DEKRA launches Trust Center initiative
Offensive for More Digital Safety
The global expert organization DEKRA has made a successful start to 2019. In the first quarter, revenue increased by almost 5% to more than EUR 800 million. The company considers itself on course for growth for the 16th year running, and is expecting annual growth of between 4 and 6%. Highlights of the first few months of the financial year include the opening of the first inspection station in China and the Trust Center initiative that DEKRA has launched in Germany together with other testing organizations for the entire industry, to enable it to effectively perform its official inspection tasks in the data-driven and connected world of the future. That applies to safe mobility in particular. “The data belongs to the users. The safety- and environmentally relevant data that vehicles generate must be made available to the inspection organizations in an unfiltered state, otherwise the proper condition and the safety of the vehicles cannot be guaranteed,” DEKRA Chief Executive Officer Stefan Kölbl told journalists in Stuttgart. When it came to reviewing past developments, the DEKRA CEO was very pleased: Consolidated revenue increased by 6.6% to EUR 3.3 billion in 2018. The staff headcount increased by over 1,000 to nearly 45,200. The international business has continued its positive development and has now reached EUR 1.3 billion. Over half of the company’s employees are based outside Germany. DEKRA further strengthened its position as the largest unlisted expert organization in the TIC industry (testing, inspection, certification) in 2018.
- Revenue up by 6.6% in 2018 with a staff headcount of over 45,000
- Vehicle inspection achieves revenue of more than €1 billion for the first time
- Entry into car inspection in China with first inspection station in Shenzhen
- DEKRA with new corporate structure since the turn of the year
In the 2018 financial year, the continued digitalization of its own services and processes was also on the global agenda at DEKRA. In New Zealand, the digital inspection platform INSPEKT was developed and launched in around 200 locations across the country. In Germany, DEKRA Digital GmbH is working on the DEKRA S@fety Index, an app that analyzes driving behavior and is designed to enhance road safety.
It was not only in China that DEKRA advanced its international expansion in vehicle inspections last year. After acquiring a regional provider, the expert organization is now active in the field in Denmark, too. Furthermore, the number of testing stations in countries including Sweden, Bulgaria, Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic also increased. In the US, the acquisition of Jiffy Smog and its 24 emissions testing centers in Nevada also bolstered the company’s position in North America, where DEKRA now inspects vehicles in six different states.
All in all, DEKRA has continued to consolidate its standing as market leader, conducting 26 million vehicle inspections across the world. DEKRA is a leader in testing in Germany, too, with around 11 million inspections and a market share of 33%.
Thanks to ongoing globalization and a good position in up-and-coming sectors, DEKRA also successfully expanded its business in industrial services. Kölbl: “The international expansion was marked by strategic acquisitions and a targeted expansion of expertise.” The company’s position as a safety consultant to oil and gas, chemical, and pharmaceutical companies made strides thanks to the acquisition of the Industrial Safety Group in the Netherlands. Around 100 specialists in occupational and fire safety as well as health and prevention support multinational industrial companies in areas such as construction and assembly projects, change processes, and inspection downtime. In response to market requirements, a laboratory was opened in Shanghai dedicated specifically to testing risks of chemical processes, known as chemical reaction hazard (CRH). This new laboratory means that DEKRA’s expertise in this area is now represented on three continents. In Japan, DEKRA was recognized as a certification body for testing products used in areas at risk of explosion.
The good economic climate thus far in Germany and many other European countries has also supported the business of the two business segments training and temporary work, both of which achieved growth and strengthened their market position. As one of the largest private training providers in Germany, the training business unit significantly expanded the number of users on the digital work safety teaching platform DEKRA Safety Web. Initial content has also been adapted for international use. In addition, the new “DEKRA Tag.it” software allows every employee to view location-specific information on hazardous situations and safety measures on their smartphone or tablet. Since 2016, DEKRA has supported the integration of refugees across Germany by providing language and integration courses. These people receive vocational training in collaboration with the German Federal Employment Agency, job centers and companies. DEKRA is currently providing training in south-east Europe for employees of more than 70 customers in order to ease the shortage of skilled workers in Germany, especially in the care sector but also in IT. These employees receive professional and language training so that they can then come to Germany with an offer of permanent employment. More than 3,000 people are currently participating in the expert migration program. Around 1,300 qualified nurses were placed in hospitals and care facilities throughout Germany in 2018.
In 2018, DEKRA laid the foundations for ensuring that its successful growth continues for a 16th year in 2019 despite the now more challenging underlying global economic conditions. “The global safety megatrend remains essentially intact. As an innovative international solution provider, DEKRA will benefit from this and do everything in its power to enhance safety in traditional and digital markets,” said DEKRA CEO Stefan Kölbl. “The new corporate structure that we introduced at the beginning of the year with eight service divisions and eight regions strengthens our customer focus, offers more comprehensive solutions worldwide and leverages our digitalization expertise even more effectively.”