Possehl remains on track for success in its anniversary year
- Earnings before taxes almost unchanged at a good level of 151 million euros
- Record dividend to Possehl Foundation
- Corporate portfolio expanded through further acquisitions in growth markets
Lübeck, February 13, 2023 – In the 175th year of its existence, the long-established Lübeck-based company Possehl was able to continue its successful and profitable growth course of the past years, even though the difficult and challenging macroeconomic environment did not leave the company entirely unscathed. “We are very pleased that our highly diversified group of companies has once again performed well under difficult market and environmental conditions and that we can offer our sole shareholder, the non-profit Possehl Foundation, the prospect of a stable dividend level. Our employees worldwide have once again performed outstandingly and made a decisive contribution to the company’s success,” says Dr. Joachim Brenk, Chairman of the Executive Board of Possehl.
According to preliminary figures, the Possehl Group generated consolidated sales of EUR 5.5 billion in the past fiscal year 2022. This is an increase of around 25 % compared to the previous year. On a comparable basis, i.e. excluding precious metal price effects, growth amounts to just under 11 %. At 151 million euros, consolidated earnings before taxes remained virtually stable year-on-year. “Not all our business units succeeded in passing on the significant increases in procurement costs or compensating for them through efficiency gains. In particular, where high order backlogs with fixed prices existed, the increased cost of materials had a negative impact on the earnings in the past year,” explains Brenk. In addition, interruptions in the supply chains, particularly for electronic components and also for individual raw materials, made efficient production more difficult.
Of Possehl’s currently ten operating divisions, three achieved pleasing earnings growth, five remained essentially stable at the previous year’s good level, and two divisions reported a decline, particularly in terms of earnings. “This is not an untypical picture for such a highly diversified group of companies as Possehl, especially in times of external crises, and we see the robustness as confirmation of our chosen
portfolio strategy,” said Brenk.
The good results of the past years were accompanied by a record dividend of 29.7 million euros to the Possehl Foundation in the anniversary year. This money is used by the Possehl Foundation exclusively for charitable purposes and thus benefits all citizens of Lübeck.
“A long company history is only as good as its continuation,” said Brenk on the occasion of the company’s 175th anniversary in May 2022. Accordingly, the Possehl companies again spent a very large amount of 182 million euros on investments in the modernization and expansion of existing locations, digitization, and company acquisitions in the past year. This amount does not include the steadily increasing investments in in-house research and development. In line with Possehl’s tendency to be conservative with regard to accounting, such investments in the future are recognized directly as expenses and are thus included in the current result. Goodwill from acquisitions is also amortized over as short a period as possible. This avoids the need for value adjustments in times of crisis.
On the acquisition side, i.e. in portfolio expansions, Possehl was again increasingly active and at the same time very successful in the past year, after having acted somewhat more cautiously in the corona year 2021. In particular, the Group’s Construction Services, Intralogistics and Identification Solutions divisions were expanded internationally and also in terms of products through further corporate transactions. For example, Possehl has continuously expanded its Identification Solutions division in recent years through targeted acquisitions, and has now become one of Europe’s leading suppliers of industrial identification solutions in this business area with sales of more than 200 million euros.
In addition to strengthening the traditional business areas, the establishment and expansion of the tenth Digital division, which was launched at the beginning of last year, is another focus of investment. Possehl is investing in particular in digital solutions for small and medium-sized industrial companies. For example, Possehl Digital recently acquired a stake in a company specializing in augmented reality solutions that enable customers or field service technicians to connect quickly and efficiently with product experts in the event of maintenance, regardless of location.
Possehl intends to continue its growth course in the current year through further company acquisitions as well as organic growth. “Despite the high economic and geopolitical uncertainties, as a long-term oriented group we will reinvest the profits not distributed to the foundation as dividends and create sustainable value,” says Brenk, looking ahead.
The Possehl Group, which operates worldwide under the leadership of the management holding company L. Possehl & Co. mbH, is a diversified group with currently ten economically independent, decentrally organized business divisions. The Possehl Group comprises L. Possehl & Co. mbH and more than 200 subsidiaries in over 30 countries. In fiscal year 2022, the Group generated preliminary sales of EUR 5.5 billion. Currently, Possehl has around 13,200 employees worldwide. The company was founded in 1847 by Ludwig Possehl as a place retailer for hardware in Lübeck. Since 1919, the non-profit Possehl Foundation has been the sole shareholder. This corporate structure enables the independence of the Possehl Group and forms the foundation for long-term entrepreneurial decisions.
Head of Corporate Communications
L. Possehl & Co. mbH
Phone: +49(0)451 148-223