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  • Deutsche Leasing AG
    Frölingstraße 15 - 31
    61352 Bad Homburg v. d. Höhe
    Germany
  • +49 6172 88-00
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Finance

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Management Board Deutsche Leasing

Letter from the Management Board

 

Dear clients and business partners of Deutsche Leasing,

The past financial year 2020/21 continued to be shaped by the coronavirus pandemic and challenging conditions. In this environment, the Deutsche Leasing Group developed positively and was able to return to its pre-crisis level more rapidly than it had anticipated.

While the first half of the past financial year unfolded largely as predicted, in the context of further COVID-19 lockdown measures, the headway made in vaccination campaigns and the related economic recovery had a significant impact on the course of business in the second half of the year. The effects of the supply bottlenecks only made themselves felt in the final few weeks of the financial year. Besides the economic recovery, targeted initiatives such as new partnerships and our entry into the Swiss market contributed to our positive business performance. In addition, we consistently pushed forward with other strategic topics of the future such as digitalisation, and we refined the coronavirus action plan which we had initiated in the previous year.
 
 

60 years of support for innovation and transformation

The financial year 2020/21 was another year of upheavals and new beginnings. Change is the order of the day. The impelling megatrends of this era have now materialised: digitalisation, sustainability, investments in infrastructure, mobility and new forms of work. All of these issues require a capacity for fast action and innovation. They are shaping the business agenda, both within companies and externally. This is particularly true of the SME sector. Its innovative power will continue to be a significant compelling force behind the successful transformation of the economy as a whole. New technologies are an integral part of this. The need for investment is huge, and this is true of practically every industry and every size of business.

Asset and sector expertise are therefore in demand, together with complementary services, in order to combine business innovation with investment projects, while offering forward-looking planning and protection in a volatile environment. For 60 years, the Deutsche Leasing Group has supported business transformations and financed technological progress, in times both good and challenging. As a member of Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe and through its partnerships with trade and industry, Deutsche Leasing reliably supports the SME sector and its capacity for innovation, while also playing its part in a process of economic transformation.

We would like to thank you – our customers, Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe and our partners – for the close cooperation and the confidence you have placed in us. This has been a constant source of inspiration. Above all, we would like to thank our employees in Germany and other countries for their contribution to our positive course of business in an environment which has remained volatile. We greatly appreciate their strong team spirit and high level of commitment.
 
 

New business matches pre-crisis level

In the financial year 2020/21, the Deutsche Leasing Group held its own in a challenging environment and exploited market opportunities. With new business growth of 7.7 per cent to EUR 9.9 billion, we not only matched our pre-crisis level but also slightly expanded our position in the asset finance and asset service markets. Our economic result increased considerably. At EUR 175 million, it reached its pre-crisis level. Our net asset value increased significantly and amounted to EUR 2.2 billion.
 

Growth in almost every business segment

A glance at the distribution of new business by asset class in our various business segments shows that we were able to return to growth in almost all of our business segments by comparison with the previous year.

  • Our volume of new business in the machinery and equipment segment rose by around 10 per cent relative to the previous year and amounted to EUR 5.2 billion. This segment remains the core focus of Deutsche Leasing’s asset finance business.
  • In the road vehicles segment – which includes the passenger car fleet business as well as commercial vehicles – our new business volume increased by 16 per cent to EUR 2.4 billion.
  • With a new business volume of around EUR 1 billion, the real estate segment achieved a result which was more than twice the previous year’s level. A volatile new business trend is typical of this business segment, given the longer lead times and structuring requirements. There is also a catch-up effect in some cases since several projects had been postponed in the previous year due to COVID-19.
  • The volume of new business in the information and communication technology segment amounted to EUR 469 million and was thus around 19 per cent higher than in the previous year. As anticipated in the previous year, the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted an increased level of customer demand for information technology (in conjunction with the digitalisation of processes and jobs).
  • The trend pointed in the opposite direction in the energy and transport segment, which encompasses investments in infrastructure and utilities as well as transport and logistics. In the infrastructure and utilities sub-segment, which focuses on renewable energy, the volume of new business increased considerably, by 23 per cent to around EUR 429 million. We are thus supporting a key pillar of the energy transition, and we see further strong business potential here over the next few years. In the transport and logistics sub-segment – which mainly consists of largescale rail projects in the rail passenger transport and local public transport sectors and is therefore characterised by the volatility typical of these sectors – fewer large transactions were registered in the past financial year. Following exceptionally large transaction volumes in the previous year, the volume of new business here declined by 65 per cent to around EUR 416 million.
     

