The packaging manufacturer Thimm Group, Northeim, has closed the 2019 financial year with revenues of € 623 m (2018: € 645 m). Operating result EBITDAR at € 46.7 m increased by 20 % to € 56.1 m. Investments of € 34.0 m have been made in product diversification, individual sites and production technologies to support the further growth of Thimm Group. Employee numbers as of 31.12.2019 increased from 3,262 in the previous year to 3,512, including 121 apprentices.
According to Mathias Schliep, Chairman of the Management Board, Thimm Group, “We grew our sales further over the last year. However, because we pass on lower prices for corrugated cardboard base paper, our most important raw material, to our customers, revenues have actually fallen slightly. Furthermore, due to developments in the automotive industry there has been a fall in revenue from industrial goods packaging.” The equity ratio of Thimm Group at the end of the 2019 financial year was 41.0%, above the previous year’s value (37.5%) and therefore remained at a high level. In addition to the volume growth in the packaging plants in Poland and Romania, the corrugated cardboard plant completed in 2017 in Wolznach in Bavaria recorded considerable volume growth in 2019 and made a significant contribution to the increase in earnings. According to Schliep, “However, the cost situation in the entire sector remains challenging due to the sharp increases in personnel, logistics and energy costs in some regions.”
In the financial year under review, the Thimm Group expanded its market presence with three additional sites. In the fourth quarter the Thimm Packaging Systems business division took over the supplier of foam solutions and technical moulded parts, ISL Schaumstoff-Technik GmbH, based in Viernheim in South Hesse and the business operations of ISL Verpackungstechnik GmbH in Serba in Thuringia. In addition, TOP Packaging, the Polish joint venture owned by Thimm Group, took over the local supplier of corrugated cardboard packaging, United Packaging SA in Skarbimierz, near Wroclaw. Thimm has also invested in the production plant in Sibiu in Romania.
Schliep explains the current situation: “The spread of the Corona pandemic to Europe and Germany at the start of the year has considerably changed the commercial framework conditions on which our 2020 planning was based. Worldwide a significant economic downturn is expected for the second quarter of 2020. The impacts of the pandemic on Thimm Group have been very varied. Currently we are recording an increasing demand for packaging for everyday consumer goods, whereas the demand for packaging for the automotive and industrial goods sectors has fallen considerably. Overall this crisis has illustrated the importance of packaging in maintaining the supply chain and for the provision of food, pharmaceutical and medical products. Packaging is an integral component in the security of supply for the population.”
Despite the spread of the Corona pandemic to Europe during the first quarter, Thimm Group had a good start to 2020. “We are still expecting to grow our revenue despite this extreme situation,” says Schliep. “We are well-positioned with our innovative and sustainable packaging solutions which are in increasing demand, particularly from the food industry. Corrugated cardboard packaging is part of a product life cycle which makes both an important economic and ecological contribution to efficient supply chain logistics. In addition, the e-commerce sector is developing well to very well. Our 2020 focus for the Thimm Packaging Systems business division is the integration of the newly taken over sites and we will be further expanding digital printing in the Christiansen Print business division. Despite the Corona crisis we will continue our investments during 2020 in the further development of our company and invest in the future of each individual production site in order to modernise our sites and further expand our capacities.”