Cologne, Germany, 20-1-2014 — /EuropaWire/ — According to an initial estimate, TÜV Rheinland achieved record revenues of over €1.6 billion in 2013, continuing its growth both on the German domestic market and at international level. Adjusted to currency fluctuation, the global testing service provider increased its revenues by around 7% compared with 2012. The number of employees hit a new all-time high of more than 18,000 worldwide. Overall, TÜV Rheinland created more than 800 new jobs throughout the Group in 2013, excluding acquisitions. Consolidated net earnings for 2013 will be up on the strong result of the previous year (2012: €113 million).
Dr. Manfred Bayerlein, CEO of TÜV Rheinland AG, said: “We had to contend with challenging market development in various regions of the world and in individual branches of industry. Even so, the financial year went very well for us. We outperformed the industry average in terms of growth, and all regions and business streams of our company were in the black.”
In particular, Germany – the largest region – posted strong growth of 7%, matching the growth of international business for the first time in several years. The ambitious investment program of the testing service provider is also to be continued, confirmed Dr. Bayerlein: “Our aim is to become the best sustainable self-financed and independent testing service provider in the world. That’s why we again invested around €85 million in 2013 in items such as new testing capacity and company locations.”
Investment at the previous year’s level
Investment is channeled into laboratories and buildings as well as business expansion. New laboratory capacity in the field of electrical products and for testing of harmful substances and textiles was created in China in 2013. A laboratory center for testing of harmful substances was opened in India, while new laboratories focusing on battery and storage technologies were opened in Japan and in Nuremberg (Germany). The largest individual investment relates to the Cologne location. Around €20 million is being spent on a new building with space for 600 staff at TÜV Rheinland Business Park and construction of an innovative power center. Through a combined heat and power unit and by utilizing waste heat, this power center is intended to meet the energy needs of the new building, the multi-story building and all other buildings. Construction of the new 11,000 square-meter office building, which will also house a cafeteria and – for the first time ever – a company day-care center started at TÜV Rheinland Business Park in October 2013.
IT security: Now in the top three worldwide
TÜV Rheinland’s growth in 2013 partly resulted from eight targeted acquisitions in strategic growth areas. Two major acquisitions of IT companies have been completed in the last few days. At the beginning of January 2014, TÜV Rheinland purchased the US IT specialist OpenSky Corporation, based in the state of Connecticut (www.openskycorp.com ). “The USA is the world’s largest market for IT security. We expect cyber security investment there to total more than €80 billion in the next ten years alone. With OpenSky, we have established an important toehold in this market,” explained Dr. Bayerlein. Open Sky was founded in 2007 and now has 130 employees, who deal with all of network and computer system security aspects. Through the acquisition and integration of Munich-based Secaron AG on January 1, 2014, TÜV Rheinland has taken another step towards becoming the leading independent information security provider on the German market. Secaron was founded in 2000 and has 50 employees. This takes the number of information security specialists working under the TÜV Rheinland umbrella to 270, generating revenues of around €60 million per year. Dr. Bayerlein said: “Consequently, TÜV Rheinland is one of the three largest independent providers in the world in this market. We now have a clear unique selling point within our industry. IT has penetrated all relevant areas of business and life. That can only mean that IT security is an increasingly critical topic for business and consumers.”
Business expansion in mobility and industrial testing
TÜV Rheinland has also made further acquisitions in the Mobility division, focusing on nationwide expansion of its vehicle testing business through purchases in southern Germany in particular. In addition, TÜV Rheinland has stepped up its involvement in the classic car business and inspection of high-quality classic cars with the integration of the specialist testing company Kleofaktum. TÜV Rheinland also continued its investment in expanding its expertise in non-destructive testing of industrial plants. In Hungary, Minell Quality Control and Services has been purchased. The company provides services in the field of non-destructive testing for industrial customers, primarily in the energy sector. Minell was founded in 1994 and has 60 employees.
TÜV Rheinland systematically invests in new products and services. One example is “Check your App”, where applications of any kind for smartphones or other terminal devices are checked in terms of their handling of user data. Hundreds of apps have already been tested in the last three months, with a further 500 expected to be checked this year. This has shown that when it comes to apps, data theft is not the exception, but the rule. Around 40% of all apps read data from smartphones and tablets despite this being non-essential to operation, and without the user’s knowledge or consent.
Recovery expected in the euro zone and worldwide
TÜV Rheinland expects a further recovery in business in the euro zone this year, and the testing service provider envisages above-average growth for Germany, China and the USA. Dr. Manfred Bayerlein says: “We will continue to pursue our growth strategy in 2014. Our target for 2017 is revenues of €2.7 billion with around 32,000 employees worldwide.” Key growth areas are industrial business and the energy sector, product testing and the Mobility division.
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