Annual Report 2021
Report of the Board of Directors on the Activities of the Company in 2021
With effect from 1 January 2021, TECHO, a.s. changed its name and began trading as Ahrend a.s. (the “Company”). Taking on the Ahrend name underlines the integration of TECHO within the Ahrend group, a European leader in the area of office furniture.
In 2021, Ahrend a.s. pursued its activities fully in accordance with its subject of business declared in the Commercial Register.
As was the case the previous year, the European-wide and indeed world-wide economies were severely impacted in 2021 by the Covid-19 pandemic. The start of the intensive vaccination of the population in the Czech Republic started to be reflected in a positive mitigation of the impact of the pandemic and a growing requirement from employers for a return to office work, or the setting of an optimum balance between home working and office working. This for the Company means a gradual unfreezing of client orders and increased business opportunities.
For the Company, 2021 was demanding not just from a sales volume perspective. In contrast to previous years, 2021 also saw pressure with respect to increased costs for raw materials and services. The entire global supply chain was impacted by the continuing restrictions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, the slowing of trade between Asia and Europe, and complications in logistics along with the significant increase in the price of materials and energy. Finally, these inflationary pressures in the economy resulted in late 2021 in an increase in interest rates in the Czech Republic, which in the final days of the year resulted in a significant strengthening of the Czech Crown against important foreign currencies. For the Company, this had a significant impact on the 2021 results.
The net sales of the company rose by 8.7% from CZK 1 296 million in 2020 to CZK 1 409 million in 2021. The company also managed to increase sales margin from the sale of goods from 17% in 2020 to 19% in 2021. The year-on-year growth in operating costs of 16% was not sufficiently reflected in the selling prices to end users due to a more rapid increase in cost prices than growth in sales prices of the Company. The company worked to adjust its business conditions so that it would be ready to respond more flexibly to significant changes in input prices in the future.
Ahrend a.s. achieved a loss in 2021 (excl. Received dividends) of CZK -37 million, which represents a year-on-year decline of CZK 47 million. In addition to the above-mentioned factors, an exchange-rate loss of CZK 8 million also contributed to the loss in 2021.
The largest portion of revenue was generated from projects for Key Accounts, both in the local market and abroad. The largest customers were ERSTE (Česká spořitelna), ŠKODA AUTO and GrandVision.
The financial result of the company after tax for 2021 was CZK -26 million, of which CZK 11 million represents dividends received from subsidiaries.
In 2021, investment into tangible and intangible fixed assets stood at almost CZK 35 million, whilst investment in 2020 stood at CZK 9 million. A significant portion (CZK 25 million) comprises advance payments for machinery as part of the WoodHub project, which commenced its construction phase in 2021. This project represents the largest investment in the Company’s history. The aims of the project include increasing product quality, flexibility and production productivity, and creating sufficient capacity for the entire Ahrend group. The project represents an important milestone in the full integration of production operations in the Czech Republic into the Ahrend group supply chain. The company also expects to achieve synergies that will lead to significant savings across the group.
The company has an environmental management system certified in accordance with ČSN EN ISO 14001:2016, a quality management system compliant with ČSN EN ISO 9001:2016 and also a health and safety at work system in accordance with the requirements of ČSN ISO 45001:2018. The supervisory audits in 2021 confirmed their correct application.