The Messer Group has released its 2017 full year financial results reporting “higher sales, greater profit and lower energy consumption”.
The industrial gas corporation achieved consolidated sales of €1.2bn, compared to €1.15bn in 2016, and an operating profit of €290m. The figure amounted to €249m the previous year.
“Despite our forecast, this helped us to achieve a significant increase in sales of 7.5% compared with the 2016 financial year. The downturn in EBITDA projected for 2017 also did not materialise and instead actually increased by more than 16% year-over-year. This is chiefly the result of business performance in China that far exceeded our expectations”, CEO Stefan Messer pointed out.
Investments totalled to around €144m. Dr. Hans-Gerd Wienands, Chief Financial Officer of the Messer Group, explained, “Due to the lower capital expenditures and the improved results, we were able to make greater reductions than originally planned in our overall net debt. This way, we created a financial basis with which to secure our company in the long term with additional investments in our future.”
Key performance indicators on energy consumption and safety significantly improved
‘Creating Values. Living Values’ is the title of the certified sustainability report by the Bad Soden based Messer Group. Each year since 2014, Messer has published a CSR report that voluntarily discloses its key performance indicators in the areas of environmental and climate protection, safety, social commitment, sustainable growth, and employee and customer orientation. The report is subject to audit by the international Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Global Compact.
The Messer Group’s objective is to reduce the specific energy consumption of its production facilities for air gases by 0.5% a year from 2010 to 2020. The company aims to achieve this through better capacity utilisation, continuous investment in even more efficient facilities and targeted energy-efficiency projects. Within the Messer organisation, the Global Energy Officer has been responsible for energy management in the Messer organisation, a position created in 2014. Compared to the previous year, Messer reduced its specific energy consumption by 1.7% in 2017 and is thus clearly ahead of its envisioned target.
The number of industrial accidents reported with loss of working hours fell sharply from 25 (2016) to 15 in 2017. The rate of loss of employee working time per million hours worked (accident frequency rate) fell by 1 to 1.4. The number of employee working days lost (industrial accident severity rate) per million hours worked also fell in 2017, from 77.9 to 45.4. In 2017, there were 37 reportable industrial accidents, compared to 88 the previous year.
Messer continued, “The term ‘value’ can be, and is meant to be, understood in different ways. For Messer, it has two central meanings: First, as an economic value, and secondly as a guideline to our entrepreneurial action. Combining the two – sustainable growth and value-oriented action – is certainly an art.”