VDL Groep states it has “achieved this year’s growth forecast in the first half of 2023”, quantified in a 5 to 10 percent increase in turnover growth in the full year. “Net profit declined after the first six months of the year, although the net operating result has grown”, still the group points out in a press note announcing the financial results.
President and CEO of VDL Groep Willem van der Leegte outlined that “In terms of our half-year figures, three of our four divisions had an increase in revenue”. The fourth one is the bus and coach division, whose revenue “decreased by 40 percent from 251 million euros a year ago to 153 million euros”.
Recent figures on e-bus market show that VDL had only 25 electric bus registrations in H1 2023 and a 1% market share. The drastic decline from 344 registrations in 2022 suggests that VDL is struggling to maintain a strong foothold in the European e-mobility market.
The crisis of VDL Bus & Coach
“The key explanatory factor is the challenges in the supply chains, which makes the delivery of vehicles a laborious process, a situation the entire sector is struggling with – this is how VDL explains the situation of the bus and coach business -. The Buses & Coaches division is loss-making. In the meantime the number of new-generation electric buses for urban passenger transport, the VDL Citea, is increasingly evident in the urban streetscape. VDL Buses & Coaches will actively pursue further development of this new platform over the coming period, with due consideration to this product’s impact on the environment across its entire life cycle (Life Cycle Assessment). VDL will also assess the future of coaches. The third-generation VDL Futura platform will continue to be given further shape.
VDL Buses & Coaches will be present at Busworld 2023 in Brussels next month, Europe’s largest bus & coach trade fair. With the theme ‘Experience tomorrow’s mobility, today’, VDL will display its strategy and pioneering role in the area of sustainable mobility”.
VDL Group, the whole picture
VDL stated that “After the first six months of 2023, the combined revenue amounts to 3.2 billion euros. This is an increase of 22 percent compared to the 2.6 billion euros in the first half of 2022. The net profit for the first two quarters of 2023 decreased by 22 percent from 54 million euros last year to 42 million euros this year. This is primarily due to a provision for the costs of the first phase of the social plan at VDL Nedcar. The net operating result increased 44 percent to 78 million euros. The VDL Groep’s order book (excluding the Car Assembly division) stayed stable and high at 2,081 million euros in week 34. The number of employees has remained stable since the beginning of the year with 16,634 colleagues”.
President and CEO of VDL Groep Willem van der Leegte: ‘We are looking back on a turbulent first half-year in which much revolved around organizing contraction and growth simultaneously. Both require a lot from our organization. In terms of our half-year figures, three of our four divisions had an increase in revenue. The operating result accordingly displayed matching growth. We expect to be able to meet the forecast growth for this year. The fact that our order book remains stable at a high level is an important indicator in this respect.’
Revenue of the Subcontracting division increased from 1,087 million euros in mid-2022 to 1,321 million euros. This 22 percent increase is explained by the fact that the VDL companies that are active in this division have grown across the board. After two quarters, revenue at VDL Nedcar has reached 1,262 million euros. An increase of 47 percent compared to the 856 million euros a year ago. This increase in revenue can be explained by the fact that as a result of global developments, one year ago VDL car factory in Born was regularly confronted with material shortages (particularly chips), resulting in a considerable loss of production.
Jobs to be cut in VDL Nedcar
As a result of a reduction in work caused by a decrease in volume, it was announced that VDL Nedcar will switch over to a single shift effective 1 November. VDL states: “As a result, approximately 900 employees and 900 temporary workers will become surplus. We are making every effort to transfer them from work to work. In addition to the other VDL operating companies, more than 200 employers are giving thought to a potential job for surplus employees. The first information meeting with these companies has been scheduled for the near future. This will be followed by a job fair to enable employees to establish physical contacts and to facilitate introductions”.
The VDL companies that form part of the Finished Products division jointly generated 437 million euros in revenue over the first half of 2023, compared to 400 million euros over the same period in 2022. This 9% increase can be explained by the fact that the companies in this division are well positioned across the board. The Finished Products division is profitable, the group underlines.