Most Successful Fiscal Year in Greiner's History

Kremsmünster, April 28, 2015 – In the 2014 fiscal year, Greiner Holding AG increased their revenue by 2% on the previous year to EUR 1.32 billion according to plan (previous year on a compa-rable basis: EUR 1.29 billion). "Strategic alignment with our core competencies and expansion into new markets are our engine for growth," says CEO Axel Kühner. One of 2014's priorities was to increase profitability and cashflow, which was achieved. The figure for the latter, EUR 113 million, represented a 36 percent increase on the previous year (EUR 83 million). Investments amounting to EUR 81 million (previous year: EUR 61 million) were made, predominantly for the purposes of acquiring and replacing machinery and equipment.

"The path that was adopted over the last few years, of focusing on result-oriented growth across the whole group, proved to be successful in 2014," says Chief Financial Officer Hannes Moser.

With 8,451 employees (previous year: 8,204 employees) at 133 sites worldwide, the Greiner Group created new jobs again in 2014. The vast majority of divisions grew according to plan, the only exception being Greiner Tool.Tec, which remained confronted with difficult market conditions, and yet still was able to hit its revenue target.

Globalization Boosts Further Growth

Accounting for around 82 percent of revenue, Europe is the Greiner Group's core market. North America is the second biggest market, at eight percent. "

In Europe, we are growing with the market primarily. Most growth that is disproportionate to the market that we achieve is in emerging economies and countries offering new market opportunities, like the USA," comments Kühner, providing an explanation for the consistent pursuit of the globalization strategy. 2014 saw Greiner Packaging's first production site in the USA go into operation in Pittston, Pennsylvania. The site produces innovative and sustainable plastic packaging for the local dairy industry. Greiner Bio-One's site in Monroe, North Carolina, continued to experience growth, surpassing the USD 100 million revenue mark for the first time ever in 2014.

Unifoam, Greiner Foam International's joint venture in South Africa, commissioned the most modern facility for foam production in the whole of Africa. In Europe, Poland proved again to be the driver for growth in the field of foam. For food packaging, Serbia was increasingly proving to be a hub for the South Eastern Europe region.

"Plastics for Life", a guiding principle

Building on the strategic pillars of diversification, innovation and globalization, "Plastics for Life" was developed as the guiding principle of the Greiner Group in 2014. With "Plastics for Life", the Greiner Group's aim is to underline their orientation towards sustainability and to communicate the benefits of plastic, how to handle the material correctly and use it in a sustainable manner.

Greiner Bio-One International AG was managed as a sister company of Greiner Holding AG in the Greiner Group until the middle of 2014. This organizational structure goes back to the early days of Greiner Bio-One, when financing primarily via the capital market was being considered. "Managing Greiner Bio-One as an organization separate from the other divisions no longer made any sense. For this reason, we made careful preparations so Greiner Bio-One could be integrated as the fifth division of Greiner Holding AG, and finalized these in 2014," said Moser.

Greiner Bio-One International AG was rebranded as Greiner Bio-One International GmbH. The integration took place without any organizational changes being made within Greiner Bio-One.

Investments in Employees

To cope with the growth planned for the future in all countries, measures were implemented in 2014 to ensure employees were networked better internationally. These measures included the set-up of a global innovation platform and the introduction of an extensive HR development system. With a special EUR 0.5 million investment in the apprenticeship program, Greiner's aim is to counter the lack of qualified personnel, which is going to get worse in the future.

Outlook for 2015

"2015 has started well across all areas. We are expecting to grow according to plan once again," says Chief Financial Officer Hannes Moser. Raw material prices continued to be volatile in the first quarter of 2015. It remains difficult to predict how these raw material prices will change. Further expansion steps will be made concrete over the course of the fiscal year. The new Mediscan site in Kremsmünster will open at the start of the second half of the year. In doing so, the Greiner Group is underlining its commitment to Austria as a location. 

Axel Kühner © Robert Maybach

Hannes Moser © Robert Maybach