the acquisition of Post-Up Stand in the US and BiGDUG in the UK. Post-Up Stand is a leading specialist for customised printed marketing material and is therefore a good addition to the successful display business within the Specialties Group in North America. The acquisition of BiGDUG, the leading online retailer of business equipment in the UK, strengthened the Business Equipment Group’s business. In addition to this expansion of the portfolio, TAKKT successfully completed the sale of the low-profit Plant Equipment Group in North America.
TAKKT’s revenue increased by 8 per cent in 2015 to EUR 1,064 million, thus exceeding the EUR 1 billion mark for the first time. The acquisitions of Post-Up Stand and BiGDUG contributed to this growth, as did positive currency translation effects, in particular due to the stronger US dollar. By contrast, the closure of Topdeq, which was completed in the previous year, and the sale of the Plant Equipment Group had a negative impact. Adjusted for these effects, revenue grew by 5 per cent.
Adjusted for acquisitions, currency effects, and the closure of Topdeq, revenue at TAKKT EUROPE was 1 per cent over the previous year’s level. The Packaging Solutions Group recorded slight revenue growth. The Business Equipment Group also posted slightly positive development. However, the worse business climate in Switzerland as a result of the strong Swiss franc had a particularly negative impact as reflected in restrained capital spending by TAKKT customers.
Adjusted for acquisitions and currency translation effects, TAKKT AMERICA increased revenue by 10 per cent in a continuing positive business climate in the US. Both the Specialties Group and the Office Equipment Group posted encouraging development. The Specialties Group’s business benefited from high growth at Central, the direct marketing specialist in restaurant equipment. At the Office Equipment Group, the high demand from private companies as well as US state government institutions had a positive effect.
Operating profit improved
TAKKT increased its operating profit from EUR 111 million in the previous year to EUR 129 million. This resulted primarily from the positive business development of TAKKT AMERICA as well as a positive earnings contribution from the sale of the Plant Equipment Group. In addition, TAKKT benefited from the strong US dollar. Earnings at TAKKT EUROPE were below the previous year’s level due to a lower gross margin – in particular in Switzerland, where business was burdened by the discounted currency.
Focused on multi-channel sales function and
TAKKT is integrating various sales channels in order to address customers as needed: through the catalogue, online, by telephone and via employees in the external sales force. To that end, TAKKT launched the DYNAMIC initiative in 2012 with the goal of focussing business activities even more strongly on the multi-channel sales approach. DYNAMIC originally comprised approximately 50 projects, which are individually tailored to the subsidiaries in question, and of which some have already been successfully concluded. Additional overall progress was made in the transformation in 2015 as well. For example, the e-commerce business was further expanded: its share of total revenue increased from 30 per cent in the previous year to 36 per cent in 2015.
Beyond its successes in e-commerce, digitalisation is a key strategic topic for TAKKT – thereby issues along the entire value chain are examined. The objective is to specify the opportunities of digitalisation such that they deliver direct benefits for customers, business partners and the company itself. As part of the DYNAMIC initiative, TAKKT has tackled the initial digital topics such as greater digital integration of suppliers. Aside from this, more is being invested in IT systems, thus ensuring that the company also has high-performance technical platforms going forward. Additional options for digitalisation will be aggregated in a digital agenda in 2016 which TAKKT will implement in the coming years.