Arvato forges ahead on its growth course in 2007
Gütersloh.- Comprehensive expansion of the national servicecenter network
- Extension of the integrated services portfolio in the Arvato, the internationally networked media and communications services subsidiary of Bertelsmann AG, plans to rigorously continue on its growth course in fiscal year 2007
“Our goal is to achieve another increase in sales, earnings and employment this year. In the process, our focus will remain on our proven three-dimensional growth strategy,” Hartmut Ostrowski (49), chairman of the Executive Board of Arvato and a member of the Executive Board of Bertelsmann AG, said in Gütersloh today. Ostrowski cited current projects from the group’s different business divisions as evidence that Arvato will continue its positive business development this year.
An agreement with one of the leading telecommunication providers, in particular, represents important progress in the extension of the national servicecenter network, Ostrowski said. “The takeover of several servicecenter locations scheduled for May 1 helps us secure our leading market position in Germany and deepen the excellent customer relationship we have entertained with this telecommunication provider and its subsidiaries over the past few years,” he noted. “We have set up and extended numerous new servicecenter locations, in particular in eastern Germany, over the past few years, creating a large number of jobs in the process. The integration of the new locations forms the basis of continued growth in this business segment, which, thanks partly to expected price increases, offers excellent prospects.”
Ostrowski also expressed optimism about business in other European markets. He said the services business had gotten off to a good start in southern Europe, in particular in France where new major customers from the utilities and telecommunication sector have been acquired since the start of the year. February’s acquisition of Britain’s Moon River Group, including its biggest subsidiary, the ION Group, represented another important milestone in the UK. With the takeover of the group specialized in customer management, Arvato continued to expand its services spectrum in the UK, which already comprises services in the areas of logistics, customer management, data management, public administration and finance. “The UK market has some of the biggest and most comprehensive customer loyalty programs in Europe,” the executive said. “ION is one of the leading providers in this market, and develops highly intelligent customer loyalty and customer management programs.” The takeover of ION gave Arvato fast access to the strategy areas of loyalty and data management. Rapid business growth is expected in these areas during the next two to three years. “ION already has a number of first-rate companies as customers that could profit from Arvato’s comprehensive portfolio of services in the future,” Ostrowski said.
In Arvato’s printing business, the continued expansion of the offset unit will remain the top priority in 2007, with a key focus on eastward expansion, Ostrowski said. “Our colleagues at Mohn media have checked out a number of plants in eastern Europe over the past weeks and months, and are still determining whether it makes sense to take a stake in a company in Ukraine.” Arvato’s offset division is generating dynamic growth, both in terms of production volume and workforce. Mohn media in Gütersloh alone posted volume growth above 15 percent over the past 12 months and added nearly 100 new employees. Ostrowski expressed cautious optimism about the future: “We have an excellent position in the printing area and capacity usage at our companies is high.” He also expects an end to the price spiral. “We are assuming that the prices of our products will remain at least stable in 2007 and perhaps even increase slightly.”
Job creation has become a key pillar of the Arvato strategy over the past few years. Since 2002, more than 15,000 new jobs have been created at Arvato inside and outside Germany, corresponding to average annual growth rate of 10 percent “This figure shows clearly that our three-dimensional growth strategy has paid off and that the basic idea underlying the different partnership programs, i.e. to work more and thus generate more work, has paid off,” Ostrowski said. “This makes me proud because it allows us to fulfill our social responsibility.”
The executive concluded: “Economic parameters are better than in previous years, and this is already reflected in Arvato’s results to date. I am optimistic that we will be able to generate sustained growth this year and, above all, create new jobs.”
With more than 270 subsidiaries worldwide, Arvato is one of the biggest internationally networked media and communication services providers. In fiscal 2006, the group of companies that is part of Bertelsmann AG generated sales of € 4.782 bn. Arvato’s worldwide subsidiaries employ 47,000 people. Arvato comprises the divisions Arvato print (intaglio and offset printers in Europe and the United States), Arvato services (financial services/data management, full-service CRM services, logistics/supply chain management and direct distribution of knowledge media), Arvato storage media (e.g. production of CD-ROMs, DVDs and audio CDs) and Arvato systems (international provider of qualified and customized IT services) as well as empolis, a leading provider of company-wide content and knowledge management solutions, and the mobile entertainment provider Arvato mobile.
Further information on Arvato is available on the Internet at www.arvato.de.
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