German OEM, Schmitz Cargobull, has released financial results for the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.
Lower demand shaped the 2019-20 financial year, according to the OEM, with a slight market recovery at the beginning of 2020 slowed by the coronavirus pandemic.
In the 2019-20 financial year, Schmitz Cargobull produced 46,124 vehicles and achieved sales of 1.87 billion euro with 5,700 employees.
“Unfortunately, the declining demand since mid-2018 continued during the financial year,” said Schmitz Cargobull CEO, Andreas Schmitz. “The slight market recovery in early 2020 was then halted by the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, we successfully implemented the necessary savings without cutting back on the core team.”
With an average market share of approximately 25 per cent, Schmitz Cargobull has maintained its position as the leading trailer manufacturer in Europe.
“Despite the 27.4 per cent decrease in the number of units produced, the 18.4 per cent downturn in turnover compared with the previous year was less severe,” said Andreas Schmitz.
The demand for the higher-value box and tipper vehicles declined less than in the highly competitive curtainsider segment.
“The entire Schmitz Cargobull team was able to keep earnings before taxes and depreciation at an acceptable level in the last financial year thanks to savings made as part of ‘Lean to Compete’,” said Andreas Schmitz. “We also made price adjustments that are now having an effect.”
In view of the uncertain conditions caused by the coronavirus, it is difficult for Schmitz Cargobull to provide further guidance.
“After a sharp slump in March, demand has recovered more quickly than initially expected,” said Andreas Schmitz.
In September, it was reported to be possible to scale back the reduced working hours that had been implemented. Depending on the development of the pandemic situation and its impact on the economy, the forecast for the units produced is between 30,000 and 50,000 vehicles, with sales of between 1.2 and 2.0 billion euro.
Innovations and services form a basis for the planned growth. Schmitz Cargobull consistently introduces and implements these in its capacity as a pioneer in the trailer market.
“As part of our 100 per cent SMART strategy, we have equipped all S.KO COOL SMART trailers with the TrailerConnect telematics system as a standard feature,” said Andreas Schmitz.
This strategy has continued in 2020 with the standard installation of a new telematics system in the curtainsiders and dry freighters. As a result, Schmitz Cargobull ensures that its customers retain their data sovereignty throughout the entire transport chain. This enables the best transport through networked products and services.
“In addition to data, ecology plays an increasingly important role: with the EcoDuo concept, we successfully presented an ecologically effective combination of two standard trailers for long-distance transport last year,” said Andreas Schmitz.
This vehicle concept has already been tested successfully in various European countries and Schmitz Cargobull is committed to the broad acceptance of this solution.
Reliable vehicles and comprehensive service have proven to be a competitive advantage, especially in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. The entire logistics sector and especially the drivers have made an essential contribution to supplying the population during this time. Schmitz Cargobull has taken comprehensive protective measures at all of its production plants. In compliance with the official requirements, it has reliably continued to deliver vehicles at all locations without disruption.
“In addition, our 1,700 service partners have been absolutely dedicated to ensuring that the customers are able to continue their regular transport operations as smoothly as possible with regard to maintenance and repairs,” said Andreas Schmitz.
Secure supply chains have proven their value during the lockdown according to the OEM.
In the past financial year, systematically developing and strengthening the supply chain was a major focus.
“International multi-sourcing, multi-product plants (MPP), order-neutral and Group-wide supply management, together with the on-going expansion of the central logistics hub, increase flexibility and reduce lead times throughout the network,” said Andreas Schmitz.
The solid and simple new structures proved particularly effective at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, when the lockdown temporarily disrupted supply chains in numerous sectors and countries.
“As a consequence, we were the only trailer manufacturer able to ensure a continuous supply of materials for our plants and maintain our ability to deliver to our customers,” said Andreas Schmitz.
In the medium term, the Executive Board continues to pursue the core objectives of Strategy 2025.
“Specifically, this means being the world’s leading manufacturer of curtainsiders and refrigerated vehicles, the European market leader for trailers and target sales of more than 2.5 billion euro,” said Andreas Schmitz.