Gefco’s Chairman and CEO Yves Fargues (pictured left) shrugged off the financial meltdown in the traditional car consumption markets last week, announcing that the PSA-owned logistics service provider is aiming for substantial growth in all its main sectors of business.
At a press conference in Deauville he announced plans to hit targets for turnover of €1.4 billion in outbound activities, €1 billion in inbound and more than €200 million in the spare parts business. Fargues also announced that Gefco was prepared to “make acquisitions in certain sectors to develop the services that our customers expect of us.” Few other multinationals are currently discussing potential acquisitions.
When questioned, Fargues conceded that the targets had been set before the full scale of the financial crisis had become apparent, but confirmed: “I trust we will achieve this because the automotive business is cyclical and automotive movements between countries are still growing strongly.”
His confidence may stem from the diversity of Gefco’s business. While the company is known as PSA’s LSP, a strategy to win business with other carmakers has paid off, and in 2007, non-PSA business accounted for €1.4 billion of turnover, an increase of 10 per cent on 2006. The company has also been quick to invest in the more difficult developing markets. Gefco already has a substantial presence in China, and is in the process of setting up shop in India (ex UK MD Phil Shankley moved to Mumbai in May to develop the business). Christian Zbylut, Head of International Development (pictured right), also spoke at the press conference, revealing that Central and Eastern Europe is a critical region for Gefco. “Russia has seen exponential growth,” he said. “In 2004 we had €12 million in sales, in 2008, [so far] we have €137 million.” Zbylut also stated that Central and Eastern Europe still has growth drivers (in comparison to the Western European markets right now), and concluded by saying that Gefco would continue to invest in countries in the region, for example Kazakhstan. “It is our intention to cover the whole area,” he said.