Messer, the largest privately managed industrial gas specialist, has announced that it has exceeded its financial targets for the business year of 2013.
Messer has posted consolidated sales of €1.027bn and an operating profit (EBITDA) of €231m for the 2013 financial year. In spite of a project-related decline in sales of around €62m, the industrial gases manufacturer has exceeded the financial targets it had set itself for 2013 – including EBITDA of €220m.
In 2013, the Messer Group invested a total of €197m in the expansion of production capacities and distribution channels. Besides further diversification of its business in China, the main focus of investment was the start-up of new gas production facilities in Vietnam, France, Austria and Spain. Investments were thus increased by €13m compared with 2012.
Following strong growth in recent years, economic development is now stagnating in many European countries, and even China is experiencing a slow-down in economic growth.
“We have therefore decided to be even more selective and careful when checking the growth potential and efficiency improvements of investment projects in order to reduce the level of debt and to focus on our existing strengths,” says Stefan Messer, owner and CEO of Messer Group, adding, “One of our strengths is application technology.”
Application technology development focuses on customer processes and procedures, which are optimised through the use of gases in close cooperation with customers and partners. This enables a development tailored to the market requirements as well as rapid implementation in the market. Gases are used in most sectors of industry, in research and science, in metallurgy, medicine and pharmaceutics as well as in food and environmental technology.
“The emerging markets in which we have a presence offer great sales potential, which we would like to develop through expert knowledge transfer,” adds Hans-Gerd Wienands, Chief Financial Officer of Messer Group.
Focus on energy efficiency
Boosting the energy efficiency of our own production facilities and saving energy by improving our customers’ processes are growth factors of Messer. Thus, for example, in the last five years Messer has been able to reduce the electricity consumption of its production facilities in Europe by 16% in relation to gas yield.
Along with its Annual Report 2013, the industrial gases specialist is, for the first time, publishing a Corporate Responsibility Report, which details its activities in the areas of environmental protection, safety, personnel development and social commitment.