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Veb Sadržaj Prikaz
Veb Sadržaj Prikaz

Diana Buss

Corporate Communications

Senior Vice President Communications

+49 2151 7811-251

+49 2151 7811-598

diana.buss@messergroup.com

Veb Sadržaj Prikaz

The year 2017

The term “values” can and should be understood in different ways. For Messer, it has two key meanings.

On the one hand, there is economic value – that which can be documented with figures and balance sheets. Based on the 2017 financial year, Messer has fully succeeded in creating values: our most important key indicators are above those of the previous year – and also significantly above our own expectations.

At the same time, values determine our business actions. By 2005, we had already formulated, as part of our Mission Statement, values that are still valid. Today we can say that they are truly lived, day in and day out. And that is precisely the point.

Linking both together – sustainable growth and value-based action – is truly an art. The present report touches on this aspect as well: hand-drawn graphics introduce the various topics and also represent a value in their own way.

Corporate Responsibility Report and Management Report of the Messer Group GmbH 2017
PDF (4,5MB)
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The year 2016

The economic environment was virtually unchanged for the Messer Group in 2016. Global economic growth (3.1 percent) was in line with the previous year’s level. The industrialised economies in particular lagged behind expectations, reporting lower economic growth (1.7 percent) than they had the previous year (2.1 percent). High levels of sovereign debt, high unemployment and low growth in productivity were a burden on the economies of many industrialised countries.

The annual balance sheet for the emerging and developing economies was more favourable, achieving growth of 4.1 percent in spite of continued broad regional differences. Economically speaking, the states in Central and South America continued to experience difficulty getting back on their feet; the economic situation remained difficult in Central and Eastern Europe. On the other hand, notable rates of growth were seen in India (6.8 percent), which benefited from low energy prices and rising real wages, and in the economies of Asia (where growth averaged 6.4 percent). Important trends continued in the People’s Republic of China: government economic policies favoured domestic demand and the services sector. Economic growth (6.7 percent) remained stable and was still high.

Favourable terms for financing and a weak euro helped the eurozone cautiously increase its economic output (1.7 percent). The recession had been overcome, and yet, in too many countries, considerable levels of public and private debt, low levels of investment and political uncertainties – including the outcomes of several elections and the consequences of ‘Brexit’ – stood in the way of higher growth.

The Institute for the World Economy, located in Kiel, succinctly summed up the economic trend in the Federal Republic of Germany: ‘The German economy remains on track towards expansion in a turbulent international environment’. Following a brief period of slack in the summer, the order books for industry filled up again significantly. Prominent among the winners were companies offering intermediate and capital goods. Capacity utilisation in the manufacturing sectors was slightly above average. The construction industry (and housing construction in particular) experienced a strong boom. In addition, high levels of household consumption once again bolstered the German economy, which experienced 1.9 percent real growth in GDP.

CSR Report and Management Report of the Messer Group GmbH 2016
PDF (5,4MB)
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The year 2015

The global economy never really gathered steam in 2015 and expanded moderately at best. Growth in global gross domestic product stood at 3 percent – a growth figure lower than any seen since the crisis year of 2009. Among the industrialised nations, the USA still showed noticeable growth (around 2.9 percent); sustained momentum for the Japanese economy, on the other hand, was lacking (+1.1 percent). Development in the emerging economies was subdued as well. The recession intensified in Latin America, Brazil and Russia. In China, which is particularly important for Messer, the long period of stormy growth subsided.

The ‘Middle Kingdom’ had excess capacity to contend with in (heavy) industry, numerous companies with high levels of debt, and a weak domestic economy. At 5.9 percent, industrial production grew at a slower pace than it had since the economic and financial crisis began. On the other hand, the service sector rose sharply by 8.3 percent. All in all, Chinese GDP grew by 6.9 percent – a value still high by international standards and reflective of expectations of that country’s political leaders. Economic policy had committed itself to a process of transformation that specifically promoted service sectors and was geared towards a future relying less on spectacular and more on continuously stable, sustainable growth.

‘Moderate’ was also a fitting term for economic experts’ characterisation of economic trends in the eurozone. Here, low interest rates and oil prices, together with the relatively low external value of the euro, provided growth of 1.5 percent. Economic performance was encouraging in countries such as Spain and Ireland, where the economic recovery progressed in large strides. The French economy, on the other hand, lacked momentum; Italy's economic output failed to develop at the expected pace; and the economies of Greece, Croatia and Latvia found themselves in a fragile state.

