Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Business Partners,
A very successful collaboration with, and support of, our customers and business partners characterized the past year. Our technological focus on the future, our creation of innovative ecosystems, and our entrepreneurial thriving and responsible approach to the work we do were key for this success. Supporting our customers’ business development plus to reliably and sustainably strenghen their entrepreneurial and economic performance were – as always – our motivation.
This is how we are fulfilling our purpose and guiding principle: "Körber — the home for entrepreneurs" now and in the future. Moreover, our purpose applies equally for our customers, business partners, and employees.
With this clear orientation our employees continued to transform a multitude of ideas and requirements into innovative products, solutions, and services speedily via collaborating with our customers, business partners once again in 2019. All these innovations supported our customers along their path to success in their markets. This Annual Report provides you with a number of examples.
One focus was on enhancing our customers’ overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). Thanks to our leading industrial and process knowledge, as well as our wide-ranging expertise in the areas of software and digital processes, we developed smart solutions such as the Smooth Operator, the Tissue Performance Center, and Lion in close collaboration with our customers and business partners. This is how we were able to strengthen our customers’ economic performance and process stability. Our Business Area Supply Chain - for instances - utilizes more and more novel robotics applications to underpin its innovative power and market leadership.
Operating entrepreneurially and responsibly includes promoting sustainability. We continued to develop innovative solutions for our customers in the pharma and tissue industries in 2019. Solutions that enable them to offer high quality plastic-free packaging materials — while expanding their environmental and economic advantages. An outstanding example of our entrepreneurial spirit and innovative strength is also the Hauni Straw Maker (HSM), with which the Körber Business Area Tobacco is entering an entirely new market. The HSM produces plastic-free drinking straws for the food industry, saving resources and fulfilling completely new performance parameters.
For the benefit our customers, we continued to strengthen our innovative power, to broaden our entrepreneurial expertise, and to expand our regional presence through further acquisitions in 2019. For example, our long-term equity investments in the Cohesio Group and Otimis – now part of our Business Area Supply Chain - add to our expertise in the important future-oriented technologies supply chain software and robotics applications, while they also expand our presence in the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America. Through the acquisition of Roll-Tec, we reinforced our technology expertise and expanded our product range in the Business Area Tissue, especially for the markets in North and South America. Körber — the home for entrepreneurs!
After the divestment of the Business Areas Automation and Machine Tools in 2018, the Körber Group is now active in five Business Areas: Digital, Pharma, Supply Chain, Tissue, and Tobacco. The key figures for the past fiscal year clearly reflect this portfolio change. They also reflect the general economic downturn in 2019, the changes in the tobacco industry, and our wide-ranging internal measures aiming at strengthening us structurally as well as on our future-focused further development. Körber achieved sales of €2,019 million, incoming orders amounting to €1,787 million, and an operative EBITA of €27 million.
Special thanks goes to our employees and managers, who actively contributed to shaping the success of our customers and our Group through their strong commitment, tremendous innovative strength, and sense of entrepreneurial responsibility once again over the past year.
I would like to sincerely thank our customers and partners, both personally and on behalf of the entire Group Executive Board and all of our employees, for the trust you have placed in us and for our very successful collaborations. We appreciate your openness and your willingness to strike out in new directions and to develop new solutions in cooperation with us.
We look forward to continuing these successful advancements with you in the future and to continuing to making a significant contribution to your business success.
I would also like to emphasize that Körber will continue to support you — especially during these particularly challenging times — as a stable, reliable, and innovative partner.
Hamburg, April 2020
Chairman of the Group Executive Board of Körber AG