Since taking up my new post on 1 October, 2018 my main focus has been on getting to know the Group’s employees, locations, activities, customers and business partners, on conducting a comprehensive analysis of our operational and financial performance and further developing Implenia’s strategy. During each of my visits, I was hugely impressed by our employees’ outstanding capabilities and wealth of experience. The Group is built on solid foundations and is active in some very promising markets. With this in mind, the management team has worked with a broad-ranging project team to further develop Implenia’s strategy. In the course of this work, we have been able to count on the close collaboration and valuable support provided by the Chairman Hans Ulrich Meister and the entire Board of Directors.
Our vision is to be a multinational leader in construction services. Our mission is to sustainably develop properties and construct buildings as well as infrastructure with and for people to fit their modern living, working and mobility needs. We have the opportunity to build on our proven strengths. Implenia enjoys an excellent reputation in Switzerland, as well as in our other home markets. We regularly demonstrate our comprehensive expertise in the design, planning and realization of complex structures, as well as in the application of innovative solutions. For example, we are developing and building the World Council of Churches’ “Green Village” project in Geneva. This office and residential complex will be powered 100% by renewable energies, and is the first-ever real estate development project to meet the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) “One Planet Living®” standard. In Kirchheim unter Teck in Germany, we are working with Deutsche Bahn to realize the eight-kilometer-long “Albvorlandtunnel”, where we have relied on Building Information Modeling (BIM) since day one. On that theme, we plan to continue exploiting the trends and changes occurring within the construction industry.
Realizing our vision will mean focusing on four strategic priorities. First, we will run a portfolio of attractive businesses. These are Development, Buildings, Civil Engineering and Specialties. We have defined a number of priorities for each business that will enable us to offer our customers services that set us apart from the competition. Second, we will focus on profitable growth. We will achieve this by means of a comprehensive operational excellence program. Third, we will focus more intensively on innovation by triggering various actions and organizational changes, such as establishing an “Innovation Hub”. Fourthly, we want to become an even more attractive employer. To achieve this, we have defined five new Implenia values and plan to realize targeted initiatives, including strengthening our talent management system.
We are adapting our organization and establishing a strong team to address future activities and realize our strategy. In future, we will operate through business divisions, supported by global functions and a competence center. The new management body – the Implenia Executive Committee – will be extended to nine members. It builds on experienced internal leaders with strong track records in their respective areas: Adrian Wyss (Head Division Development and interim Head Division Specialties), Jens Vollmar (Head Division Buildings), René Kotacka (Head Division Civil Engineering), German Grüniger (General Counsel) and Matthias Jacob (Head Country Management). The Group is also delighted to welcome Marco Dirren (formerly of SBB) and Christelle Beneteau (formerly of LafargeHolcim) to the roles of CFO and CHRO. Both bring with them long-term experience in areas relevant for Implenia.
With the departure of Beat Fellmann, CFO, we are losing an Executive Committee colleague who has shaped Implenia significantly over many years. There are also some other changes to the management team. Christof Gämperle, Head Austria & Romania, will leave the Group but continue his position on an interim basis until then. Thomas Foery, Head Human Resources, and Stefan Roth, Head Construction Germany, are leaving the extended management team. Thomas Foery will remain in his position on an interim basis to ensure a smooth handover. Stefan Roth will leave Implenia. André Métral, Head Construction Switzerland, will leave the Executive Committee. He will remain at Implenia, keeping his current role. I would like to thank all departing colleagues for their dedication and service.
Our workforce as a whole is highly skilled and capable of helping shape these changes to our Group. Implenia employs people from more than 80 countries, with almost half of our approximately 10,000 colleagues working outside Switzerland. We also provide vocational training and apprenticeships in various fields to more than 300 young people. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their dedication and hard work.
We are confirming our target EBITDA margin for the medium-term at between 5.25% and 5.75%1. We aim to grow profitably and gain market share in our markets. 2019 is a transition year with focus on stabilizing the business and creating the conditions for long-term profitable growth. For the current year, we expect EBITDA to be above CHF 150 million before strategy implementation investments. We expect those investments to be around CHF 20 million.
I look forward to steering Implenia on its journey to becoming a leading multinational provider of construction services in the next few years, and thank you for the trust you are placing in me.
1 According to current accounting guidelines