Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have started our anniversary year 2016 with revenue of more than € 2.2 billion, EBIT of € 162 million and capital expenditures of € 80 million. TÜV SÜD is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its foundation. As the oldest TÜV organization, the company has been helping protect people, the environment and assets since 1866. The idea of making our world a safer place through our work continues to drive us today, just as it drove our predecessors over the decades. We look back with pride on the long history of TÜV SÜD – a company whose activities have always simultaneously fulfilled a social mission.
What began in the 19th century with just one employee, the engineer Carl Isambert, is a success story that continues right up to today. The TÜV SÜD Group currently has almost 24,000 employees. In more than 50 countries around the world, they leverage their expertise to ensure safety in (almost) all areas of life. In the 150th year of its existence, TÜV SÜD is a global company as well as a valued and indispensable partner for our customers in many industries.
OUR GOAL IN OUR ANNIVERSARY YEAR? TO SHAPE THE WORLD OF TOMORROW.
Over the past decade, the pace of our company’s growth has increased considerably. Revenue, earnings and cash flow have roughly doubled since 2006, as has the number of employees. By expanding business and making acquisitions in Asia, Europe, the Americas and Africa, we have enhanced our international performance. Significantly more than half of our employees now work outside Germany – in Asia alone, we employ around 5,500 people. Our goal is clear: we want to be present with our services in all the relevant markets worldwide and to be among the leading players in our industry in each of these markets.
The acquisition of Spanish company ATISAE in February 2016 is the latest step in our internationalization strategy. The company is one of the most important providers of inspection services on the Iberian Peninsula. TÜV SÜD ATISAE, as the company has been known since February 2016, is particularly strong in the area of vehicle roadworthiness tests and in the conventional industrial testing business. This acquisition, the largest in our company’s history, comes at a time when the Spanish economy is starting to recover following years of crisis and is reporting impressive growth figures. In addition, TÜV SÜD ATISAE can act as a bridgehead for the expansion of our business activities in Latin America.
When 22 visionary entrepreneurs founded the Mannheim-based Association for the Inspection and Insurance of Steam Boilers in 1866, their objective was clear: they wanted to gain control over the state-of-the-art technology of that era, steam power, by means of regular inspections, continuous technological development, and training for operating personnel. In the decades that have followed, the technical inspection associations (TÜV), as they became known from the 1930s onward, have supported and shaped every industrial revolution – in each case, addressing new trends such as electricity, mass mobility, new forms of energy generation, automation and digitization at an early stage and providing services that make them safer. As the 22 founding fathers from Mannheim were aware, new technologies will be accepted by the population at large only if their application does not pose a danger. And that principle holds true to the present day: innovations constitute progress only if they are safe.
We are currently in the midst of a new industrial revolution characterized by terms such as Industry 4.0 or the Internet of Things. Digitization is transforming many industries: connected factories, self-driving cars and smart data are just some of the buzzwords here. As a result, our global economy will undergo a digital revolution in the coming years. The associated changes will be no less dramatic than those that accompanied the transition from manual labor to factory production in the 19th century.
Our task and our stated goal is to play our part in shaping this fourth industrial revolution. This is why, back in 2014, we launched a group-wide digital service program, by means of which we systematically sound out the opportunities offered by new technologies. Around a dozen pilot projects have now been implemented, and several of these have already made the transition to regular projects. Further projects will follow this year. We are setting course for the future – by leveraging a concerted central approach, which also involves the TÜV SÜD Group as a whole.
INNOVATIONS CONSTITUTE PROGRESS ONLY IF THEY ARE SAFE.
To strengthen our digital profile, we are investing heavily in enhancing our IT expertise. In the first quarter of 2016, dedicated Centers of Excellence specializing in digitization were established in Singapore and Munich. In addition to supporting our customers in all matters relating to digitization, these units, which will see a substantial increase in personnel during the coming months, also provide impetus and act as coordinators for the entire TÜV SÜD Group.
We are celebrating our anniversary year 2016 on a solid foundation comprising decades of experience, but with a firm focus on the future. We are not looking back. Rather, we are using our anniversary as an opportunity to kick off wide-ranging dialogue with our employees and customers on the future of TÜV SÜD – through initiatives including numerous specialist events and “Future Talks” around the globe.
“150 years of inspiring trust” – that’s the motto of our anniversary year. Our goal is to work hand in hand with our customers, our employees and the public at large to shape the world of tomorrow. Thank you for continuing to place your trust in us going forward.
Munich, April 8, 2016
The Board of Management of TÜV SÜD AG