Letter of the Chief Executive Officer
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Lekkerland Group is moving into the future. We are currently on an exciting and also challenging journey. As we travel along our route, we have our eyes fixed on a clear target. Lekkerland wants to be the preferred partner for providers of on-the-go consumption and make our customers successful with every new day. Our “Convenience 2020” strategy forms the platform for achieving this objective.
Responsible for strategy, human resources (HR) and communications, as well as for the management of all national companies in the Lekkerland Group
In 2015, the entire Group focused on the roll-out of the strategy and we can now look back on a gratifying year. Overall, we have achieved a good result. We increased sales to 12.5 billion euros and we continued to increase the gross margin. At the same time, we further optimised our cost structure, after adjustment by one-off effects. The transformation programme in Germany is yielding the first positive effects here. At 66.5 million euros, the result from operations before the financial result is 24 percent above the year-earlier result.
During the year under review, we consistently expanded our customer relations. One example of this is acquiring as a customer the first large international Quick Service Restaurant chain in Germany. We were also able to extend important contracts in all national companies or acquire interesting new customers. In Switzerland, we achieve a significant expansion of our customer base with the takeover of a competitor that has been initiated in 2015.
In 2015, Lekkerland concentrated on expanding the food service business and enthused customers with new concepts and services. The “360-degree fitness test” for shops is one such service and improved functionalities in web shops are another. Our SO/OK own-brand concept or the innovative electronic value products are just a few further examples. The challenges facing our customers always form the starting point for our action and this continues to remain the case.
The realignment of Lekkerland is tangible in all areas of the company. Internal processes are on the test stand just as much as services and offerings. Last year, Lekkerland therefore continued to invest in areas like logistics and made intensive preparations for the roll-out of the uniform business and IT processes across the Group. Furthermore, the organisational prerequisites were created for assisting Lekkerland in making even better use of the opportunities presented by changes in the marketplace and increasing digitisation. A new management structure in Germany will also allow us to act even more flexibly and also faster.
Last year, the Lekkerland Group was successful in achieving further development of its business activities. This demonstrates that the projects and measures derived from our strategy are having an impact. We are proud of our achievements and we salute our employees, who have mastered numerous challenges that we have been presented with in the course of our transformation process. In the name of the entire Board of Management, I would like to express our warmest thanks to them for their dedication and their fantastic commitment.
What are the next steps in the new business year? Lekkerland is going to consistently pursue the journey of transformation in 2016. We are committed to sustainable growth with simultaneous cost reductions. Our activity is focused on our customers. We have introduced essential measures in each national company in order to ensure that these customers can be provided with optimum support quickly and be well looked after in the future. In concrete terms, this means that in 2016 the Group can look forward to a modest increase in sales and gross profit by comparison with the year under review. EBITDA and EBIT are expected to undergo further improvement in the wake of the transformation programmes that have been initiated.
Lekkerland achieved a great deal in 2015. We have made good progress in striving to achieve our vision and we now join together with our employees, customers and business partners in looking to the future with confidence.
Michael Hoffmann (CEO) | Dr. Edgar C. Lange (CFO) | Patrick Steppe (CSO) | Kay Schiebur (CSCO)