As a construction and services company based in Bielefeld, but active throughout Europe, Goldbeck has today published its earnings figures for the 2022/23 financial year. In light of the supply bottlenecks with materials and the sharp increases in the price of materials and energy, Goldbeck can look back on a satisfactory financial year overall. From 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023, the company generated a total turnover of 6.7 billion euros (previous year: more than 5 billion euros). Due to the ongoing political and economic uncertainties and the effects of rising interest rates and the economic situation, however, Goldbeck is cautious about the outlook for the coming years.
During the reporting period, Goldbeck handed over a total of 573 turnkey properties to its customers across Europe – including 312 warehouses and factory buildings, 100 office buildings, 70 multi-storey car parks, 38 school and special-category buildings, seven sports halls as well as seven residential buildings. Goldbeck’s “Existing Building Refurbishment” unit rejuvenated 39 properties. Goldbeck Technical Solutions specialises in tenant fit-outs and technical conversions and completed 79 projects. Goldbeck constructs all its buildings as individually configurable products based on industrially prefabricated system components and thus delivers important solutions for sustainable, economical and fast construction. Given new regulatory requirements on sustainability, Goldbeck is an important partner for customers in the planning, construction and operation of ESG-optimised buildings.
Goldbeck also makes a key contribution to the tight housing market in Germany via its element-based construction with a system: “Since we prefabricate key system components in our own plants, we create affordable and at the same time high-quality living space with high standards and architectural freedom in the shortest possible timeframe”, says Jörg-Uwe Goldbeck, who leads the family company together with his brother Jan-Hendrik Goldbeck as managing partners. The economic potential is huge: “Since we offer all planning and construction services as an integrated package, with the right overall conditions we can plan and construct housing space from 2,000 euros gross per square metre”, explained Jan-Hendrik Goldbeck.
The company’s service division, a strategic part of the portfolio for 25 years, also continued its positive development. Goldbeck Property Services has a real estate portfolio comprising 550 properties. Parking Services manages approximately 190 car parks with over 82,000 spaces in Germany and Austria as of the reporting date. Goldbeck Public Partner GmbH operates more than 50 buildings as part of public-private partnerships. Facility Services has a total of 1,350 properties under contract. Goldbeck Sustainability Consulting, launched in April 2022, is successfully establishing itself on the market by advising portfolio owners on the sustainable transformation of their real estate portfolios. “The holistic view of new-builds and existing properties always includes services too. Only this way can a building be operated optimally over its lifecycle”, emphasised Jörg-Uwe Goldbeck.
Goldbeck makes strides in Europe
By moving to new locations, Goldbeck is solidifying its position as a leading construction and services company in Europe. Among others, the company is now also active in Schwerin, Cardiff, London, Lucerne and Aarhus, expanding its decentralised network to 111 locations. “We understand the special characteristics of each of the markets we operate in, and we speak the language of our customers”, says Jan-Hendrik Goldbeck. Goldbeck generates more than a third of its total turnover in other European countries. “We have been building internationally for more than 25 years and have established very successful units. Our cohesion throughout Europe makes us unique”, adds Jörg-Uwe Goldbeck.
Comprehensive investment in new and existing locations
“We continuously invest in our production sites in Europe, which enables us to produce close to our customers”, says Jan-Hendrik Goldbeck. For example, the company is currently expanding its location in Treuen: in July 2023, Goldbeck celebrated the completion of a new factory building making thin sheet parts for façades. Another office building and a new multi-storey car park for staff will also be completed there by autumn 2024. At the headquarters in Bielefeld, Goldbeck will complete its sixth plant at that location by the end of 2024, with a focus on steel construction for offices and schools. An office new-build will create space for another 450 employees in Bielefeld by the middle of 2024. The third multi-storey car park for staff has been in operation at the company headquarters since June of this year. The largest investment is being carried out in Kirchberg (Hunsrück): this is where Germany’s most advanced plant for precast concrete parts is being erected, creating more than 200 workplaces. From 2025, Goldbeck will manufacture columns, ceilings, multi-storey car park slabs and wall elements here. Goldbeck is also expanding its production capacities abroad, after taking over a plant owned by Prefa Žatec, a Czech manufacturer of precast concrete parts. “With our plants spread across Europe, we ensure our decentralised and efficient supply of system components to our construction sites is even more efficient,” says Jörg-Uwe Goldbeck. “We always manufacture as close to our construction sites as possible, thereby sustainably shortening our transportation routes.”
