TÜV SÜD on growth course: Revenue in excess of EUR 2.3 billion
TÜV SÜD has been passionate about people, the environment and technological progress since 1866. The company celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2016, setting new records for revenue, earnings and headcount in its anniversary year. The international technical services group increased its revenue last year to EUR 2.343 billion (2015: EUR 2.222 billion), a rise of approximately 6 per cent; earnings before interest and taxes (adjusted EBIT) rose by more than 6 per cent year-on-year to EUR 202 million (2015: EUR 190 million). The number of people working for the testing and inspection group also increased last year and now amounts to 24,000 worldwide, up more than 1,600 employees compared to the previous year.
A key growth driver for TÜV SÜD last year was once again the company's international expansion, with a crucial role played by TÜV SÜD's acquisition of 100 per cent of the shares in the Spanish ATISAE Group. The group, with a headcount of 1,300 and revenue of EUR 80 million, marks the biggest acquisition in the history of TÜV SÜD, Germany's oldest and also largest TÜV organisation.
ATISAE is one of the leading providers of testing and inspection services on the Iberian peninsula. Offering a broad service portfolio which focuses on mobility and industry, the company is a perfect fit for the TÜV SÜD Group. ATISAE’s wide range of services and nationwide presence in Spain offer TÜV SÜD an excellent basis for rolling out further TÜV SÜD services in Spain.
At the annual results conference of TÜV SÜD AG, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Axel Stepken, Chairman of the Board of Management, emphasised, “By acquiring ATISAE, we have further honed our international profile. Today, TÜV SÜD is a global player. We provide services to customers throughout all continents, and the majority of our total of 24,000 people work at international level. We have already generated two-thirds of our growth outside Germany in the past years, and this trend is set to continue in the coming years.” Stepken noted that today the company earns over 43 per cent of its total revenue at international level outside Germany, and predicted that this percentage will grow further. Stepken stressed that the increasing importance of global business would be reflected more strongly in the group's top management tiers in the future.
Broad success: Growth across all divisions and regions
In his presentation of the annual financial statements, Dr Matthias J. Rapp, Chief Financial Officer of TÜV SÜD AG, underlined that all operational units had once again contributed to TÜV SÜD's success in fiscal 2016: “In the MOBILITY Segment, revenue grew by more than 10 per cent to over EUR 700 million, while the INDUSTRY Segment increased its revenue by just under 2 per cent to over EUR 960 million, and CERTIFICATION recorded a plus in revenue of more than 5 per cent to almost EUR 590 million.” A region-by-region comparison shows that the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) Region once again delivered the strongest growth within the TÜV SÜD Group, increasing its revenue by 7 per cent. The Asia Region also performed very positively, with revenue increasing by 3 per cent from an already very strong prior-year result.
Addressing current business development in 2017, Rapp emphasised, “Our excellent performance relative to market averages last year is continuing in the ongoing financial year of 2017. Revenue and income in the first quarter of 2017 have already shown that TÜV SÜD is economically strong and strategically well positioned, perhaps better than at any time of its 151-year history.
Future-focused investments: Ensuring data security in the digital revolution
To be prepared for the challenges of the future, TÜV SÜD spent a total of EUR 127 million on investments and company acquisitions in 2016. Particularly important decisions were made in the area of digitisation. TÜV SÜD opened a “Center of Digital Services” in late March 2016, and another Center of Digital Excellence will open its doors in Munich in a few weeks’ time.
In addition, just over one year ago, TÜV SÜD brought a Chief Digital Officer on board. Since May 2016, Dr Dirk Schlesinger has been engaged in driving digital transformation and development of data-security products throughout the TÜV SÜD Group, and in complementing the activities of the operational units by strategic development.
Flagship projects concerning industrial IT security and highly automated driving
In some key areas, TÜV SÜD is already ranked among the trailblazers for safety and security in digital transformation. For instance, in 2016, TÜV SÜD was one of the first suppliers worldwide to provide certification according to the IEC 62443 standard in the field of industrial IT security, and presented the relevant certificates to Siemens as its first customer in this field. The standard, which comprises several steps, introduces a basis for informative analyses of the IT security of industrial automation systems and for the establishment of an effective industrial security-management system.
Security is also one of the essential factors in highly automated and autonomous driving. TÜV SÜD works with manufacturers, research facilities and regulatory bodies on various projects in these areas, including the PEGASUS research project by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. Given their experience gathered in the periodic technical inspection and homologation of vehicles, TÜV SÜD’s experts are in high demand as partners in developing testing and certification standards for these future-focused fields.
The comprehensive data gathered in TÜV SÜD tests and inspections, both in periodic technical inspection of vehicles and in inspection of industrial plants, are extremely informative. These inspection results deliver important findings for the design, development and continual improvement of technical components and systems, as well as for implementing predictive servicing and maintenance strategies.
One example is TÜV SÜD's smart platform solution for wind-energy turbines. The platform allows inspection results to be entered in portable data terminals on site at the turbine, and saves and files these data in a clearly organised central database. This gives operators the opportunity to evaluate the data of their turbines and wind farms in a targeted manner by applying various criteria. With an eye to the future, Stepken underlined, “We are also working at full throttle on developing new tools for anonymised use of big data and advanced possibilities of analysis – to ensure the safety of all infrastructure, and thus the wellbeing of society.”
Effective management of cyber attacks: Data security forms the foundation of the digital revolution
In 1866, TÜV SÜD was founded as the first TÜV organisation in Germany. Its mission was to ensure the safety of technological innovations (at that time the steam power of the first industrial revolution). The objective was to make the world a safer place and protect people and the environment from technology-related risks. What applied to our analogue past applies even more to the digital future, which is currently advancing at breakneck pace. Given this, TÜV SÜD's corporate mission continues to apply: to minimise the risks of new technologies, and thereby inspire trust in their use.
Axel Stepken therefore emphasised, “At TÜV SÜD, we will support the digital revolution and contribute to risk minimisation, thereby helping people to accept this new technology and benefit from the digital age.” Our current mission also covers effective protection against data theft and cyber attacks for people, infrastructure and companies. After all, TÜV SÜD's philosophy throughout all industrial revolutions holds true to the present day: ‘Innovations only constitute progress if they are safe.”