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DEKRA Continues to Grow

STUTTGART, Germany, December 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Despite economic decline in important markets:

  • Revenues expected to increase by more than 7% to €2.15 billion
  • German automotive and industrial business under one roof
  • Number of employees increased by 1,300 to 28,600

After the record year in 2011, the globally operating testing group DEKRA is continuing to grow in 2012. Revenues are expected to rise by more than 7% to €2.15 billion. "DEKRA remains on course, even though the economic environment in some important markets, such as France, has worsened considerably," DEKRA CEO Stefan Kölbl told journalists in Stuttgart on Thursday. DEKRA now generates more than 35% of its revenues outside of Germany. As part of the continued expansion of its international business, the testing group has strengthened its structures beyond the home market of Germany in Europe and in the growth markets America and China. "In centres of business such as Paris, Milan, Atlanta, Sao Paulo and Shanghai, regional and country officers are now operating in order to offer our clients the entire range of DEKRA services concentrated from one source," says Kölbl. Due to the international presence, the number of employees worldwide has increased by around 1,300 to approximately 28,600.

The focus of the 2012 financial year was the vigorous implementation of the strategic programme <<DEKRA 2015>>. The initiatives focused on efficient processes and structures and steady growth. With the Global Business Excellence (GLOBEX) project, DEKRA is establishing integrated IT processes Group-wide based on SAP to achieve greater data transparency from order entry to reporting. GLOBEX was piloted in France, with further countries to follow.

The strategy involves customer-focused structures enabling easy access to DEKRA's wide range of services all from one source. For this reason, in 2012 the Group opened further "DEKRA Houses" in Bratislava, Hamburg and Prague where DEKRA expertise from the various Business Units is bundled. The integration of the German industrial testing services into the organisational structure of DEKRA Automobil GmbH from January 2013 also holds large potential.

As one of the world's largest testing organisations, DEKRA continues to be actively involved in global market consolidation. This year, DEKRA has already achieved 10 acquisitions, which strengthened considerably the Group's global presence in the USA, Australia, Singapore, India, Sweden and Denmark. Today, DEKRA experts are active in more than 50 countries worldwide.

Core automotive business continues to grow

In DEKRA's core business, automotive services, revenues have grown by roughly 4% to approximately €1.2 billion this year. The world's largest testing organisation for vehicles thus defended its position with approximately 22 million inspections per year in an environment marked by fierce competition both nationally and internationally. The €885 million turnover of DEKRA Automobil GmbH has again made a key contribution to the overall success of the Group. With a market share of almost 34%, DEKRA Automobil remains the market leader in Germany for testing and inspection as well as in the area of expert appraisals with approximately 25% of the market. In the 2012 financial year, DEKRA's expertise in the field of automotive technology and safety was recognized by bodies such as the Japanese road traffic authorities. As the only provider in Germany, DEKRA is authorised to certify the passive safety of vehicles for the Japanese market.

Preferred partner in electromobility

Since the start of the year, the Electromobility Competence Centre, with more than 20 employees, now coordinates all electromobility-related projects across the Group, including the fields of homologation, product safety, standards, certification und training. DEKRA is thus a sought-after industrial partner. For example, a series of fire tests conducted by DEKRA in collaboration with an automotive manufacturer this year showed that in the event of a fire, electric and hybrid cars containing lithium-ion traction batteries are at least as safe as conventionally-powered vehicles.

DEKRA Automotive Solutions on course for success

DEKRA Automotive Solutions, renamed from AutoContact as part of a joint brand positioning at the beginning of April, remains on course for success as the European market leader in used car management despite difficult markets, such as France and Southern Europe. Along with the 14 European countries, the company started to operate in the USA, Brazil and China. Its customers include renowned vehicle manufacturers, leasing companies, vehicle rental operators and automotive dealers. With its wide range of services, DEKRA Automotive Solutions covers the entire B2B used car lifecycle.

