Chief financial officer Hans Scholten talks through another record-breaking year for Kramp. “2022 was a year full of the unexpected, starting with the Ukraine war and the resulting inflation and supply chain disturbances. We have, however, shown resilience in dealing with those events and have improved our ability to adapt and enhanced our forecasting capability.”
“Inflation is driving up costs everywhere: personnel, distribution, energy, packaging and the cost of the products we sell. Last year our turnover hit €1.1bn, an increase of 7%. That’s 2.2% over forecast. This was, however, not due to a greater volume of sales, but due to price increases we had to make in response to the increase in our own purchase prices and operational costs.
“Our net turnover result was therefore lower than it was in 2021, by €1m. Our non-operational costs were also higher, with exchange losses where the euro weakened.
“Further costs included closing down Staplerkönig and selling Kramp Russia. Staplerkönig was a German startup that we bought around two years ago as a learning exercise in an adjacent market. After two years of partnership, Kramp and Staplerkönig reached the conclusion that the different products, cultures and market approaches prevented both parties from bringing their businesses closer together. It was with regret that we concluded that Staplerkönig could not continue its operations.
“Nor it is easy to sell a company in a country which is at war. We felt very strongly that Kramp Russia must remain in business – out of loyalty to our people there and because of its role in food production – and found a buyer late in the year. We will complete the sale in Q2 2023; the sale concluded in a substantial loss in our non-operational result.”
“Our financial position remains very strong, with a healthy solvency position of almost 47%.”
“If we compare the total costs of 2021 and 2022, we see a €16.5m (12%) increase in 2022, with turnover only up 7%. All in all, though, considering the circumstances it was still a good year.
“Our result may be lower than 2021, but our financial position remains very strong, with a healthy solvency position of almost 47%. Our stock level guarantees a high availability for customers.”
“We’ve learned some valuable lessons on inflation. We must be much more on top of the market, the effects of increased purchase prices for stock, and be adapt to the market. It’s an ongoing learning. We also need to pay closer attention to cost control.
“We are aiming for a 7% increase in turnover for 2023, half of which should be sales volume. We expect our bottom line to be 10% up, bringing us slightly above the excellent year we had in 2021. Q1 has been a positive start, in line with our ambitions, so we are on track.”