The Dussmann Group, a leading global multi-service provider, closed the 2021 financial year with consolidated group sales of €2.31 billion – the highest in the company’s history. The company also increased its EBITDA margin to 6.4%. The profitable growth came as a result of the family-owned company consistently implementing its “Next Level” strategy, adopted in 2018, even during the ongoing Covid pandemic. The main driver of sales and earnings growth was organic growth. This stemmed from major orders secured in plant engineering and technical services, as well as Covid-related disinfection and additional cleaning services for hospitals; strong business development in the Care & Kids sector also contributed to this. Targeted acquisitions also supported growth: the company acquisitions made in 2021 at Dussmann Service (NetService in Poland and the Janus Group in Austria) and at Dussmann Technical Solutions (K.E.D. Kälte- und Klimatechnik GmbH) contributed €57.9 million to record sales.
“One of the key objectives of the Next Level Strategy is to continuously optimize the operating business – in 2021, we achieved this in all markets. In addition, we’ve launched targeted initiatives for organic growth across all company divisions. In doing so, we’re guided by the megatrends of our time. Also, our strategic decision from 2017/2018 to establish and expand comprehensive technical competence with the founding of Dussmann Technical Solutions is now paying off,” said Wolf-Dieter Adlhoch, Spokesman of the Executive Board of the Dussmann Group, at the annual press conference.
Increased sales and EBITDA margin despite ongoing Covid crisis
In the 2021 financial year, the Dussmann Group increased its sales from €2.08 billion to €2.31 billion, an increase of 11.2%. The company also significantly boosted its EBITDA margin on consolidated group sales by 1.3 percentage points to 6.4% in 2021 (2020: 5.1%). The Dussmann Service division accounted for €1.57 billion of consolidated group sales; it grew by 15.8% compared to the previous year (2020: €1.36 billion). The main reason for the jump in sales was the 32% increase in cleaning services. Dussmann Technical Solutions (DTS), the division for plant engineering and technical services established in 2019, increased its operating performance by around 27% in an extremely successful 2021 financial year. However, due to major orders spanning multiple years, sales of only €208 million (2020: €233 million) were recorded in accordance with the German Commercial Code (HGB). The increase in operating performance is mainly due to the strong business development with customers from the life science industry and with data centers, mainly in electrical engineering (STS business unit). Dussmann Technical Solutions also broadened its client base in the other business units, refrigeration and air conditioning (DKA and K.E.D.) and elevator manufacture (HEBO). The KulturKaufhaus recovered well from the constraints of the Covid pandemic in 2020 and generated sales of €30 million in 2021 (2020: €25 million). This 20.0% increase in sales was achieved in the 25th year of the company’s existence, underpinned by the successful implementation of the new online store featuring a digital merchandise management system and almost 11 million products.
The number of Dussmann Group employees working worldwide increased from 60,200 to 64,600 in 2021 (as of the end of 2021).
Integrated facility management: Dussmann aims to further boost technical competence
Dussmann is considering targeted acquisitions in the coming years with a view to expanding its range of services in the field of technical facility services. To finance these, the company secured new syndicated financing at the end of 2021 to complement its solid financial position. An integrated ESG component confirms the great importance of sustainability for the company. The Dussmann Group remains a stable family business with sustainable profitability and a high equity ratio. “We see integrated facility management as an important growth area for the coming years. With this in mind, we have increased our technical footprint in recent years. We want to offer all technical and non-technical facility services from a single source,” says Adlhoch.
To give visible expression to the ongoing transformation to a new Dussmann, the company will renew and harmonize its brand identity this year – just in time for the 60th anniversary of the Dussmann Group, which will be celebrated next year in 2023.
Dussmann with innovative solutions for the megatrends
Dussmann offers its clients effective solutions for the megatrends of sustainability, digitalization and the (working) world post-Covid. With the joint venture with Mainova, Chargemaker, Dussmann is promoting e-mobility and creating charging infrastructures for companies, for example in Germany’s largest charging park in an office building, Tower185 in Frankfurt/Main, with 130 charging columns. With data management, digitalization, and new technologies for energy management, Dussmann is optimizing the operation of properties and reducing CO2 emissions with smart facility management. Dussmann’s Food Service Innovation Lab aims to establish new, digital standards and processes for the food service industry and to set the ecosystem transformation in motion. In late summer, the first Planetary Health restaurant, the planet-based Ursprung, will open in the Dussmann-Haus in Berlin, offering food made mainly from plant products which are good for people and our planet. Dussmann Technical Solutions also supports its customers in being more sustainable and, for example, uses natural refrigerants in cooling systems.
Examples of the digitalization of in-house processes at Dussmann include the digital recording of working hours in cleaning or the computer-aided facility management system redCAFM in building services. Digital tools developed for clients make work easier for Dussmann employees and align services with the working world of tomorrow. These include sensor technology and cleaning robotics in facility cleaning, digital twins of rooms and facilities in building services as well as robotics and digital visitor and reception management in security services.
