Vanderlande Industries automated material handling systems achieved net sales of €741 million in financial year 2013 (ending 31 March 2013). After remaining essentially unchanged since financial year 2010, due to the economic downturn, the increase of 31% reflects the market recovery and the increased market focus and international expansion of the company.

Order intake grew with 5% to EUR 747 million and the resulting order book stands at EUR 858 million, an all-time high for the company. EBIT grew with 16% to EUR 24.3 million and net earnings were EUR 26.1 million or 3.5% of sales, aided by a tax benefit of EUR 8 million.

These numbers show the strengthening of the company’s position as one of the leaders in the market for automated material handling systems. A market that is once again growing, despite the general economic uncertainties. Increasing passenger numbers, the drive to reduce logistics cost and the growth of e-commerce are driving the demand for the company’s systems in baggage handling, warehouse automation and parcel and postal sorting centres.

CEO Peter Gerretse: "The net sales and earnings show the results of the recovery in our markets in most parts of the world and confirm our strategic choices. But above all they confirm the trust our customers place in our experience and performance. Pricing levels are improving, although we still feel the pressure of tighter government budgets and airline profits in baggage handling."

Successful market focus
"We have been able to grow market share in all segment as a result of an increased market focus in the organisation", says Gerretse. "Our position in emerging markets like Eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America has been strengthened and sales in these regions have doubled over the last year."

Attractive employer
The success of the company is also reflected by the number of employees which grew with 16% to 2711. Vanderlande has again been selected as an employer of choice in the leading Dutch employee engagement survey by Effectory.

Gerretse: "Our customer services business continues to grow and, as it is a people’s business in many ways, it is responsible for the majority of the increase in the number of people. The fact that we have been nominated for the 7th year in succession as an employer of choice will help us to recruit the talent we need to achieve our growth ambition."

Promising outlook
The long-term outlook for the markets in which Vanderlande Industries is active remains promising. Overall volume growth in combination with a drive for automation in all our markets will lead to increasing investments in automated material handling solutions.

Based on this market outlook, on the position of the company as one of the market leaders and on the record order book, the company is confident it will achieve its strategic goals for the coming years.

Invest in solutions and in people
Gerretse: "We will continue to invest in R&D and in the development of automated material handling solutions and to actively develop our people. Our efforts to develop products that are energy-efficient and ensure utilisation of good materials which can be re-used endlessly will continue, and we intend to keep our prominent role in this field. Our people are key in the design, implementation and service of our solutions. We will therefore continue to recruit top talent in areas such as product development, project management, project engineering, software development and customer services. In a world of technology, we believe in people."