Dear clients and business partners of Deutsche Leasing,
The war in Ukraine and the related geopolitical upheavals have had a considerable impact on our financial year 2021/22.
So much is now more complex and uncertain. We are currently undergoing a huge economic transformation. The geopolitical changes and the war in Ukraine are putting significant pressure on supply chains, sales markets, and the supply of energy. Companies are thus obliged not only to consider the issues of digitalisation, the recruitment and retention of skilled workers and decarbonisation, they are also forced to confront these geopolitical and macroeconomic changes. As always in times of upheaval, huge challenges and tremendous market opportunities go hand in hand. Targeted and forward-looking investments will play a crucial role for the German economy as a whole and for every business. After all, there can be no transformation without investment!
This transformation of the economy will require staying power and networks in order to jointly strike out on new paths and identify solutions. That will continue to require a strong SME sector and its partners. Deutsche Leasing stands side by side with the SME sector to play a role in shaping these changes. With our sector and asset expertise, we are financing and realising the SME sector’s transformation. We are thus making a systematic contribution to the German economy’s climatefriendly and digital transformation.
That requires close cooperation with you – our customers, Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe and our partners. The high level of trust which you continue to place in Deutsche Leasing, particularly in these challenging times, is a great honour for us. We would like to thank you wholeheartedly for our intensive and consistently forward-looking partnership. We would particularly like to thank our employees in Germany and other countries. In consistently rising to new challenges and seizing opportunities, they are demonstrating strong team spirit, a high level of commitment and outstanding achievement – as they proved once again in the past financial year.
New business again exceeds 10 billion mark
In the financial year 2021/22, the significant change in overall conditions had some negative effects on the Deutsche Leasing Group, but also some positive impacts. Overall, our broad diversification in the market played a key role in our ability to exploit market opportunities and in our successful overall development, despite the more difficult circumstances.
With a 4.8 per cent increase in our new business volume to EUR 10.4 billion, we have exceeded the EUR 10 billion mark for the second time in Deutsche Leasing’s history. We have thus maintained our leading market position in a market environment which remained challenging. Our economic result also rose slightly year-on-year to EUR 177 million. With an increase in our net asset value to approx. EUR 2.3 billion, we have once again considerably strengthened the economic fundamentals of the Deutsche Leasing Group.
Renewable energy as a source of growth impetus
A glance at the distribution of new business by asset class in our various business segments shows that our individual business segments generally exceeded or matched the level achieved in the previous year.
In the energy and transport segment, which encompasses investments in infrastructure and utilities as well as transport and logistics, the volume of new business increased significantly by more than 30 per cent to EUR 1.1 billion. Above all, this was driven by the further rise in the number of renewable energy projects which we supported.
In the road vehicles segment – which includes the passenger car fleet business as well as commercial vehicles – our new business volume increased by 14 per cent to EUR 2.8 billion.
The new business volume in the machinery and equipment segment – which remains the core focus of Deutsche Leasing’s asset finance business – amounted to EUR 5.1 billion and thus matched the previous year’s figure.
The real estate segment was also stable and remained at the same high level as in the previous year with a new business volume of EUR 1 billion.
The volume of new business in the information and communication technology segment amounted to EUR 0.4 billion and was thus lower than in the previous year. This was partly due to the uncertainties associated with the market environment as well as the ongoing supply chain problem. In times of transformation, companies’ technological development (modernisation of IT, digitalisation of processes and jobs) remains essential and creates market opportunities.
New business in Russia frozen
In early March 2022, in response to the start of the war in Ukraine, the Deutsche Leasing Group froze active new business in Russia while safeguarding the viability of day-to-day business operations under the prevailing sanctions and acting in close consultation with its customers and partners. Accordingly, the share of the Deutsche Leasing Group’s new business accounted for by Russia declined to 0.3 per cent in the financial year 2021/22 (previous year: 1.3 per cent).
