Good trip despite rough sea
On February 20, 2020, we published the still unaudited preliminary results of the INDUS Group for the past financial year 2019. All of our approximately 200 subsidiaries and sub-subsidiaries completed their financial statements on time by the end of January and the group accounting team was able to prepare the consolidated financial statements from the individual results on time as well. In addition to financial data, we are increasingly collecting sustainability data from our portfolio companies in order to better manage our efforts in terms of sustainability and climate protection and to be able to map them in the context of our reporting.
Overall, we have experienced a very challenging 2019, a year marked by numerous external influences and upheavals. In particular, the development in the Automotive Technology segment has been a major challenge for us. For me as the (Finance) Board of Management of the INDUS Group, this was a busy time, as real events must be properly reflected in financial reporting. This is also a challenge in volatile times, as numerous assumptions have to be made, e.g. on future developments, in order to assess the value of the assets recognised in the balance sheet.
The preliminary figures for 2019 are no reason to cheer, but they are good reason to pause for a moment and appreciate the positive aspects: Despite significant declines in the problematic Automotive Technology segment, the INDUS Group’s portfolio companies succeeded in increasing their sales to EUR 1.74 billion. Our operating result before impairments slightly exceeded the forecast, and even after impairments, we are within the forecast corridor at EUR 118 million. It is true that we had to adjust the forecasts last year. It is also true, however, that we continued to fully comply with the guidelines we had set for the financial stability of the Group. The operating earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) are the highest in the history of INDUS, and the operating cash flow is very satisfactory.
We are particularly pleased with the Construction/Infrastructure and Engineering segments, and Medical Engineering/Life Science is also developing very well. Behind this is a lot of excellent work from our portfolio companies, which we can be proud of. We are facing up to the challenges in Automotive Technology segment and will continue to pursue this path with great determination. The goal is clear: we want to continue to grow and achieve our corporate success through a sustainable vision: To generate profits for our shareholders in an economically, socially and ecologically sustainable manner.
I am therefore confident and hope that in the medium term we will talk less about what is holding us back and more about what distinguishes and advances us.
And I look forward to this with you.
In that sense,
Yours Rudolf Weichert
Rudolf Weichert studied economics and was formerly a certified public accountant and tax consultant. He has been a member of the Board of Management of INDUS Holding AG since June 2012 and is responsible for Finance.