Factoring turnover at a record level

Deutsche Factoring Bank, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, exceeded the EUR 20 billion limit for the first time in 2021 and achieved a factoring turnover volume of EUR 20.1 billion. This represents an 18.8 per cent increase yearon-year. Moreover, factoring turnover significantly exceeded the volume of turnover in the years 2018 and 2019, which were unaffected by the economic impact of COVID-19. The dynamic trend for business with new and existing customers in Germany and in the import factoring segment contributed to this development. In addition, the company launched a pilot project in the field of healthcare factoring together with a specialist provider which has many years of experience in this market. With its receivables financing and debt management products, Deutsche Factoring Bank focuses on SME customers in its joint exploitation of the market together with Deutsche Leasing and the savings banks. In the new customers segment, the volume of business brokered by savings banks was 89 per cent.
 

Positive trend for investments

Bad Homburger Inkasso (BHI) gained new customers in the housing, energy and healthcare sectors especially and now has 1,331 clients – including 354 savings banks and other Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe companies. Despite the challenging environment associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, BHI acquired its envisaged volume of new cases and won a large number of new customers. As an associated company of the Deutsche Leasing Group, Bad Homburger Inkasso offers badloan collection solutions as well as the market-oriented resale of movable and real estate collateral on behalf of its shareholders, the savings banks and other companies and institutions.

S-Kreditpartner (SKP), a joint venture of Deutsche Leasing and Landesbank Berlin/Berliner Sparkasse, fared considerably better than expected in coping with the challenges resulting from COVID-19. In the past year, this product specialist for vehicle and consumer loans within Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe achieved a new business volume of EUR 4.3 billion – in particular, this reflected a successful second half of the year. This was its second-highest volume of new business since its founding. In its anniversary year 2021, its total assets exceeded the EUR 10 billion mark. This goes to show that SKP initiated a large number of appropriate and strategic measures in 2021 and effectively implemented these measures together with its savings bank partners. Over half of the savings banks are cooperating with SKP through fully fledged partnerships. Eleven new partnerships were added in 2021, and further savings banks are set to sign up in 2022.
 

Market opportunities actively exploited and progress achieved in the field of digitalisation

In the past financial year, we continued to push forward with our strategy of preparing Deutsche Leasing for the future: we exploited market opportunities, made visible progress in the area of digitalisation, and strategically defined sustainability as a key topic of the future.
 
Through our centre of excellence function, in our cooperation with the savings banks we continued to expand our range of digital services in the business and commercial customers segment. The new online application handling process for S-Gewerbekredit, for the financing of smaller plant and equipment expenditures, has expanded digital access through a range of devices. This makes it even easier and simpler to complete an S-Gewerbekredit loan transaction through the full range of contact options, both digitally and in person. 
 

The partnership launched in the previous year with UniCredit Bank, which focuses on our core leasing/hire-purchase business, has got off to a good start.

With a presence in 24 countries overall, in the past financial year we further deepened our international activities through new cooperative arrangements. For instance, in the past financial year Deutsche Leasing entered into a strategic partnership with the Norwegian market leader, DNB. This provides our customers and partners with comprehensive access to DNB’s market presence and sales financing expertise in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. In addition, in Hungary Deutsche Leasing has entered into a partnership with Erste Bank Hungary. Customers of Erste Bank in Hungary are thus able to rely on Deutsche Leasing’s asset finance expertise. Moreover, we further expanded our ECA (export credit agency) offering and we stepped up our sales activities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (the “DACH” region) by establishing our own branch office in Switzerland.

Through the action and investment programme which we initiated in the financial year 2019/20, we are continuing to pursue a strategic path of digitalising our work practices and our business model, where appropriate, and modernising our IT. A steady stream of investments in digital solutions of the future for our employees on the one hand, and for our customers and partners/vendors on the other, is essential here. The use of robot-controlled process automation (RPA) solutions has been further professionalised, and unsupervised “bots” (digital assistants) have been introduced to perform selected routine tasks. We have begun to develop a data science platform which will enable the validation of data-based applications (data science use cases). In addition, as a general interface a new sales and product unit is responsible for sales, product and customer relations management.

vent.io GmbH (vent.io) was founded by the Deutsche Leasing Group on 1 February 2021. Its nucleus was Deutsche Leasing’s old Digital Innovation Unit. It has established itself over the past year in terms of its business activities and operations and has made further progress with projects in fields such as data science and RPA. vent.io is testing and developing digital business models, products and services on behalf of the Deutsche Leasing Group. Moreover, it is continuing to widen its network within the start-up scene, cooperating with startups and investing. It is also a development partner in the fields of data science, software engineering, artificial intelligence and digital customer and partner interfaces.