Factoring turnover once again increased
Deutsche Factoring Bank achieved factoring turnover of EUR 23 billion in the calendar year 2022 and thus an increase of 12.4 per cent on the previous year. It had already surpassed the 20 billion mark for the first time in 2021. It reached another record result thanks to the dynamic trend for business with new and existing customers in Germany and through import and export factoring. Its business success also reflected its continuous and efficient market exploitation together with Deutsche Leasing and Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe. In the new customers segment, the volume of business brokered by savings banks was more than 90 per cent. With its receivables financing and debt management products, Deutsche Factoring Bank focuses on SME customers and is Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe’s factoring centre of excellence.
Positive trend for investments
Bad Homburger Inkasso (BHI) was able to gain new customers – in particular, in the housing and energy sectors as well as transport operators – and now has 1,388 clients in total, including 363 savings banks and other Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe companies. Despite a challenging environment and internal change and modernisation processes – including an extensive changeover of its core IT systems – BHI won a large number of new customers and acquired new cases. As an associated company of the Deutsche Leasing Group, Bad Homburger Inkasso offers bad loan solutions as well as the market-oriented resale of movable and real estate collateral.
S-Kreditpartner (SKP), a joint venture of Deutsche Leasing and Landesbank Berlin/Berliner Sparkasse, fared well in the calendar year 2022 despite the more difficult conditions. In the past year, this product specialist for vehicle and consumer loans within Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe achieved its highest new business volume since its founding – EUR 4.9 billion – thanks to a successful first half of the year. This corresponds to a 15 per cent increase year-on-year and demonstrates that it has successfully implemented its strategy together with the savings banks. For 2023, a more subdued new business trend should be expected on account of the slowdown in economic activity. The volume of existing retail and corporate customer business amounted to EUR 10.5 billion and increased by 16 per cent year-on-year. Currently, around 60 per cent of the savings banks are cooperating with S-Kreditpartner through fully fledged partnerships. Ten such new partnerships were added in 2022.
Strategy defined, areas of transformation deepened and market opportunities realised
The Deutsche Leasing Group’s past financial year was dominated by forward-looking changes. We not only adjusted our corporate strategy and actively exploited market opportunities, we also stepped up our sustainability efforts even further and made significant progress in the area of digitalisation.
Our revised corporate strategy “Strategy 2030” is our response to the complex and uncertain environment. We have thus established a framework for our areas of strategic focus, such as sustainability and digitalisation, for our market ambitions in Germany and other countries, and for the Deutsche Leasing Group’s continuous processes of corporate transformation over the next few years.
We have successfully established a new central market unit to deepen our centre of excellence function within Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe. We are thus intensifying our close partnership with the savings banks and focusing on a joint, strategically-oriented market exploitation approach. We have expanded our range of digital solutions in our business and commercial customers segment as demonstrated by our fully digitalised S-Gewerbekredit product for financing of smaller plant and equipment expenditures.
We have systematically deepened the profile of sustainability and decarbonisation in our business activities in relation to our customers and within Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe. This is a central strategic area of focus and a transformation engine for us and for our customers and partners. Our Strategy 2030 and our role as an active transformation service provider in the area of sustainability should be understood in this context. We have made changes to our evaluation and steering activities in regard to sustainability criteria (ESG criteria/risks) for our portfolios in Germany and other countries. We have coordinated more closely with the savings banks regarding our activities in the areas of sustainability and transformation financing so as to pool areas of expertise in a strategic and sales-oriented manner and to exploit these on the market in our customer relationships. The renewable energy projects which our subsidiary DAL Deutsche Anlagen-Leasing is implementing with savings banks are one example of this. However, our activities here also include joint investment solutions promoting climate-friendly mobility for vehicle fleets and local public transport as well as more energyefficient machinery and equipment. For our own business operations, we have intensified the regular assessment of our sustainability efforts from an ESG point of view and defined further measures in order to realise our goal of achieving carbon neutrality in our business operations by 2035, in line with Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe’s commitment to climate-friendly and sustainable business activities. Our employees are undergoing targeted ESG training with this goal in mind.