The bottom line for the economy in the Federal Republic of Germany was favourable. Price-adjusted GDP here was 1.8 percent higher on the year. The most important pillar for the upswing was household consumption, fuelled by favourable developments in the labour market, high growth in employment and rising wages. Other factors contributing to overall economic growth included the construction industry, a lively upturn in the services sector and brisk foreign trade.

Corporate Responsibility Report and Management Report of the Messer Group GmbH 2015
PDF (6MB)
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The year 2014

Neither feast nor famine – even though some of the hopes for an above-average global economic trend went unfulfilled, the global economy still remained on a slight upswing. Real gross domestic product rose by 3.4 per cent worldwide. Among the developed countries, which had average growth of 1.4 per cent (2013: + 1.3%), the United States stood out with 2.4 per cent. Remarkable growth rates in gross domestic product were reported in India (+ 7.2 per cent) and the Sub-Saharan countries of Africa (+ 5.5 per cent).

Of particular interest to Messer was the trend seen in the Chinese economy, which, with growth of 7.4 per cent, registered development that was less pronounced than expected. Nonetheless, thanks to numerous state projects to expand its infrastructure and high domestic demand, China remained one of the mainstays of the global economy.

The crisis-hit economies of the Eurozone managed to leave the slump of the previous two years behind them. The low price of petroleum, cuts in interest rate by the European Central Bank and a low exchange rate against the US dollar led to growth of 0.9 per cent. The trend for the German economy was above-average (+ 1.6 per cent) and also benefited from strong domestic demand. The trend for key industries was varied. Electrical engineering (+ 12.7%) and motor vehicle construction (+ 10.5%) flourished, while the chemical industry (- 1.1%) was hard-hit by declining export figures to Russia.

Against a disparate overall global economic environment, revenue for the Messer Group – against even its own expectations – increased by just two per cent to around EUR 1.05 billion, yet EBITDA increased by four per cent to EUR 241 million.

Annual report 2014 (only available in English)
PDF (5,9MB)
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The year 2013

At 3.0 per cent, growth in global gross domestic product was rather modest again in 2013 and lagged behind the previous year's figure. Once again, an important contribution to the slight upturn in the global economy came from the emerging and developing economies (5.1 per cent real growth). Still, the leading regions of Asia could not regain the impressive growth figures of the past. In the People’s Republic of China, economic growth of (still considerable) 7.7 per cent stood at its lowest rate since 1999.

The economic situation in the industrialised countries around the world remained difficult. In the Eurozone, as before, the main concern remained the financial and budgetary crisis. Debt levels remained high for nearly all the states, and public and private investment was subdued. As a result, economic output in the Eurozone declined by 0.5 per cent.

The recession in the countries of the Eurozone affected the German economy as well. Its key industries, however, had difficulty staying afloat. Total revenue in the electrical sector fell by 2.1 per cent, and in mechanical engineering the real production was 1.5 per cent lower. A slight year-over-year increase was seen in the chemical-pharmaceutical industry (+2.0 per cent) and in the automotive industry (+ 1.3 per cent). After all was said and done, the German economy came away relatively unscathed, registering a modest increase in gross domestic product (+ 0.5 per cent).

The subdued global economic trend, slightly declining growth in some of the emerging economies of Asia, the euro crisis and the rather weak performance of European economies did not pass by the Messer Group without a trace. Revenue fell by around 5.7 per cent to EUR 1.03 billion; operating profit (EUR 231 million) was also slightly lower yet still surpassed the firm's own expectations at the beginning of the year.

Annual report 2013
PDF (2,8MB)
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The year 2012

Over the course of the year, global economic development was subject to strong fluctuations that pushed global gross domestic product (+ 3.2 per cent) down below the previous year's figure. Beginning in the second quarter, the economy weakened in many regions. The Eurozone proved the lead ‘problem child’ of this scenario. The crisis of sovereign debt intensified, budget cuts and an unfavourable investment climate placed a burden on many of the economies of Europe. Gross domestic product in the 17 countries of the Eurozone fell by 0.6 per cent compared to 2011. The poor economic situation was then projected back onto the entire global economy. Low demand from Europe had a negative effect on economic development in China and Japan, among others.

