Given the persistently adverse economic conditions, we are satisfied with the development of the past year. With a range of targeted measures, such as product innovations and investments to secure our market position, we were able to successfully counter the challenges facing the Melitta Group’s business fields. The integration of the Group’s affiliates was driven forward and the digitalization process was accelerated by means of various initiatives and projects. In view of the market environment, certain investment projects and product launches had to be postponed for the time being. The main priority was to secure energy supplies in all areas of production and thus maintain our ability to supply customers. Despite weaker demand, we achieved year-on-year revenue growth and pretax earnings were thus still satisfactory. Compared to the previous year, there was a decrease in the return on net capital employed. Capital expenditures were on a par with the previous year. Net financial debt was slightly lower than the amount forecast last year.
Considerable progress was made with regard to the integration of sustainability into our core business and related processes. Examples include the expansion of our range of sustainable products, the launch of several Group-wide sustainability projects, and the further development of our key performance indicators. We provide more detailed information on this topic in our Sustainability Report and in our Declaration of Conformity with the German Sustainability Code.
Financial and non-financial performance indicators
Melitta Group’s corporate management system is geared toward long-term, value-oriented, and profitable growth. To this end, we have defined specific controlling processes. Our key performance indicators are sales revenue, EBIT, return on net capital employed (EBIT as a ratio of average net capital employed), and free cash flow.
In addition to these financial performance indicators, Chief Corporate Management also monitors non-financial figures. These performance indicators relate in particular to our product and supply chain responsibility, our environmental footprint, our social responsibility, and our responsibility for employees. The definition of these indicators is based on the relevant national and international standards as well as on their meaningfulness with regard to the achievement of our sustainability targets. We use the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (“Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz”) to continuously develop the sustainable management of our purchasing processes and supply chains and map this with the corresponding key figures.
The successful implementation of the Melitta Group’s growth strategy also requires an increase in human resources in a wide variety of areas. In 2022, the Melitta Group employed an annual average of 5,957 people. This corresponds to a year-on-year increase of 1% and demonstrates the necessary investment in our internal structures and expertise for the Group’s continued growth.