- Only minor impact from Covid-19 pandemic on domestic construction site operations
- Buoyant start to 2021 with full order books
- Digitalisation, LEAN.Construction and sustainability remain strategically most important topics for the future
Stuttgart-based Ed. Züblin AG, Germany’s market leader in building construction and civil engineering, can look back on a successful 2020 financial year, a year that was overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic, with solid key performance indicators and positive earnings. The high baseline values for new orders, output volume and order backlog consolidated as expected in the 2020 financial year, after two years of strong growth that had been influenced by the acceptance and completion of extraordinary large-scale projects in Germany and abroad. Jens Borgschulte, member of the ZÜBLIN management board, explains: “Of course, we are always delighted about the acquisition of large projects, but this is naturally not something that can be repeated every year. In this respect, the construction business is always subject to such cycles to a certain extent.” ZÜBLIN has weathered the coronavirus crisis well so far. Although the impact on ongoing construction operations was quite varied due to the country-specific lockdown regulations, the effects remained very moderate, not least due to the consistent hygiene concepts and safety standards on the construction sites and at the offices.
ZÜBLIN generated construction output of around € 4.0 billion in 2020, compared to around € 4.6 billion in the previous year. At the same time, the domestic share of output rose from 76 % to 80 %. Compared to the record year of 2019, the volume of new orders fell from € 4.6 billion to around € 3.7 billion. This decline was attributable in particular to the international business, where new large-scale projects in Chile and Qatar had filled the order books in the previous year. The investment restraint in commercial construction caused by the pandemic also made itself felt: “Projects were postponed in industrial and hotel construction in particular. Our focus was therefore increasingly on residential and infrastructure construction,” says Borgschulte. At just over € 6 billion (2019: approx. € 6.5 billion), the still extremely solid order backlog on 31 December 2020 continues to ensure high capacity utilisation.
ZÜBLIN’s biggest acquisitions in Germany in 2020 included the new construction of the MARK Munich office ensemble, being realised under the successful teamconcept partnering model, the new construction of the Willich correctional facility with space for 768 detainees, the modernisation of the Potsdamer Platz Arkaden shopping centre in Berlin, the structural work on the historic Bonatz Building at the Stuttgart railway station and the slab track construction for the Stuttgart 21 railway project. A special highlight was the contract for the extended shell construction for the southern section of the FAIR particle accelerator facility in Darmstadt, one of the most important and extremely complex construction projects for top international research. Abroad, the planning and construction of three houses of worship for three different religions in the cultural quarter of Abu Dhabi as well as the Sølund residential and retirement centre in Copenhagen, another teamconcept project, were among the most important new orders.
The ZÜBLIN Group had a total of 13,124 employees on the reporting date of 31 December 2020, compared with 14,755 in the previous year. This total included 8,070 in Germany and 5,054 (2019: 6,353) abroad, where a number of projects were completed over the course of the year, particularly in Chile and the Middle East.
For the ongoing financial year, ZÜBLIN expects stable business development with a slight increase in output. Despite continued investment restraint on the part of private clients, the company has been able to record a healthy increase in new orders in the first four months of 2021, including two large-scale multi-storey residential construction projects in Frankfurt, an industrial building in Kiel and the design-and-build contract for the new Dresden administrative centre. “We are particularly pleased with this contract award, because in addition to the consistent implementation of our digitalisation, LEAN.Construction and sustainability strategy, it is very important for us to convince our customers of the advantages of involving our design expertise at an early stage in the project. We are convinced that end-to-end design and construction from a single source is ultimately an important factor for project success,” emphasises ZÜBLIN board member Dr Ulrich Klotz.
Stuttgart-based Ed. Züblin AG, with more than 13,000 employees and an annual output of around € 4 billion, is one of Germany’s largest construction companies. Since its foundation in 1898, ZÜBLIN has been successfully realising challenging construction projects in Germany and abroad and today is the STRABAG Group’s leading brand for building construction and civil engineering. The company’s range of services covers all construction-related tasks – from complex turnkey construction, civil engineering and tunnelling to construction logistics, structural maintenance, ground engineering and timber or steel construction. In recent years, ZÜBLIN has been promoting the topics of digitalisation, LEAN.Construction and sustainability and – supported by the many years of experience of its Zentrale Technik competence centre – is also increasingly offering integrated design and construction from a single source as a general planner. When it comes to partnering, ZÜBLIN has set new standards with its teamconcept partnering model, which has proven its worth on the market for more than 25 years. Current construction projects of the company, a subsidiary of globally operating STRABAG SE, include the EDGE East Side Berlin high-rise project, the Rinsdorf and Rälsbach viaducts on the A45 motorway and the Boyneburg Tunnel on the A44. More information is available at www.zueblin.de.