Feb 10, 2017 | Weingarten
CHG-MERIDIAN, a specialist in non-captive technology management and financing based in Weingarten, southern Germany, can look back on another strong year characterized by dynamic growth. Overall, the volume of leases originated went up by 9 percent to €1.155 billion (2015: €1.057 billion). "We succeeded in maintaining our high level of organic growth. For me, this is a clear indicator that we are making very good progress and have made the right strategic decisions for the future," said Dr. Mathias Wagner, Chairman of the Board of Management of CHG-MERIDIAN, at the Company's annual press conference.
There was particularly encouraging growth in the Southern Europe region (Italy, Spain, France), where the volume of leases originated increased by around 26 percent to reach €161 million (2015: €127 million). The Americas region (USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil) also made an exceptionally strong contribution to the Group's overall total, with lease originations climbing by around 17 percent to €167 million (2015: €142 million). In its domestic market of Germany, CHG-MERIDIAN's lease originations increased at a healthy rate of around 10 percent to €548 million (2015: €500 million).
CHG-MERIDIAN was again able to call on an international network for its external funding, the volume of which exceeded €1 billion. More than 140 funding partners and investors from around the world helped the Company to provide external funding of €1.02 billion (2015: €960 million) for technology investments.
Gross margin in 2016 was also up on the prior year, rising by around 4 percent to a total of €190 million (2015: €183 million). CHG-MERIDIAN generated 58 percent of this amount in Germany.
Progress in the delivery of the service strategy
Services that complement CHG-MERIDIAN's core business of financing IT investments also gained in importance in 2016: "The successful delivery of the service strategy, which we launched a few years ago, made a positive contribution to our business performance," said Dr. Wagner. It enabled the Company to win new customers and sell new services to existing customers, which played a key role in the increase in lease originations.
In 2016, a new version of the TESMA® technology and service management system was launched onto the market. CHG-MERIDIAN customers use this software to efficiently manage the commercial and technical data generated by their extensive IT infrastructures.
The Enterprise Mobility Solutions (EMS) portfolio, which made its debut in Germany in 2015, also helped CHG-MERIDIAN to achieve further market penetration. Enterprise Mobility Solutions encompasses a wide range of services that focus on the efficient use of mobile devices. In mid-2016, the solution was rolled out across many other parts of Europe.
eraSURE®: record result for certified data erasure
The data erasure service, which is tailored to a wide range of customer requirements, continued to be a sustainable engine of growth in 2016: The number of IT devices that underwent erasure in compliance with TÜV or DEKRA standards rose by just over a third to reach a record level of more than 141,000 (2015: 106,000). "Companies are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of data protection and data security and these figures show that our certified eraSURE® service is ideally positioned to cater to this trend," said Dr. Wagner.
Using certified processes to erase sensitive data from used devices such as PCs, laptops, cell phones, and printers is one of the core tasks in the remarketing of assets. The number of assets remarketed by CHG-MERIDIAN remained at a high level last year. At the Company's Technology and Service Center near Frankfurt, it professionally refurbished around 495,000 items of IT equipment for the secondary market (2015: 490,000).
Closer to the customer: two new sites in Germany
By opening two new offices in its home market of Germany, CHG-MERIDIAN is looking to get closer to its customers and capitalize on further opportunities to drive sales. The first new site opened in February in Stuttgart, in the southern German region of Baden-Württemberg. It will be followed by a further site in Bielefeld in the western region of North Rhine-Westphalia in March.
In June 2016, CHG-MERIDIAN laid the foundation for future growth by officially opening a new building at its headquarters in Weingarten. The additional building at the site provides a further 4,700 square meters of office space, with room for another 250 workstations.
At the end of 2016, CHG-MERIDIAN employed 910 people at 40 locations in 23 countries. This total headcount includes 490 employees in Germany, 290 of whom work at the Company's headquarters in Weingarten. As at December 31, 2016, CHG-MERIDIAN employed eleven apprentices, 15 students, and five management trainees.
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