The INDUS Year 2022
Looking ahead to the INDUS year 2022, one constant can be discerned despite the continuing uncertainties caused by Corona and the consequences of the Russia-Ukraine war: Sustainability issues are omnipresent. Like a red or better green thread, the topic also ran through the INDUS Group and illustrates once again that sustainable action and profitability go hand in hand.
The INDUS year 2022 started with the disbursement of a second ESG-linked promissory note loan of EUR 56 million. By linking the interest rate on the promissory note loan to INDUS’s ISS ESG rating, it is not only possible to positively influence the interest rate conditions, but also to target investors who are guided by sustainable investment criteria.
Despite the difficult market environment, INDUS was able to communicate an increase in sales and earnings in all segments with the 2021 Annual Report. In addition, the new fourth strategic initiative “Stiving for Sustainability” was anchored in the PARKOUR strategy. We always have our sights set on the goal of climate neutrality by 2045. The Sustainability Development Bank, which was launched at the beginning of the year, provides targeted support for this project. Thus, six portfolio company projects have already been funded this year – three of the six projects are applications for photovoltaic systems. We reported in detail on further funding projects in the second issue of our sustainability magazine SUSTA[IN].
Shortly before the 2022 Annual General Meeting, INDUS acquired the HELD Group, a manufacturer of laser technology systems based in Heusenstamm near Offenbach. The HELD Group’s systems are used, among other things, in the application area of technical textiles, especially in the production of airbag fabric covers, and in metal processing. An exciting future field with growth prospects are the innovative laser welding systems for H2 electrodes.
At the end of May, this year’s Annual General Meeting was again held as a virtual event. Around 370 shareholders and guests followed the event online. All agenda items were passed with a clear majority. Barbara Schick was elected to the Supervisory Board as the successor to Isabella Pfaller, who had resigned her mandate with effect from the end of the 2022 Annual Shareholders’ Meeting. After the closing on 8 April, the new INDUS subsidiary Heiber + Schröder Maschinenbau presented itself with an image film at the Annual General Meeting.
In summer we published our second sustainability magazine SUSTA[IN]. The new magazine highlights the topic of “Sustainable Construction” with, among other things, an article on the corresponding INDUS working group or on the exciting topic of “Circular Economy”.
At the end of October, after many years of restructuring efforts, the series supplier S.M.A. had to apply for the opening of self-administration proceedings in order to continue its restructuring. With the departure of S.M.A. from the INDUS scope of consolidation, the weight of series supply was further reduced. This will significantly advance the strategic focus on future topics.
Focusing the portfolio on future topics is also the focus of the strategy update “PARKOUR perform”, which we communicated in December. The focus is on the three new core segments ENGINEERING, INFRASTRUCTURE and MATERIALS and the portfolio’s focus on industrial technology with clear technology priorities. Two exciting events accompanied the publication of the strategy update. The management teams of the INDUS subsidiaries – our local entrepreneurs – met in Frankfurt for the Entrepreneurs’ Conference. This was followed a few days later by the analysts’ day at the SIMON Group. In Aichhalden, eight financial experts were given a very special insight into the success story and production of the largest INDUS portfolio company.
The INDUS Group is rising to the challenges and responding to changing framework conditions with agility. It is all too easy to forget that it is precisely in difficult times that innovative and sustainable ideas emerge (usually much faster) and new opportunities open up. This happens on a small scale, but also on a large scale through, for example, innovative ideas for conserving resources.
On behalf of my colleagues on the Board of Management and the entire INDUS team, we wish you and your families happy holidays and a good start to the new year.
With best regards,
Your Dr. Johannes Schmidt
Dr.-Ing. Johannes Schmidt
Dr. Johannes Schmidt studied applied mathematics and obtained his doctorate for Dr.-Ing. in the department of mechanics. He has been a member of the Board of Management of Indus since 2006 and has taken over the chairmanship of the Executive Board by July 1, 2018.