Thanks to wise and responsible corporate management, a. hartrodt is in a stronger position after the 2022 financial year, in which the global economy experienced a rupture as a result of the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine. Compared to the previous year, operating profit (Ebit) improved by 47.4 percent – "significantly" exceeding the expectations of Andreas Schroen, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in the Management Holding. "In the past two years, we have doubled our equity. The equity ratio was 35.1 percent at the end of 2022," he emphasizes on the occasion of the annual report now published.
New record in freight forwarding revenue
Freight forwarding revenues reached a new record of 877.6 million euros. The CFO attributes the increase of 18.3 percent compared to 2021 primarily to higher freight rates. An outlier was China, where revenue fell to 148.15 million euros (down 10.23 percent) due to the zero-Covid policy. All of the group's business areas grew strongly, "in trucking and warehousing we achieved above-average increases of 26.9 and 44.2 percent, respectively," says Andreas Schroen.
Growth through regional acquisitions
The solid balance sheet positions a. hartrodt not only for organic growth targets. According to Managing Partner Jan van Tienhoven, the focus of acquisitions is "to strengthen our position in certain regional markets". Managing Partner Felix Wenzel finds local heroes "particularly exciting" as takeover candidates – such as Fratelli Gambetta, which was integrated in Genoa (Italy) in 2022. a. hartrodt is also expanding in Eastern Europe with new companies in Slovakia (since June 2022) and Austria (since April 2023) as well as its own fleet in Poland (since October 2022). "We consider expanding the truck product to other countries," says Felix Wenzel.
Andreas Schroen currently sees high inflation as a challenge: "We have sharply rising costs and declining revenues at the same time." a. hartrodt is supporting its employees with "stronger salary adjustments". In parallel, investments are being made in sales and customer satisfaction.