Dussmann Group: The most successful year in the company’s history

21.05.2015 — The service group makes significant progress and holds its course

Cleaner cleans with cleaning machine
Floor cleaning by Dussmann

For 2014, the multi-service provider, Dussmann Group, Berlin, reports yet again growth in sales, earnings and workforce. The increase in total sales of 7.5 percent or 139 million Euros demonstrates that the company is holding its course. Sales in 18 countries totaling 1.98 billion Euros were gener-ated, largely organically. The EBITDA margin on consolidated Group sales for 2014 was 5.9 percent. Operative results increased at an even higher rate than the previous year. The Dussmann Group created 3,500 new jobs.

“In 2014, we made significant progress and continue to hold our course” said Dirk Brouwers, CEO of the Dussmann Group at the annual press conference on May 21, 2015 in Berlin. For the current year too, the Dussmann Group forecasts increased sales. Catherine von Fürstenberg-Dussmann, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Dussmann Group, added: “We can continue our wonderful task of providing services for people, by people; the company is doing well”.

The increase in worldwide sales of 25 million Euros over the previous year is especially remarkable against the background of geopolitical unrest and economic instability in the eurozone. Each of the company divisions of the Dussmann Group, a leading international service provider, made a contribution to results. 64,700 employees provide facility management (FM) services and nursing and care of the elderly to clients in 18 countries. The Group also operates the KulturKindergarten corporate child-care facilities and the media department store, Dussmann das KulturKaufhaus, in Berlin.

This diversified business model has proved advantageous in that it is crisis-resistant. Substantial sections of the company, including services for the public sector and nursing and care for the elderly, are largely independent of economic developments. The FM-industry has established itself as a stable key sector of the German economy. According to a GEFMA study, almost eleven percent of the working population in Germany is employed in this sector.

The total number of people working for the Dussmann Group including managed operations has grown. Compared to 61,221 on average in 2013, the figure is 64,708 for 2014, an additional 3,487 employees.

The Dussmann Group has three strategic focus points for future development. Firstly, it will build on its traditional strength of providing a wide range of services from a single source with a high proportion of self-delivery, constantly extending its current portfolio of 70 services. Dresdner Kühlanlagenbau GmbH, DKA, which was acquired in April 2013 to this end, has been fully integrated into the structures of the Dussmann Group sooner than expected. As a provider of refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment and services, DKA has expanded the scope of the Group’s technical expertise.

Secondly, the Dussmann Group is widening its sector-specific skills and knowledge in selected industries to be able to support its clients’ core processes throughout the value creation chain and to drive the movement from price competition to know-how competition. Such services include cleanroom cleaning and administration in the semiconductor, pharmaceutical and food industries and specialist services for hospitals. DKA plays an important role in this context, particularly for clients in the food manufacturing industry and in services to data processing service centers.

The third strategic focus is international development. The Group is devoting its energies to creating a strong basis which enables it to support national and multinational clients with services wherever they are required. These clients need a reliable partner who can accompany them in their international expansion whilst providing local proximity. This is achieved by the decentralized structure of the Dussmann Group’s 18 independent international subsidiaries. Cross-border tenders are processed by a central international sales organization. The Dussmann Group also works with partners to extend its operating range and to be able to serve its wide, diverse potential clients even better. The needs of local companies can be addressed as well as those of regionally organized organizations; of companies with national activities and of global players.

In 2014, the Dussmann Group introduced a new form of internal cooperation to achieve these strategic goals. It facilitates knowledge transfer between the international subsidiaries and the various functional departments. In these think tanks, product ideas are generated and international projects are initiated and managed.

In Germany, 2014 saw the start of the largest facility management contract ever operated by the Dussmann Group. The contract involves 900 sites across Germany where Dussmann employs around 1,100 people. The main challenge of a major contract of this size is to ensure that skilled personnel are available in the right place at the right time integrating them fully into operations. This is one of the reasons for the investment of the Group in access routes to the employment market, in recruiting and in induction of new personnel. The careers portal which went online in 2014, karriere.dussmanngroup.com, enables applicants to access all vacancies nationwide.

As the most important international market, the Italian subsidiary of the Dussmann Group with 14,000 employees has seen exceptional developments during the past year. Whilst the public sector experiences cutbacks, opportunities are generated as an increasing volume of services is outsourced. In April 2015, Dussmann Italy acquired all shares in Steritalia; until then, it owned 70 percent of the specialist for surgical sterilization and logistics for hospitals. 60 employees are currently responsible for cleaning and security services at the German Pavilion at the exposition EXPO Milano 2015. Dussmann Service was the cleaning and security provider at the German Pavilion during the EXPO 2010 in Shanghai too and subsequently won the Europe-wide tender for these services at the EXPO Milano 2015.

The international subsidiaries in Luxembourg and Austria have also asserted themselves in their own markets. In Asia, the Dussmann Group has benefitted from infrastructural enhancement and growth in local economies, especially in China.

The company division Kursana has successfully built on existing operations in 116 facilities in five countries. Two new seniors’ facilities were opened in Büdingen, Hesse and in Kürten, close to Cologne. The Domizil facility in Kürten consists of two serviced buildings with barrier-free apartments. These are carefully equipped for the elderly and connected to an intelligent emergency call and service system to ensure residents’ safety. Seniors can take advantage of meals and cleaning services if they wish. Out-patient nursing ser-vices are also coordinated by Kursana. New care facilities will open in Oberhausen, Straelen (North-Rhine Westphalia) and in Mücke (Hesse) contributing to future growth. Increasingly in Kursana facilities, 10 to 15 residents are accommodated together as residential groups and this model has been applied in Büdingen and Kürten. Kursana is focusing on such new residential models for the elderly and on the expansion of out-patient nursing concepts.

The company division Care & Kids unites Kursana and Dussmann KulturKindergarten gGmbH which expanded its activities over the past year. In 2014, three new child-care centers were opened in Munich (Bavaria), Lutherstadt Wittenberg (Saxony-Anhalt) and in Coblenz (Rhineland-Palatinate). All KulturKindergarten facilities have in common that they are close to the workplace, they offer flexible opening times, the team is bilingual and there is emphasis on arts and culture. During planning, child-care facilities also offer places for children from the local area.

With around 65,000 employees in 18 countries, the Dussmann Group provides services for people, by people. The largest service division, Dussmann Service, provides catering, security, reception, cleaning and technical services as well as commercial facility management and energy management from a single source. Dresdner Kühlanlagenbau GmbH (DKA) constructs and installs all types of refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment and systems and provides subsequent services. Kursana nurses and cares for 13,600 seniors. In addition, the Dussmann Group operates the media department store Dussmann das KulturKaufhaus in Berlin and in-house corporate child-care at Dussmann KulturKindergarten facilities. In 2014, the Dussmann Group generated total sales of 1.98 billion Euros.