As a long-term partner for the insurance industry, DEKRA intends to tap into markets beyond the automotive sector in the future. To further develop business in damage management after disasters, DEKRA has founded a new company on the Dutch Antillean island Curacao: DEKRA Caribbean. The company will focus particularly on the adjustment of damages caused by hurricanes.

Industrial testing services with strong growth

The Business Unit DEKRA Industrial is the company's largest strategic growth area. With a dynamic increase in revenues of 15% to a total of approximately €630 million, the on-going growth curve has continued to rise in 2012. Besides strong organic growth, this success was also supported by the further expansion of the international market position through strategic acquisitions. Of the total of 10 acquisitions, five took place in the business with industrial testing in order to tap into new areas of expertise and gain new customers.

The acquisitions Incos and W. Hofmann strengthen the newly created DEKRA service unit "Material Testing and Inspection", in which the worldwide material testing activities of DEKRA are bundled. Both companies specialise in the non-destructive testing of materials. With radiographic and ultrasonic procedures, parts such as pipes and weld seams can be tested reliably and quickly for cracks and tightness. Precisely planned and carried out testing and inspection services in large-scale plants of the oil and gas industry reduce costly downtime and save the operators millions.

Premium services of DEKRA Insight

Also active in the processing industry is the Californian company Behavioral Science Technology Inc. (BST), acquired at the beginning of 2012. The international consulting firm focuses on helping companies from the chemical, oil and gas industries to establish a no-compromise safety culture from top management to labourers. In the new DEKRA Insight Group, the expert organisation will bundle its expertise in such premium consulting services. As well as the British company Chilworth Global, a specialist in explosion protection and process safety services with branches worldwide, the group also includes the German company DEKRA Consulting GmbH, which offers consulting services in the areas of sustainability management and energy efficiency.

DEKRA asserts its position in the temporary job market

As an important partner for training and temporary employment for companies and institutions, the Business Unit DEKRA Personnel increased revenues by 2% in 2012 to €340 million. In temporary employment with approximately 1,500 active clients, the DEKRA Arbeit Group has now reached preferred supplier status with 125 customers and is involved in so-called on-site management. That means a DEKRA employee deals with the organisation of the temporary workers directly on site at the customer. In 2012, Airbus, Schmitz-Cargobull and Henkel, for example, were three well-known companies with which new framework agreements were concluded. Nevertheless, fears over the economy and the lack of qualified temporary workers have ended the boom of the previous years. The equal pay regulation and the introduction of industry surcharges as of 1 November 2012 have also contributed to this slowdown. "As a result of the current circumstances, temporary employment as an important instrument of flexibility is becoming increasingly less attractive," says Kölbl.

Training and qualification: growth with corporate clients

The business with corporate clients is continuing to grow in importance at the DEKRA Akademie Group. "Thanks to new qualification opportunities, we have achieved considerable growth here," said Kölbl. An example is the consulting and qualification business focusing on new EU regulations for the aviation industry. DEKRA has positioned itself accordingly with measures such as e-learning programmes. DEKRA helps to establish high safety standards for the security screening of passengers and crew members. In addition, starting in 2013, DEKRA will be an independent testing centre for air cargo. The business generated through publicly subsidised training continues to decline as a result of less public spending by the Federal Employment Agency.

Good opportunities for further growth in 2013

Following a further successful year in 2012, DEKRA is also confident about 2013, even though the economic and regulatory conditions in many markets are challenging. "In the last 12 months, we have worked intensively on setting the stage for further growth," said Kölbl. "For this reason, we are in an outstanding position to achieve further growth on the basis not only of our own efforts but also through acquisitions." In future acquisitions, DEKRA will continue to focus on financially successful companies that fit our corporate culture and help DEKRA to further expand its position and its range of services in foreign target markets.

Presse & Information
Handwerkstraße 15
D-70565 Stuttgart
Contact: Dr Torsten Knödler
Tel: +49-(0)711-78-61-20-75
Fax: +49-(0)711-78-61-27-00
 [email protected]

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