Roeland Tjebbes joined Kramp as Chief Financial Officer in January 2024. Based on our financial performance in 2023, he sees a company that is in a strong position for structural and profitable growth.

“In 2023, we came very close to achieving our growth target as a percentage of turnover,” comments Roeland. “However, much of that growth came from price effects rather than from volume due to the impact of inflation in our markets. We also saw our dealer’s and customers’ markets come under pressure, particularly in the agricultural sector.”

Rising costs

The cost situation was not without its challenges. “The wage inflation and rising total personnel costs accounted for a significant part of the overall increase in our costs in 2023. A number of future-focused investment activities – such as e-commerce capabilities and internal improvements – further increased the costs. The threefold rise in interest rates had an impact on the bottom-line result,” he adds.

But there was also positive news from a cost perspective, according to Roeland. “We benefited e.g. from a decrease in the cost of packaging materials.”

Successful inventory management

“As a way of absorbing the inflation effects, we intensified our focus on cost control, particularly in terms of inventory management,” he explains. “Over the course of 2021 and 2022, our stocks had grown considerably due to the delayed delivery of orders placed during the previous period of shortages. But by the end of 2023 we had succeeded in reducing our total inventory by around 7% while actually improving our stock availability.”

As a result, our adjusted EBIT and adjusted EBITDA show a slight improvement on the 2022 results. “Our working capital also remains well balanced and in sync with the previous year. Given the market conditions, and even though we didn’t quite meet our own expectations, we are happy with both the topline and bottom line growth and our net profit,” states Roeland.

“Our net profit position gives us a solid financial base for the coming year and will allow us to continue to invest in strengthening our capabilities such as our digital backbone and warehousing”

Roeland Tjebbes

Strong base for continued investment

“This gives us a solid financial base for the coming year and will allow us to continue to invest in projects, such as to strengthen our digital backbone, and further improvements to our warehousing capabilities.”

“However, one important lesson for us is that even though we’re profitable, we still need to be conscious of the costs versus the benefits,” he adds.

Paving the way for structural growth

“We will be focusing even more intensively on growing our volumes in the coming year, in particular with new product/market combinations – and with an eye on acquisitions possibilities where needed. This, combined with the continued reduction of our OPEX, will pave the way for structural and profitable growth,” concludes Roeland.

Hans Scholten reflects on his 24 years as CFO

Hans Scholten recently stepped down as Chief Financial Officer after 24 years in the role. Here, he reflects on how the company has evolved in that time and looks ahead to Kramp’s – and his own – future.

“I’ve seen lots of changes since joining Kramp in 2000. For example, our company has grown, professionalised and continuously reinvented itself to stay relevant and lead the way. In 2000, we employed around 850 people and were active in just a handful of countries. Today, we’re present all over Europe and have a dynamic cultural mix of around 3,200 employees,” says Hans.

Increasing focus on partnerships

“Externally, we’ve seen ongoing consolidation in the agricultural market, and are increasingly working in close partnership with dealers, Original Equipment Manufacturers and farmers themselves. Additionally, we’ve increased our focus on markets such as forest & grass care and construction,” he continues.

Successful digital transformation

“Moreover, we’ve successfully digitally transformed, with 95% of our business now coming from e-commerce. But despite all these changes, we’ve stayed committed to our people, customers and suppliers, and our core values of Collaboration, Care and Ownership have remained fundamentally the same,” adds Hans.

New leadership and fresh ideas

“I feel very privileged to have made this journey together with Kramp. However, it’s time for me to make way for new leadership and fresh ideas. Our new CFO, Roeland Tjebbes, not only ticks all the right boxes in terms of his qualifications and experience, but is also a perfect fit with the Kramp culture. The role of CFO remains in safe and capable hands,” states Hans.

Not entirely goodbye

Hans will now be filling his time with a variety of activities, including not-for-profit initiatives in Africa and India, and a sustainability project in the Netherlands. However, it’s not entirely ‘goodbye’ to Kramp. “I’ll continue to be a shareholder as part of my long-term commitment to the stability of this family company. I also remain at the board’s disposal for brainstorming on strategic topics, if needed,” he says.

Entrepreneurial spirit

What does he predict for the future of Kramp? “The company is built on over 70 years of success. Based on the entrepreneurial spirit, commitment to continuous improvement and courage in adapting to face future challenges, I foresee at least another 70 years of further growth ahead. I’d like to thank everyone for making my time at Kramp so enjoyable, and I wish them all the best for the future,” Hans concludes.

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