In the financial year 2021/22, we continued to step up our investments in IT modernisation, process and product optimisation and forward-looking digital solutions. This delivered significant performance improvements for our customers and partners and for our own business operations. We have realised a key step in the modernisation of our IT with our successful relocation to a new data centre. Within the scope of our ongoing action and investment programme, together with our digital and innovation subsidiary, vent.io, we have made improvements for our customer business which include machine data-based digital business models. vent.io has also expanded its activities in the areas of digital customer and partner interfaces, MVP development, and data science models as well as investments in and partnerships with B2B start-ups.
The picture for our international activities in more than 20 foreign markets varied in the financial year 2021/22. The course of business differed from one country to the next in view of the macroeconomic and geopolitical developments. At the same time, we were able to realise important projects. This included the continuous expansion of our market activities in Austria and Switzerland as well as our ECA (export credit agency) business.
Promising outlook for the financial year 2022/23
The Deutsche Leasing Group’s new financial year 2022/23 will continue to be shaped by a complex and uncertain environment. The macroeconomic trend and issues such as the supply of energy, inflation, the war in Ukraine, the increasing polarisation of geopolitical interests, ongoing trade conflicts and, not least, the interest-rate trend are one aspect of this.
Nonetheless, we also see attractive opportunities for the Deutsche Leasing Group in the financial year 2022/23. Processes of upheaval and transformation – which currently include decarbonisation and digitalisation – are shaping the market and most companies’ activities. These changes entail investments in the future which are critical to success. They also offer us the opportunity to make an active contribution to a modern and climate-friendly economy while developing profitable growth areas – very much in keeping with our Strategy 2030.
We will intensify and develop our range of advisory and other services and solutions in this role as an active transformation service provider in the area of sustainability. This particularly concerns products and services relating to the action fields of renewable energy (incl. photovoltaic systems, solar and wind farms), energy efficiency (machinery, equipment, real estate) and e-mobility (commercial vehicles, passenger cars, local public transport). Our close cooperation with the savings banks in the areas of transformation financing and sustainability will play an important and prominent role for a strong SME sector. We will also review further potential for sustainability in the Deutsche Leasing Group’s business model.
The renewal of our own IT landscape remains of key significance for our digitalisation and modernisation projects – as the basis for digital customer applications, portal solutions and flexible execution processes. Important system changeovers in the current financial year will contribute to this. In addition, we will further optimise our processes and products in order to accelerate the pace of our digital automation and implementation workflows where necessary and appropriate.
Besides continuing to develop existing, successful partnerships, our digital subsidiary vent.io will invest further in startups as planned. At the same time, we will focus on the development of digital customer and partner interfaces as well as the implementation of data science use cases.
In our intragroup business with the savings banks, we see further growth areas in addition to transformation financing. The expansion of our joint factoring business is one such example of this. Overall, we will strengthen the visibility of our close relationship with Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe, which will enable us to complement each other’s areas of expertise more effectively. With this aim in mind, our Strategic Market Exploitation system which is in place throughout Germany will provide targeted support for our new central market unit. Many savings banks will already be able to make use of this advisory service in the current year and thus access new market analysis tools, for instance.
Our international business segment continues to offer strong business potential for the Deutsche Leasing Group since the German economy is export-oriented and international in focus, and markets are generally diversified worldwide. Reliable relationships and structures remain of paramount importance. With our international network and our globally-oriented partnerships, we provide assistance to international vendors (machinery and equipment manufacturers) in their international sales markets and to German companies with their direct investments. We are also closely cooperating with the savings banks regarding foreign business. Moreover, we are the savings banks’ central ECA partner in export financing. We see additional revenue opportunities
in structured financing in the areas of specialist transactions and project business, as well as in the expansion of our global range of insurance products.
Altogether, for the financial year 2022/23, the Deutsche Leasing Group aims to achieve a rate of new business growth which surpasses the trend for the overall economy and is accompanied by an increase in its net asset value.
Looking forward, much is set to remain challenging and uncertain in the financial year 2022/23 – but there will also be many opportunities. Particularly in times like these, competence and cooperation based on trust and partnership are key, especially when it comes to long-term financing arrangements. It is here that we can rely on our many years of experience and on our relationships with the savings banks, our partners, and our customers. It is their needs which will continue to shape and motivate our activities.