In 2014, pierre.dk Autolakering A/S published its healthiest accounts to date. The group, which operates painting chains in Denmark, Sweden and Germany, closed the financial year ending 31 August 2014 with profits of DKK 14.3 million.
It seems that a certain degree of cautiousness – or timely caution, if you prefer – pays off in both short and long terms. In any case, applying the concept of controlled growth has helped pierre.dk Autolakering A/S return its best ever operating profits, with the group closing the financial year with profits of DKK 14.3 million.
It was 30 years ago that Pierre Legarth, Group President and CEO, founded his auto painting company in Vamdrup, Denmark, and the company has developed positively ever since.
With around 140,000 paint damage repair assignments completed annually, 30 ultra-modern painting centres and a workforce that has long since passed the 400 employee mark, the company has created a concept and a brand that has grown to become the biggest and most modern in Europe.
THE RIGHT STRATEGY
“The latest profits confirm that we have chosen the right strategy. It is important that top and bottom lines stay in step with one another, and it is actually quite a challenge to keep the bottom line developing positively at the same time as you are growing.
However, we have always focused on growing cautiously, and we only ever make our next acquisition once the previous acquisition is properly balanced and running smoothly,” states Pierre Legarth.
Following several years of intensive concentration on the Swedish market by the group’s sister chain Billackering AB, pierre.dk chose 2014 to make its move onto the German market, where the painting group founded a new sister chain – pierre Autolackierung GmbH – and established it first painting/damage repair centre in Hamburg in early October.
HUGE GERMAN MARKET
The plan is for the German chain to expand, adding several other painting centres by the end of 2016.
“We are working intensively to analyse the German market, which is extremely interesting for us on account of its sheer size. After all, it’s a country with a population almost 20 times the size of Denmark, where there are only 2.3 million cars. And while there are 4.4 million cars in Sweden, Germany is home to a staggering 43.4 million,” emphasises the Group President.
In 2010, Pierre Legarth sold three-quarters of his company to the capital fund Maj Invest Equity, but retains ownership of 24 per cent of the group.