He said the technological transformation in the sector is accelerating, yet that does not in any way unsettle Leoni: 'On the contrary, we are completely there,' Kamper emphasized to the shareholders. He added such contracts as for the Audi e-tron and the Mercedes EQS speak for themselves: 'It is, I believe, no fluke that premium brands are choosing Leoni wiring systems.' He said the Company is well-positioned with respect to alternative drive systems.
'We are already working closely together with many of our customers on concept development,' Kamper explained. He said that, thanks to ever more elegant and more economical architectures, Leoni's wiring systems are contributing to, for example, saving weight, space and costs. 'We are working hard on making electromobility more cost-effective and therefore accessible for all.'
Kamper expressed his satisfaction to shareholders with the way the year has gone so far. Leoni had only recently raised its own sales and earnings forecasts for 2021. 'It is not yet that everything is fine again. But much has already improved,' the CEO said. 'We have proven particularly in the past two and a half years that we are not only addressing problems at Leoni, but also eliminating them.'
VALUE 21 the key to success
The CEO regards not least the VALUE 21 performance and strategy programme, which he launched for the Nuremberg-based company back in early 2019, as the basis for the significant progress made in the past financial year. Its clear focus on cash before growth, streamlining of the portfolio and optimising internal processes as well as on operating performance has made a crucial contribution to stabilising business performance. And it did so even in the coronavirus-hit year of 2020.
Kamper was pleased to say that Leoni has already more than met the cost reduction targets under VALUE 21. The Company originally planned for gross cost savings of about EUR 500 million from 2022. The CEO said that the Company has meanwhile, however, already applied measures that promise savings of EUR 600 million.
LEONI has arrived in the age of e-mobility
Kamper promised the shareholders who had logged in to participate virtually that, despite the gains made, there would be no easing up now and, in particular, that VALUE 21 would continue to be resolutely applied. 'Let's not delude ourselves: Covid-19 will still be weighing on our performance in 2021.' He said that, in addition, there are the bottlenecks in the sector's supply chains, concerning especially semiconductors, plastics and connectors. Leoni's continued overhaul still needs our full attention.
Kamper: 'There are still demanding tasks ahead of us, which we will be addressing with respect and humility. But we have already made important progress in the past few years in terms of getting the Company back on track. And we won't stop doing that.'
Participation in the virtual Annual General Meeting was high with about 33 percent of outstanding shares represented. Shareholders discharged the members of both the Supervisory Board and the Board of Directors.
Klaus Rinnerberger, a proven expert in the automotive supply industry, was newly elected to the Supervisory Board. He succeeded Dirk Kaliebe, who helped to drive forward the stabilisation of Leoni's business performance in recent months with his extensive experience in the areas of restructuring and transformation.