As one of the first signatories of the “German Savings Banks’ Commitment to Climate-Friendly and Sustainable Business Activities”, we continued to focus on sustainability and decarbonisation in the financial year 2020/21. We integrated these issues more deeply and systematically within our corporate strategy – with a view to our own business activities as well as our customers’ business. To this end, we analysed our business portfolio in terms of our carbon footprint and initiated an initial series of projects. Our portfolio analysis demonstrated that the Deutsche Leasing Group already offers its customers a large number of opportunities for investments here: e.g. in renewable energy sources such as solar and wind farms, in (electro-)mobility for vehicle fleets and local public transport, and in more modern machinery and equipment. Close support and assistance for the German SME sector in its gradual process of decarbonisation and its innovative development of further green technologies will be at the heart of our approach here. We feel that we are well placed to achieve this goal, thanks to our experience in supporting innovations and our many years of asset and sector expertise.
 

Outlook for the financial year 2021/22

The Deutsche Leasing Group’s financial year 2021/22 will continue to be shaped by challenging outline conditions. The COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet and remains a source of uncertainty at a macroeconomic level. Supply bottlenecks are increasingly affecting the economic recovery in Germany and other countries. The inflation trend and the related development of interest rates are further factors. In addition, world affairs and the global economy are being influenced by geopolitical tensions.

At the same time, we see increased business opportunities in view of the need for action associated with the key transformative issues of our time, such as digitalisation, infrastructure and sustainability. We intend to focus in particular on actively exploiting these opportunities. Our corporate strategy and our growth areas in the asset finance and asset service markets are geared towards this.

Our action and investment programme is now entering its third year of implementation, and there are important digitalisation and modernisation projects to carry through to fruition. We are focusing on process and product optimisation, so as to increase our speed of automation and implementation in the digital environment by means of standards and modules. The modernisation of our IT landscape is a second area of focus. With this goal in mind, we are relocating to a new data centre, alongside our day-to-day operations, and will have completed the process of changing our provider by the end of 2023.

In the area of sustainability, we will continue to add detail to our strategic orientation and will further develop the range of advisory and other services which we offer our customers for their own transformation projects. We will invest in this area and develop further areas of expertise.

We see our intragroup business with the savings banks as one of our key growth areas. This especially includes the business and commercial customers segment. We will further intensify and step up the pace of our close cooperation with the savings banks. As a partner of the German SME sector, in future we thus intend to exploit Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe’s market potential even more systematically and efficiently. For this reason, we have decided as of the start of the new financial year to bring together in a new central market unit the entire scope of the Deutsche Leasing Group’s strategic cooperation with the savings banks. In the meantime, all of the necessary preparatory measures will be implemented and we will be testing our strategic market exploitation approach together with selected pilot savings banks.

The factoring business continues to offer growth potential for the Deutsche Leasing Group and the savings banks. We aim to expand our intragroup business and our exploitation of the market in this area.

Due to German companies continuing to focus heavily on exports and to the international presence of the German economy, we continue to see strong market potential in the international business segment. We will further develop this business through our international network as well as the central pillars of our international activities and partnerships: our cooperation with internationally active vendors (machinery and equipment manufacturers), our support for German companies’ direct investments and our partnership with the savings banks outside Germany. As a central ECA partner for the savings banks, this will provide additional revenue opportunities in the area of export financing. Our enhanced presence in Germany, Austria and Switzerland will also enable us to increase the level of support which we provide for our customers and vendors.

We will continue to pursue our long-term growth and income goals in this overall context, i.e. with due consideration of the related challenges and potential. All in all, in the financial year 2021/22 the Deutsche Leasing Group aims to achieve a rate of new business growth which surpasses the trend for the overall economy.
 
While the overall economic outline conditions remain uncertain, we have an optimistic view of the impelling topics of our time: we have an essential role in tackling issues such as digitalisation, sustainability, infrastructure, mobility or new forms of work – together with our customers, the savings banks and our partners in Deutsche Leasing’s regions and worldwide. We are guided by this vision and we will play our part in designing and supporting this process of transformation throughout the economy and across a variety of different industries. In our 60th anniversary year, it is undoubtedly a core priority for us to serve as a partner to the German SME sector and to support its capacity for innovation and its technologically driven digital and green transformation.
 

Signature of the Executive Board of Deutsche Leasing