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Representatives’ meeting: DMK Group presents a stable year-end result for 2018 and a mission statement for 2030

The DMK Group looks back on a stable fiscal year in 2018. At the same time, Germany’s biggest dairy company is preparing for the future of the food industry with a long-term ‘Vision 2030’.

Bremen/ Hannover – WEBWIRE

 The DMK Group, the biggest German dairy cooperative, and, alongside brands like Milram, Humana, Uniekaas and Alete, one of the biggest suppliers to the German food retail industry, is continuing to build the DMK of the future: The dairy company’s realignment towards being a clear customer and consumer-based food producer, which started in the summer of 2017, is reflected in the stable figures for the past fiscal year.

At the ordinary owner-side representatives’ meeting (Genossenschaft Deutsches Milchkontor eG) in Hanover on Wednesday, dairy chief Ingo Müller presented total revenue in 2018 of EUR 5.6 billion (2017: EUR 5.8 billion), which remained at almost the same level as the previous year, and slightly improved earnings of EUR 30.6 million (2017: EUR 29.6 million). The equity capital ratio is stable at 30.9 percent (2017: 31.1 percent).

CEO Ingo Müller explains far-reaching change
Nutrition trends are changing - and quicker than expected. Issues like sustainability in animal welfare and environmental protection, trends, regionality and convenience - all keywords that crop up when discussing food nowadays. In order to accelerate future developments in the organization, Deutsche Milchkontor (DMK) is planning a long-term ‘Vision 2030’ with a guiding principle covering its six business fields: Germany’s biggest dairy cooperative is to continue to grow into a strong market and consumer-oriented company. The restructuring of the company introduced in 2017 will continue to be driven forward.

Ingo Müller: “A key factor when it comes to change is time. We know that DMK has often asked a lot of its farmers in the past. At the same time, we know that fundamental reorganisation like that which we’re currently undergoing doesn’t happen overnight. As well as basic organisational measures for one of the biggest food producers in Germany, the restructuring also represents a huge change in the corporate culture. We have an ambitious plan for both of these factors, which we also have to implement with due care to ensure that DMK can reach its full potential. The first phase, which was shaped by investments in the future, has almost come to a close. Now it’s about benefiting from the effects in a targeted way.” 

Müller recognises key changes to the company in six key points. 

  1. “Focusing on the consumer, thinking about what they want and need, is our top priority. We have formulated our new guiding principle accordingly. We will be deepening our understanding of consumers even further in future, targeting specific generations. We already have an offering in our assortment for almost everyone at each stage of life and for any need. We will continue to expand this for our key strengths and will work on it in a focused way. For me, our new Vision 2030 ‘The first choice – for an entire lifetime.’ perfectly summarises what we will be offering with our assortment in the future: being the clear number one for consumers in the selected assortments,” says Müller about their top goal.

  2. “We are increasingly focusing our assortment by withdrawing from selected business areas and defining clear roles for each business area. Where do we invest? Where can we grow? Where can we design the business with clear measures in such a way that we can earn money even where there is no market growth per se?” Müller’s motto is “Value creation before growth ”. 

  3. The DMK Group is changing its positioning from simply being a volume player in the dairy industry, to being a provider ‘of selected natural products’. “In doing so, milk will continue to be our number one raw material by far,” Müller emphasises. 

  4. He also wants to further refine international activities, as the organisational restructuring over the past few years hasn’t gone far enough here. “We see Europe as our home market and will focus our expertise in the right business units here in the future.” Brands in Europe take place in the ‘Brand’ BU, trademarks on European soil are organised under the ‘Private Label’ BU. So it’s clearly market-oriented - major retail chains have been set up in Europe for a long time. With its new compilation, DMK can act as an experienced partner here.

  5. Beyond the borders of Europe, the ‘International’ business unit now has the capacity to clearly structure processing for the non-European business. “Outside Europe, we’re setting clear priorities. Regional bases in Russia, China and Nigeria with local teams are more effective for us than simply having exports from Germany. A traditional export makes sense in selected countries in which we also move big volumes. We can’t buy any of this if we only count the number of export markets,” says Müller. Corresponding measures for redistributing international business are to be initiated in the coming months.

  6. Nutrition trends are changing - and quicker than expected. What about adjacent attractive food and drink sectors which, in addition to dairy products, constitute our future key source of income? What about plant-based alternatives? “For a traditional company like DMK, it can’t be a no-go for the future,” says Müller. “If you look at global developments, you quickly realise two things. Firstly, milk alone will no longer be enough to feed the growing population. Then secondly, consumers are already looking for alternatives for a variety of reasons. Ignoring this would be negligent,” he gives his clear assessment. “We will take a targeted approach here - within the ‘Brand’ business unit, colleagues will look very closely at where and how we can establish ourselves in this field in the coming months.” 

Dr. Frank Claassen takes over position of CFO

Dr. Frank Claassen will become the new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the DMK Group. He succeeds Volkmar Taucher (62), who will hand over his position on 1 July 2019 as part of his succession plan. The 54-year-old is considered to be a proven financial expert. He comes from Beiersdorf AG, where he was most recently Vice President Finance Europe. 

Heinz Korte, Supervisory Board Chairman of DMK, said in the representatives’ meeting: “We would like to thank Volkmar Taucher for his trusting cooperation and his many years of valuable contributions to DMK. He has played a key role in shaping the development of the Group in recent years. We are pleased to be welcoming Dr. Frank Claassen, an extremely experienced manager, in this position. With his experience, he will enrich DMK Group as it continues to reposition itself.”

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