Although industry in Germany also had the consequences of the economic downturn to contend with, the German economy held steady overall. The annual economic report of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology saw the German economy in a robust situation that had noticeably ebbed over the last quarter: ‘The competitiveness of the German economy is high, and despite increasing pressures and risks at home and abroad, German economic growth is robust. Employment levels and prosperity in Germany have steadily risen over the past years. Again in 2012, Germany – in contrast to the Eurozone as a whole – reported considerable growth in the amount of 0.7 per cent. Over the course of the year, however, economic momentum continuously slackened.’ As ‘central causes for the weak end of the year’, the opinion identified, ‘in addition to a significant slowdown in the global economy, particularly the uncertainty among market participants as a result of high levels of debt in the industrialised countries’ that had, ‘from the beginning of the year, had a massive impact on the German economy's willingness to invest’.

Particularly in Germany, the trend for the Messer Group was better than average and revealed a 14-per cent increase in revenue. Added to this were sustained good rates of growth in China, Vietnam, Peru and Turkey, which permitted the group of companies to increase overall revenue compared with 2011 by a full EUR 60 million.

Annual report 2012
PDF (3,1MB)
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The year 2011

The global economy was still in good shape in numerous groups of countries, but then the momentum for growth in nearly all of the economic regions was lost. Economic stakeholders everywhere were called upon once more to bear more of the risks for the global economy. With the sovereign debt crisis intensified in the US and in the Eurozone, and with uncertainty among investors and consumers alike, growth in worldwide real gross domestic product stood at 3.9 per cent and was lower than experts had forecast. Among the emerging and developing countries (+ 6.2 per cent growth in economic output), the sub-Saharan countries, India and China all continued to rank among the world's boom regions. However, the Chinese economy gradually lost momentum compared to previous years. Industrial production and exports declined. Economic development in the industrialised countries was significantly more modest, and with growth of 1.6 per cent these economies fell short of the previous year's growth (+ 3.2 per cent).

In the Eurozone, strict austerity policies in highly indebted countries such as Greece, Portugal and Spain put a damper on the economy. The economic growth seen in 2010, the year of consolidation, (+ 1.9 per cent) was not achieved (+ 1.5 per cent). The Federal Republic of Germany remained the locomotive for economic development within the Eurozone. During the first two quarters in particular, the German economy recovered further from the effects of the financial and economic crisis in 2008/09, sustained by high demand for exports and a steady domestic demand, and by year’s end it had registered 3.0 per cent growth in gross domestic product. All sectors contributed to the 10.9-per cent revenue growth experienced by German industry. Outstanding gains were recorded in mechanical engineering (+ 15.0 per cent), metal production (+ 14.7 per cent) and in motor-vehicle construction (+ 10.8 per cent).

By the 2011 financial year, not much of the crisis could be felt at the Messer Group, either. Excellent business in Germany, in France, in Switzerland and especially in South-Eastern Europe and China, pushed overall revenue for the Messer Group beyond the EUR 1 billion mark for the first time (EBITDA totalled to EUR 241 million).
Annual report 2011
PDF (3MB)
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The year 2010

Things always seem to happen when you least expect them. The global economy recovered much more quickly than expected from the global shock of 2008/09. World production (+ 4.9 per cent) and world trade (+ 12.3 per cent) increased noticeably and already returned to values on an order of magnitude of those seen prior to the severe slump in the autumn of 2008. There were disparities, though, in the rates of growth and in the contribution to economic recovery by the various groups of countries. In addition to an expansive monetary and fiscal policy in many countries, it was high demand in the emerging markets that, with an average increase of 7.6 per cent of GNP, contributed significantly to global economic recovery (median growth in GDP worldwide was around 5.3 per cent). The emerging markets in South America and Southeast Asia were particularly steadfast in remaining on course. The People's Republic of China remained the flagship in Asia (+ 10.3 per cent) stoking the economy with extensive government infrastructure programmes, among other things.

The upswing was much weaker in the industrialised countries. In the European Union, uncertainty in the banking sector and in financial markets, the rise in sovereign debt and high unemployment rates led to GDP growth of just 1.9 per cent. Compared to many other European economies, the Federal Republic of Germany was far less affected by the global recession (+ 4.1 per cent economic growth). The global economic upturn and growing demand for capital goods abroad was particularly welcome in the German economy, as the Annual Economic Report of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology underscores: ‘Last year, the German economy grew at a rate not seen since reunification.  [...] The impetus from the foreign trade sector has long since jumped over to investment and consumption. Domestic demand is increasingly becoming the driving force for growth. The upturn is thus now on firm footing and self-sustaining.’ Indeed, the trend in business for the Messer Group was also downright remarkable, and there was an increase in the Group's operating result, EBITDA, profit after tax and in the profitability of its investments.

Annual report 2010
PDF (6,2MB)