The Westfalen Group can once again look back on a successful business year. Group sales rose by 17.6 percent to 1.87 billion euros in 2021 (previous year: 1.59 billion euros). Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) fell slightly by 5.7 percent to 64.9 million euros (previous year: 68.8 million euros). "We are very satisfied with the result, as it clearly exceeded our expectations," explains CEO Dr Thomas Perkmann. Together with Dr Meike Schäffler (Production & Engineering, IT and Innovation Management) and Jesko von Stechow (Finance & Accounting, Human Resource Management and Legal & Compliance), he forms the Westfalen Group's Executive Board team. "2021 was another challenging year, we mastered Corona, a severe hacker attack and high price volatility. In addition, we have anchored sustainability organisationally. As a family business, we have always thought in terms of generations and want to contribute to solutions for society's ecological, economic, and social challenges."
Investments at a high level
In 2021, the company continued to invest at a high level: 81.5 million euros (previous year: 87.3 million euros) were invested, for example, in strategic projects such as the completion of the Krefeld liquefied gas tank depot, the cooperation with NanoSun in the field of mobile hydrogen filling stations, the construction of the new Münster-Gelmer site and IT infrastructure and safety.
At the end of 2021, the Westfalen Group employed 1,814 people (previous year: 1,763), of which 1,441 were in Germany – an increase of 2.9 percent compared to the previous year.
Industrial Gases & Services: positive development thanks to rising sales volumes
Increasing sales volumes in industrial gases and refrigerants had a positive impact on the result. The development of the homecare business of the subsidiary in the Netherlands was pleasing. The completed focus on the oxygen business at Westfalen Medical Germany also brought visible success.
Energy Solutions: high security of supply thanks to new Krefeld location
Income from the sale of CO2 certificates had a positive impact on the result. In addition, the first positive effects of the commissioning of the liquefied gas tank depot in Krefeld became apparent, for example with a high level of supply security in the autumn months – despite product shortages and historic price developments.
Mobility: Focus on the future
Although sales were below expectations, the Mobility sector was able to build on the good results of previous years. At the same time, important milestones secured the future business: the Westfalen Group's second LNG filling station went into operation in Herford, and the smartphone app fillibri scored points as the first provider of contactless payment at the pump (pay@pump) and in the car wash segment (pay@wash).
"The Westfalen Group has made a good start to the 2022 financial year – despite a difficult global economic situation," said Dr Perkmann. Not least in view of the war in Ukraine, the company is facing challenges – for example in terms of markets and supply chains.
For the future, Westfalen is relying on innovative solutions for decarbonisation in order to remain well positioned in the market: Hydrogen as a fuel in the transport sector is an important building block on the way to climate-neutral mobility. The launch of a mobile hydrogen filling station in 2021 was a fundamental starting point; in 2022 Westfalen will continue on this path with the technology of the future. Overall, the Westfalen Group will increasingly focus on sustainable business models.
In order to make this orientation visually visible, the Westfalen Group is combining tradition and modernity with a new brand identity. The key points of the mission statement, which is "We make progress sustainable", can thus also be experienced in the brand identity. The implementation will take place in a resource-saving and cost-optimised manner from the second half of 2022.