As digitalization accelerates due to the Covid pandemic, the demand for data centers is also increasing. Dussmann Technical Solutions is benefiting from this with its plant engineering and technical services for data center operators.
Client companies are now often working in new work models with a high proportion of home offices and desk sharing. In facility management, Dussmann’s solutions range from smart fridges for flexible workplace supply and advice on air purifiers for virus-free working in offices to “cleaning-on-demand” – demand-oriented cleaning based on sensor data on how often offices are used. Whether working in an office or at home: For parents, the Dussmann KulturKindergartens, with their long and flexible opening hours and bilingualism, create contemporary and business-oriented opportunities for combining family and career. The aging society in Europe also requires more and more high quality and affordable care places. Kursana has the expertise and entrepreneurial spirit to create them.
Outlook: Good start to the financial year with major contracts at home and abroad
Meanwhile, Dussmann has made a good start to the 2022 financial year. In facility management, the company won numerous contracts and, for example, is catering for employees and course participants at the new German national soccer team campus (DFB) in Frankfurt/Main. In Italy, Dussmann now provides catering services for ENI employees and has won the tender of Grandi Stazioni Rail SpA (Lot 2) for cleaning services in station buildings in many Italian regions. A Telekom Italia company commissioned Dussmann with construction works and building and plant engineering supplies for the construction of new data center rooms. In the EMEA region, Dussmann recently won contracts for Integrated facility management from Mondelez and Via Outlet. The joint venture Dussmann Ajlan & Brothers LLC in Saudi Arabia is achieving continuous growth, including new contracts in the 80-story PIF Tower, in the King Abdullah Financial District and from the Landmark Group. In Austria, Dussmann is expanding its competence in the health services sector with Janus.
Digitalization and sustainability are also fueling the continued high order intake in plant engineering and technical services. Specialists from Dussmann Technical Solutions are involved in major investment projects related to the energy transition in the logistics and automotive sectors. Kursana is planning two further facilities for the care and support of senior citizens with a new residence in Oberhausen (North Rhine-Westphalia) and a further Kursana quartier in Nauen (Brandenburg).
Catherine von Fürstenberg-Dussmann, Chairwoman of the Dussmann Group Board of Trustees, said at the annual press conference: “I’d like to thank all employees for their fantastic performance last year and for their commitment, which made such a great result possible for us. At the same time, we’re still very concerned about the war in Ukraine and feel for all those who have been affected and are suffering. We’re a healthy company with great people, so we want to help alleviate the consequences of this terrible war for so many people by carrying out relief activities in many countries – just as we did with our services during the pandemic. My special thanks also go to everyone at Dussmann who is committed to this.”
Changes in the Executive Board of the Dussmann Group
The Dussmann Group board of trustees has appointed Wolf-Dieter Adlhoch (46), previously spokesman of the Dussmann Group executive Board, as CEO with immediate effect. In addition, the board has decided to appoint Renato Spotti (59) to the executive board of the Dussmann Group with effect from June 1, 2022. He will be responsible for the Italian business of the globally active family-owned company. Spotti will succeed Pietro Auletta, who is retiring after 22 years with the company and eight years on the Executive Board and will leave the Executive Board of the Dussmann Group at the end of May. “We’d like to thank Pietro Auletta for his outstanding service to the Dussmann Group and his enormous commitment and wish him all the best. Renato Spotti is an experienced successor for our board who will continue the success story of Dussmann Italy,” says Catherine von Fürstenberg-Dussmann, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Dussmann Group.
With nearly 65,000 employees in 21 countries, the Dussmann Group, headquartered in Berlin, offers services for people, by people and achieved consolidated Group sales of €2.31 billion in 2021. The services of the largest business division Dussmann Service include cleaning, building services, catering, security and reception services, sterile supplies and charging solutions for e-vehicles. The Dussmann Technical Solutions (DTS) business division combines the Dussmann specialists for plant engineering and technical service. They offer solutions for the entire life cycle of plants and buildings, from planning, construction and commissioning to maintenance and repair. DTS includes Dresdner Kühlanlagenbau (DKA) and K.E.D. Kälte- und Klimatechnik as specialists in construction and service for industrial and commercial refrigeration and air conditioning, HEBO as a manufacturer of elevator systems with a focus on heavy-duty elevators and special systems, and the electrical plant engineering specialist STS based in Waterford (Ireland). Kursana provides care and nursing for 13,600 senior citizens. In addition, “Dussmann das KulturKaufhaus” in Berlin, the Dussmann KulturKindergartens with company-oriented childcare and the kindergartens of Kinder, Kinder are also part of the Dussmann Group.