Bad Soden, Germany,

Excellent year for industrial gases specialist Messer

Messer Group publishes annual report: higher sales, greater profit, lower energy consumption

The Messer Group was able to increase its sales and profit again in the 2017 financial year and far exceeded its targets for energy savings. The key performance indicators in the area of safety were considerably improved as well.

The largest privately owned industrial gases specialist achieved consolidated sales of 1.232 billion euros, compared to 1.146 billion euros in 2016, and an operating profit of 290 million euros. This figure amounted to 249 million euros the previous year. Compared to the previous year, the 2017 financial year was characterised by nearly ideal economic conditions. “Despite our forecast, this helped us to achieve a significant increase in sales of 7.5 per cent compared with the 2016 financial year. The downturn in EBITDA projected for 2017 also did not materialise and instead actually increased by more than 16 per cent year-over-year. This is chiefly the result of business performance in China that far exceeded our expectations”, Stefan Messer, Messer Group owner and CEO, pointes out.

Investments totalled to around 144 million euros. “Due to the lower capital expenditures and the improved results, we were able to make greater reductions than originally planned in our overall net debt. This way, we created a financial basis with which to secure our company in the long term with additional investments in our future”, Messer Group CFO Hans-Gerd Wienands explaines. Following economic principles, investments are made with priority in projects that secure product supply and offer opportunities for profitable growth. Investments are also regularly made in modernising production facilities, and in distribution channels.

Key performance indicators on energy consumption and safety significantly improved‘Creating Values. Living Values’ is the title of the certified sustainability report by the Bad Soden based Messer Group. Each year since 2014, Messer has published a CSR report that voluntarily discloses its key performance indicators in the areas of environmental and climate protection, safety, social commitment, sustainable growth, and employee and customer orientation. The report is subject to audit by the international Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Global Compact. The Messer Group’s objective is to reduce the specific energy consumption of its production facilities for air gases by 0.5 per cent a year from 2010 to 2020. The company aims to achieve this through better capacity utilisation, continuous investment in even more efficient facilities and targeted energy-efficiency projects. Within the Messer organisation, the Global Energy Officer (GEO) has been responsible for energy management in the Messer organisation, a position created in 2014. Compared to the previous year, Messer reduced its specific energy consumption by 1.7 per cent in 2017 and is thus clearly ahead of its envisioned target.

The number of industrial accidents reported with loss of working hours fell sharply from 25 (2016) to 15 in 2017. The rate of loss of employee working time per million hours worked (accident frequency rate) fell by 1 to 1.4. The number of employee working days lost (industrial accident severity rate) per million hours worked also fell in 2017, from 77.9 to 45.4. In 2017, there were 37 reportable industrial accidents, compared to 88 the previous year.

Stefan Messer: “The term ‘value’ can be, and is meant to be, understood in different ways. For Messer, it has two central meanings: First, as an economic value, and secondly as a guideline to our entrepreneurial action. Combining the two – sustainable growth and value-oriented action – is certainly an art.”

Corporate Responsibility and Management ReportOnce again this year, Messer is publishing its annual report both in printed form and on the Internet. As of now, the online annual report will be available at the following address:http://jahresbericht.messergroup.com

At its homepage, the industrial gases manufacturer makes all of its annual reports – from 1964 to the present – available for download. Sketches of the economic environment, written by historian Dr Jörg Lesczenski, complement the more than 50-year business history of Messer.

For the printed version of the 2017 annual report, please send a brief e-mail to