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Aareon records best result in its history

• Revenues and EBIT significantly higher
• Increased demand for digital solutions
• Position as IT service provider for digitalisation in the housing industry improved

Mainz, 5 April 2017 – Aareon AG, Europe’s leading provider of systems and consulting services for the property industry, ended the 2016 fiscal year with the best result in the company’s history. EBIT grew by 27.1 % to reach € 34.2 million (2015: € 26.9 million), well above the previous year’s level. Consolidated revenues also increased markedly, rising by 12.7 % to € 210.7 million (previous year: € 186.9 million). Thanks to its steady growth, the International Business segment accounted for 36.3 % (previous year: 35.6 %) of consolidated revenues. The number of employees rose further, reaching 1,400 at year-end (previous year: 1,376).

ERP business expanded

The group of companies was able to increase its volume of business with country-specific ERP solutions both in Germany and internationally. ERP solutions are used by real estate companies as central IT systems for the process-optimized administration of their property holdings. By the end of 2016, some 840 customers had already opted for the Wodis Sigma ERP solution in Germany – including, as intended, many users of the previously market-leading Aareon system GES. As a result, Wodis Sigma has become the leading ERP solution in the German property industry. The number of migrations reaching the productive phase increased year on year. Most of these customers use the Wodis Sigma software as a service from the exclusive Aareon Cloud. Licensing-fee business for SAP® solutions and Blue Eagle also developed positively thanks to renewals and the acquisition of new customers.

Increased demand for digital solutions

The digital transformation process is also a central topic in the housing industry. Demand for Aareon’s digital solutions increased further in all countries in which the Aareon Group has a presence. The focus of this demand was on customer portals for tenants and owners (Aareon CRM), document management systems for digital archiving (Aareon Archiv kompakt) and Aareon’s invoicing service for an automated invoicing process between invoice issuers and housing companies. “We consider our company a pioneer for digitalisation in the housing industry,” emphasises Dr. Manfred Alflen, Chairman of the Management Board. “Our first innovative Internet-based Aareon solution, the Mareon service portal, celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2016, for example.” By the end of the year, 150 customers had already decided in favour of Aareon’s mobile services. These include in particular the mobile handover of rental units, mobile inventory data management and mobile orders.

International presence strengthened

Aareon was also able to strengthen its position internationally. New customers were won both for ERP and for digital solutions. The range of digital solutions offered in the different countries was extended – in part with solutions that have already proven successful for the Aareon Group in several other countries and in part with newly developed solutions. Proven digital solutions include the Mareon service portal, Aareon Archiv kompakt, the Aareon invoicing service and customer portals for tenants and owners. Among the solutions going through successive international expansion are the tenants app, the British 360° solutions for field staff and the Dutch solutions Trace & Treasury for asset management by housing companies and Facilitor for facility management. What’s more, the purchase by Aareon Nederland of the remaining 50 % stake in SG2ALL B.V. and its ICT Residenz brand has strengthened Aareon’s presence in the Dutch market. “Within the framework of the increasing internationalisation of the Aareon Group, we were able to strengthen our leading market position in the different countries in 2016,” summarises Dr. Alflen.

Digitalisation as the focus of research and development

“We have consistently expanded our digitalisation expertise in recent years and invested in research and development,” highlights Dr. Alflen. In 2016, these investments amounted to € 9.6 million. “Furthermore, we draw benefit from the international orientation of the Aareon Group, since our cross-border research and development activities mean that we can make use of the knowledge transfer between international experts,” the Chairman of the Management Board adds. He goes on to explain that nationally proven digital solutions are further enhanced for other markets by the international development teams. Examples of this approach include the French know-how with a view to customer portals, the British expertise in mobile services and 360° solutions and the Scandinavian experience with BIM (building information modelling).

Aareon DesignLab opened in 2016

One novelty in 2016 was the opening of the Aareon DesignLab at the company’s headquarters in Mainz, Germany. “At the Aareon DesignLab, we work together with housing companies and their customers using the creative and agile design thinking approach, a user-centric problem-solving method,” says Dr. Alflen. “The response from our customers is very positive”

Aareon Smart World offers new standard in networking

In 2015, Aareon combined its solution portfolio for the housing industry in the digital ecosystem Aareon Smart World. “With Aareon Smart World, we have created a new standard for the cooperation between partners in the housing industry,” says Dr. Alflen. “Aareon Smart World enables property companies to link up with customers, employees and business partners and to interconnect technical devices, both in individual apartments and entire buildings. It also allows processes to be redesigned and optimised. The digital solutions help to reduce costs, while creating new business models and promoting more comfort and transparency in communication by interlinking all the main players. We are thus setting the standard for digitalisation in the property industry. And we will continue to expand this solution portfolio and invest in new solutions that will help our customers become even more efficient.”

First cooperation with start-up companies

“In order to add even more value for customers and to provide integrated solutions from a single source, we analyse and engage in dialogue with the PropTech start-up market,” the Chairman explains. An outcome of these activities was the sales cooperation agreement entered into with the Berlin-based start-up KIWI.KI in October 2016. It has enabled Aareon to add the keyless door access system KIWI to the Aareon Smart World offering for smart home customers. Since January 2017, Aareon is also a founding partner of blackprint PropTech Booster, an independent platform that promotes innovative digital business models relating to the housing industry.

International growth strategy to be continued

With a view to the future, Dr. Alflen explains: “To systematically and sustainably realise the Aareon growth strategy, we developed the strategy programme ’Aareon Flight Plan’ in 2016. The overriding goal is to further strengthen Aareon’s positioning as a partner for digitisation in the housing industry and thus to increase our business volume in the long term. Key areas of growth include digital solutions, ERP systems and the development of new markets connected to the property industry. Aareon Smart World will continue to be expanded. In addition, we plan to introduce a change management solution for energy providers. And we shall, of course, continue to invest heavily in R&D. In this context, we intend to appoint additional digitalsiation specialists. Finally, the aim of all these measures is to offer our customers added value and successfully support them during the digital transformation process.”

Mobile data collection

Enter mobile data on-site in the system

Aareon DesignLab

Aareon DesignLab: With an agile design thinking approach to user-oriented problem solving

Aareon headquarters Mainz

Aareon headquarters in Mainz

Dr. Manfred Alflen

Dr. Manfred Alflen, Head of Management Board

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