PHW Group turnover breaks the 1 billion euros barrier
Wiesenhof increases turnover by 22 percent / Stated origin, feeding and quality concept boosts turnover / Over 50 milion euros in investments / 350 additional jobs / 800 employees in the new eastern German states
Rechterfeld/Hamburg, 26 February 2002. The PHW Group (Rechterfeld, Germany) once again surged ahead in the financial year 2000/2001 (30.06.). A total turnover of 1.03 billion euros (previous year: 0.89 billion euros) represents for the company an increase in turnover of around 140 million euros - or just under 15 percent. The growth was mainly due to the success of the Group’s leading German poultry brand ‘Wiesenhof’ which, with a turnover of 583 million euros in the financial year just ended (previous year: 477 mill. euros), achieved an increase of over 100 million euros or 22 percent. The investment volume of the PHW Group in the year under review again exceeded 50 million euros, with an additional 8 million euros going into research and development – mostly in the fields of animal nutrition and animal health, human nutrition and human healthcare. The number of employees also rose again: in the financial year 2000/2001 a total of 3,210 staff were employed within the PHW Group, 350 more than in the previous year. In all, there are just under 800 employees, including 35 trainees, in the five Group locations in Germany’s new eastern states.
Market leadership is the goal in Poland
For the current financial year 2001/2002, as a result of a more problematic market situation than that of the previous year, the company is aiming for ‘stable development’. Management statements report that the main priority is consolidating the market shares which have considerably expanded in the last two financial years due to the growth in turnover of just under 200 million euros. This is to be supported by increased activity abroad: Following acquisition of a majority sharholding in Polish poultry processor Drobimex-Heintz and introduction of the Wiesenhof quality standard with investments of around 7 million euros, the PHW Group is also aiming for market leadership in Poland.
Wiesenhof boosts poultry consumption in Germany
In the view of Paul-Heinz Wesjohann, majority shareholder in the PHW Group and Chairman of Group company Lohmann & Co. AG, it is not only the crisis in the meat industry over the last few years that has pushed up poultry consumption - the positive trend on the poultry market is, he believes, also a result of the Wiesenhof stated origin and quality concept. The concept „for quality, security and transparency“, implemented in conjunction with around 700 partner farms, means that production stages are managed according to the „single source” principle. Thus, all the production stages are in Germany, the feed originating from the Group’s own feed mills has, since 1996, been guaranteed to contain no animal proteins (animal, fish or meat and bone meal) and since 1997 has also been free of antibiotic performance enhancers. The farms where the animals are reared are named on the origin labels. In addition, „Wiesenhof“ is the only European supplier to offer a guarantee – montiored and certified by GeneScanEurope AG - that no genetically modified soya is used in the feed from company mills. All poultry slaughterhouses and processing enterprises within the Group are now ecocertified.
More poultry than beef consumed for the first time
For the management of the PHW Group – Paul-Heinz Wesjohann together with his son Peter Wesjohann and Harm Specht – it is the quality policy of the leading German poultry brand which is partly responsible for the increase in poultry consumption per head, which rose between 1995 and 2000 from 13.4 to 15.6 kg. In the same period the rate of supply from German production increased from just over 60 to over 71 percent. According to initial estimates, poultry consumption substantially increased again in 2001: for the first time, Germany consumed, at 17.5 kg per head, more poultry than beef in this year. The PHW Group is keen to benefit from this trend in the poultry sausage sector too. Following its takeover of other partners’ shareholdings in December 2001, the Group is now 100% owner of Wiesenhof poultry sausage. The ‘Wiesenhof’ quality concept also applies to sausage production. Additional sales impetus for ‘Wiesenhof’ is also expected from the introduction of an organically reared chicken, planned for the spring. Then all forms of breeding, from conventional floor husbandry and free range to ecological rearing will be practised by ‘Wiesenhof’ under the same stated origin and quality criteria.
Growth too in other business sectors
In the company sectors animal nutrition/animal health and human nutrition /human healthcare too, substantial growth was achieved in the financial year 2000/2001: animal nutrition/animal health achieved a 5 percent increase in turnover at 322 million euros, the human nutrition/human healthcare sector an increase of 9 percent to 53.7 million euros. The rest of the total turnover of the PHW Group was generated by ‘breeding and franchising’, upstream of the ‚Wiesenhof‘ brand. The turnover of almost 70 million euros represented an increase of 12.5 percent on the previous year.
Over 50 million euros invested
As in the previous year, this financial year also saw investments of over 50 million euros. The focus was again on ‘Wiesenhof’ brand production enterprises and on the building of a feed additive plant for Lohmann Animal Health in Cuxhaven. Also in Cuxhaven, the administrative building for Group company TAD Pharma was completed. Paul-Heinz Wesjohann emphasised again at the annual press conference the „enormous strategic significance“ of the company’s own feed plants. The systematic conversion to feed mills exclusively for poultry feed has almost been completed and the ban on animal proteins – including meat and bone meal, poultry and fish meal – and antibiotic performance enhancers, as well as the guarantee of non genetically modified soya, has secured ‘an almost unrivalled competitive position‘ among poultry producers. A new procedure also meant that the company was close to achieving another goal: this should shortly make it possible to avoid development of salmonella in the feed itself – according to Paul-Heinz Wesjohann ‘a quantum leap in the production of feedstuffs for animal nutrition’. A total of 11 million euros will have been invested in the special technology by April 2002. Salmonellafree feed, together with absolute hygiene and preventative innoculation of the parent animals, which has been practiced for years, is – according to Paul-Heinz Wesjohann – ‘a standard which even on a worldwide scale few have acheived for the prevention of salmonella infection’.
A total of 134 million euros invested in the new German states
For more than 10 years the PHW Group and its ‘Wiesenhof’ brand have had a presence in the new German states with a total of five enterprises. Two slaughterhouses, one rearing farm, one processing factory and a mixed feed factory generate around 20 percent of the overall turnover of the PHW Group. In all – according to the board of directors – a total of 134 million euros has been invested in these enterprises in the last ten years.
2001/2002 goal: stability
For the PHW Group the foremost goal for the current financial year is ‘stability of turnover and profits’ – the management wants to consolidate the growth achieved in the last two financial years, amounting to just under 200 million euros, into additional market shares. The increasing imports have created pressure on volume with a knock-on effect on the price situation. Since the PHW Group cannot fight a price battle with its ‘Wiesenhof’ brand and its costly quality policy, the aim in this financial year is instead to achieve again the turnover and profit figures of the previous year. The investment volume in 2001/2002 will be around 80 million euros.
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