Goldbeck pursues concrete sustainability goals at company, product and project level
“We use resources sparingly by exploiting opportunities for systematisation and industrialisation, new technologies and taking a lifecycle approach”, explains Jan-Hendrik Goldbeck. “A key component of Goldbeck’s sustainability strategy is the steady decarbonisation of our products and processes. This is how we can – and must – lead the way in the industry by means of our approach and opportunities.” In doing so, the family company consistently follows the principle of prioritising avoidance over reduction and reduction over offsetting. A key part of the company-wide sustainability strategy is the sustainability roadmap with specific sustainability goals at the company, product and project level. Alongside accounting for the corporate carbon footprint, this includes robust and transparent reporting, also in the form of a sustainability report. “Only if we know where we stand can we demonstrate the achievement of our ESG targets with solid data and therefore in a credible manner”, reveals Jörg-Uwe Goldbeck. The environmental management system under ISO 14001, successfully rolled out at the beginning of 2022, is part of the transparent reporting framework.
Overall conditions for coming years challenging: construction activity noticeably weaker
In the past financial year, the overall conditions were shaped by the war against Ukraine, considerable hikes in material prices and material shortages, and so were challenging once again. Since Goldbeck prefabricates all of the key construction components in its own plants in an industrial and resource-efficient manner, the company orders the requisite raw materials with foresight and in large quantities. “Thanks to this long-term strategy, we can compensate for any bottlenecks and reduce cancellations caused by delivery problems to a minimum,” says Jörg-Uwe Goldbeck. “Our systematic construction approach also ensures that we can erect buildings particularly efficiently. Without the ongoing trust of our customers and partners, this would barely have been possible.” Jan-Hendrik Goldbeck confidently adds: “We have greater resilience thanks to our international alignment.”
Volatile raw material and energy costs continue to pose major challenges for the entire industry. It is currently more expensive to finance and construct real estate than in recent years. This is why investors are holding back on capital investments in new commercial properties. The signing of contracts is being delayed, or projects are simply abandoned. “Following a steady upward trend in the construction industry since 2009, the current situation is challenging,” says Jan-Hendrik Goldbeck. “But the underlying optimism is still there. In the medium and long term, there is still a need for technologically innovative, contemporary and sustainable real estate.”
More than 12,000 people work at Goldbeck
The company currently employs more than 12,000 people – a milestone that Goldbeck reached in the summer of 2023. With 1,582 people joining in the 2022/23 financial year, the growth in employees exceeded the previous year (1,109). In this context, the company attaches great importance to ensuring the right framework conditions: employees receive an annual inflation adjustment to their salary, for example, and can purchase company shares. There is also a strong focus on supporting mobility, e.g. with cycle leasing as well as various advisory, prevention and health services. What is more, the family-run company invests further in young international talent and in setting up mentoring programmes. In the last financial year, Goldbeck employed 312 apprentices, work-study students and trainees. “We thank all our staff for their commitment and great dedication in these volatile times”, says Jörg-Uwe Goldbeck. “They remain the foundation of our company’s success.”
Digitalisation and use of artificial intelligence: Goldbeck relentless in driving innovation
One key concern in digitalisation is a holistic building model in which planning, construction and operating are consistently reflected in each individual project. It is thus possible to recognise and solve challenges in the physical construction process – and later on during the operation phase – at a much earlier stage. “We are already promoting important ideas here as an innovation driver and technology leader,” says Jan-Hendrik Goldbeck. “We digitally map all the design, construction, and operating processes. This is the foundation for AI-based applications that will substantially change our industry. With the help of AI, we are increasingly automating processes and detecting errors even earlier.” Separate teams at Goldbeck are dedicated exclusively to innovation topics and deal with processes, digital content, products, and materials – always based on the concerns of the planning and construction process in real projects. “This interdisciplinary approach as well as the cooperation with start-ups and universities collectively form our innovative strength,” emphasises Jan-Hendrik Goldbeck. “This is how we ensure our products and services are future-oriented.” Jörg-Uwe Goldbeck sums up by saying: “We employ technologies that we assume today will influence the future of planning, construction and operating to further develop products in a future-proof way for the benefit of our customers.”