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VDL Groep: 2017 was a good year

VDL Groep achieved growth across the board in 2017, as compared to 2016. The industrial family business with headquarters in Eindhoven, saw its turnover, result and numbers of employees grow, last year. In addition, VDL is seeing the continuous broadening of its role as subcontractor. At the Subcontracting division, customers are not only supported with products and technology; VDL Groep is increasingly becoming a partner for total solutions.

VDL Groep’s combined turnover rose from € 3.208 billion in 2016 to € 5.049 billion in 2017, a rise of 57 percent. The net result rose from € 150 million in 2016 to € 153 million in 2017. The number of employees rose in 2017 by 2,781 to 16,137 at the end of 2017. 85 percent of all employees work in the Netherlands, the highest percentage over the past few decades. VDL Groep has a solid equity position and is a financially healthy family business.

“2017 was a challenging and enervating year for VDL Groep,” commented President and CEO Willem van der Leegte. “The past twelve months has been hallmarked by the organisation of our growth. The fact that we have once again succeeded in growing across the board is evidence that we remain in a state of flux, on all fronts. 2017 was a good year for VDL Groep.”

Subcontracting
Turnover in the Subcontracting division rose by 30 percent from € 892 million in 2016 to €1.159 billion in 2017. This growth was above all driven by companies operating in the high-tech and automotive segment. The result for the Subcontracting division was positive. The order book has grown from € 402 million at the end of 2017 to € 420 million in week 7 of 2018. The Subcontracting division of VDL Groep will continue to demonstrate further growth for the rest of this year. That growth will once again be mainly generated by activities in the high-tech and automotive segments. We also expect companies active in other sectors to profit more from economic growth.

Car Assembly
Turnover at the Car Assembly division rose by 108 percent, from €1.368 billion in 2016 to €2.850 billion in 2017. The year ended with a positive result. In March 2017, a start was made on production of the MINI Countryman Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) and in August 2017 of the BMW X1. In 2017, VDL Nedcar in Born delivered 168,969 cars of the types MINI Hatch, MINI Convertible, MINI Countryman and BMW X1. The MINI Convertible and MINI Countryman for the world market are manufactured exclusively by VDL Nedcar in Born. In addition to the manufacture of cars, VDL Nedcar also supplies pressed work to third parties. Prospects for Car Assembly remain positive. The number of cars to be manufactured will rise substantially in 2018 as compared to numbers in 2017. With that in mind, starting in week 14, VDL Nedcar will be introducing an eleventh shift, so that a day shift will also be worked on Saturday.

Buses & Coaches

The Buses & Coaches division saw turnover rise by more than 8 percent, from € 437 million in 2016 to € 477 million in 2017. The total number of large buses delivered in 2017 remained practically unchanged as compared to 2016 (1,170 as compared to 1,192). We have invested heavily in (pre)development of environmentally friendly drive technology for so-called heavy-duty mobility, both battery powered and hydrogen based. VDL Bus & Coach delivered a total of more than 120 electric buses in 2017. Remarkably, in a single delivery in December, 100 electric buses were handed over, which will be deployed in the standard timetable for the Amstelland-Meerlanden concession area, starting in April. This is the largest fleet of electric buses in Europe. The Buses & Coaches division is also investing in the expansion of its sales network in the immediate vicinity of our customers, with a view to providing additional services to them in our core markets. Examples are the opening of a branch in Spain in January and the intent to expand our interests in Scandinavia. We are also striving to fulfil our ambition of becoming a transition partner in the field of systems, solutions and connectivity. On the basis of large-scale investments for the long term, as expected, the Buses & Coaches division did not end the year 2017 in profit. The steps we have taken are an integral part of a broader programme for making the Buses & Coaches division structurally financially healthy. The order book rose from € 228 million at the end of 2017 to € 237 million in week 7 of 2018.

Finished Products
Turnover at the Finished Products division rose by around 10 percent in 2017 and amounted to € 563 million. The figure for the previous year was € 511 million. Companies in this division are profiting from the picking up of the economy. The result at Finished Products was positive. The total order book rose from € 139 million at the end of 2017 to € 159 million in week 7 of 2018. We are once again expecting a good year for our companies active in the Finished Products division. By developing products and processes and implementing further optimisation, our companies in this division are striving to achieve a unique position in each industry.

Outlook for 2018
VDL Groep began 2018 as expected: turnover is above last year’s level. The total turnover in the first 7 weeks of this year amounted to € 733 million and is thus higher than in the same period last year (€ 569 million). The order book (excluding VDL Nedcar) is up from € 769 million at the end of 2017 to € 816 million in week 7 of 2018. The outlook is positive. We expect turnover to continue to grow in 2018 to approximately € 6 billion, a rise of 20 percent. All the divisions will contribute to this growth. “We expect solid growth, above all in high-tech and automotive. More of our companies will continue to profit from the economic situation,” suggested President and CEO Willem van der Leegte. “We will also continue with the policy implemented to date by strengthening our organisation, tightening focus and continuing to invest broadly in 2018.”

Valkenswaard, February 2018


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