Rhomberg Group is positive about the future thanks to renewed sales growth
Rhomberg's reputation as a full-service provider in the construction and railway industry has been solidified: the past financial year has demonstrated continued solid growth for the Vorarlberg-based family enterprise.
Bregenz, 15 September 2017 – At the annual press conference of the international Rhomberg Group at the company headquarters in Bregenz, the two managing directors of the holding, Hubert Rhomberg and Ernst Thurnher, reflected on the company's development in the 2016/2017 financial year and presented the challenges faced and their strategy for the future.
In the past financial year, the Bregenz-based Rhomberg Group has maintained its course for solid growth. Overall, the Group generated a turnover of 714 million euros from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 – an increase of 3.5 percent. Of this amount, 278 million euros was generated by construction/resources, with 436 million coming from railway technology. The one-stop strategy compensates for the small decline in rail revenues of 4.4 percent compared with the previous year due to the strong 18 percent increase in the construction sector. "This strategy has now been proven to be correct for years, because we are able to absorb fluctuations in the respective divisions," enthuses Ernst Thurnher. In addition, the management relies on a strong equity ratio: "This enables us to act independently and autonomously," explains Thurnher. The ratio is currently 43.8 percent.
Residential construction in Vorarlberg
The core market for the Rhomberg Group in the construction and resources sector remains Vorarlberg. Here, the emphasis is currently on residential construction. Apartments are just as much a focus as social housing. In the current calendar year, projects in Bregenz, Feldkirch and Schruns, as well as several energy-efficient and affordable residential buildings, are being implemented. And in the future, the traditional company will also be focusing on innovative and sustainable solutions in residential construction. From the beginning of 2018, a separate research project is even set to start in Wolfurt. Two largely comparable building structures will be created - one as a solid construction and one as a timber construction. As part of a study supported by the Energy Institute, the construction and running of the two buildings will be compared. This will generate important insights into the differences in construction duration, site logistics, noise and dust levels, as well as energy efficiency.
But Rhomberg Bau is also leaving its mark outside of its core market. At the new central station in Vienna for example, the family business has responded to the needs of business guests and travellers planning a longer stay in Vienna and has developed the "SMARTments business project". The property, which has already been sold to an investor, consists of 162 small, fully equipped apartments that can be rented for a period of one week to a maximum of six months. "In doing so, we are responding to the new demands of a growing target group and offering them a sophisticated full-service offer," says Managing Director Ernst Thurner.
The southern German market is also developing satisfactorily for the Vorarlberg family business. Among other projects, the German branch in Ravensburg is building the "Atrium Wohnen" residential development with four buildings in the heart of Kempten, which comprise 55 residential units and will be completed at the beginning of 2018.
Railway sector remains stable
Railway technology is the second strong pillar of the family business with the Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group - the joint venture with the Swiss Sersa Group, in which Rhomberg holds 50 percent - and an expression of sustainable orientation in the sense of sustainable, resource-efficient mobility. "Over the past few years, we have positioned ourselves as a leading full-service provider of railway technology solutions in the DACH region and can offer our customers genuine added value by pooling our expertise," says Hubert Rhomberg proudly. He adds: "Through framework agreements with various partners, such as ÖBB (Austrian railways), the SBB (Swiss federal railways) or industrial customers like energy company Vattenfall, our order situation is relatively constant and stable."
Last year, several important orders were successfully started or completed. In Hohenthurm near Halle an der Saale in Germany, the Group impressed with its wide range of services and was awarded several contracts, including the renewal of the 4,700-metre, double-track superstructure (trackbed and tracks) as a ballastless solution and moving an existing station.
Bern's railway station plays an important role in the Swiss railway network. In order to increase its capacity, a new building with a 300-metre-long tunnel will be built as part of the "Wylerfeld Unbundling" project, which will make it possible for trains to cross at different levels. The necessary demolition and relocation work, as well as the new construction of the platforms, were also the responsibility of the companies of the Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group.
The topic of sustainability has traditionally played a central role at the Rhomberg Group, which is characterised by ecological, economic and social responsibility. Hubert Rhomberg attaches particular importance to the transfer of knowledge: "In the course of digitisation, we as a company are facing far-reaching changes. Digitisation has already permeated our entire working life; you can feel it in all areas. In the future this will result in completely different ways of working, be it in a technical or interpersonal way. Collaboration and networking in the team is becoming increasingly important, so we want to strengthen the transfer of knowledge between our employees as well as collaborations with partners." In the case of our customers, the owners already have access to a digital platform as an app for some construction projects, which promotes dialog in a residential complex and can be used in administrative matters.
A major challenge for the company in this regard is the search for suitable employees, as the digitisation process has also changed the requirements for different areas of work. "We hope that we can convince our future employees that we offer an exciting work environment somewhere between a classic construction company and a knowledge hub striving for new technical and digital innovations," concludes Rhomberg.