February 22nd, 2021 | 20:43 CET
BYD, Aspermont, Commerzbank - The models of the future
Table of contents:
"[...] We know exactly what we are doing and are implementing what we consider to be a proven technology in an industrially applicable and scalable way. [...]" Uwe Ahrens, Director, Altech Advanced Materials AG
The digital transformation
The fact that even traditional companies can manage the digital transformation is impressively demonstrated by the Australian media Company Aspermont Limited. In addition to the time-honored Mining Journal and Mining Magazine, which has been published continuously for 186 and 112 years, they also own 10 other leading brands and 20 sub-brands with a combined brand history of 560 years. The data collected over many years is the basis for building a global digital subscriber base. Aspermont's full suite offers various paid content, including news, research, data and live or virtual events. A turnaround process over 5 years was completed in 2020. The Company can successively reinvest the positive free cash flow in operations to generate organic growth.
The global Company is headquartered in London. In addition, Aspermont has offices in Australia, North America, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines. A total of 7 million contacts to board members and key decision-makers have been established worldwide. 250,000 active users are on the various platforms every month. However, only 8,000 customers pay for the premium services. There is still significant potential for monetization here. The management wants to counteract this by investing in new content, allowing more customers to be served in new countries, in more languages, and industries. The advertising, events, content marketing and investor relations segments are to be significantly expanded as a result.
Over the next few years, Aspermont Managing Director Alex Kent plans to create more products and services through the existing brands. Thus, online trading platforms, blockchain solutions as well as e-learning could emerge in the near future. A joint venture with an online broker or a financing platform would make sense. Geographically, management is planning to expand to South America, India and primarily China. Aspermont's shares are traded on the Sydney Stock Exchange and in Germany with good trading volumes. The stock market value of Aspermont is currently about EUR 50 million. In the long term, there is exciting growth potential here.
Massive loss of customers
According to a report in "Welt am Sonntag," Commerzbank expects a severe slump in customer numbers due to the planned restructuring of the Group. According to the report, up to 1.7 million clients are expected to leave the Frankfurt-based bank by 2024. The bank currently has around 11 million private and corporate customers. The loss in revenue would amount to around EUR 300 million. The former stock market star wants to counteract this with better-off customers, increased corporate customer business, and increased credit volume. The Company will also eliminate premiums for new private customers in the future. With a total of EUR 2.9 billion, the Company saw deep red in the full year 2020. The operating loss amounted to EUR 233 million.
The new CEO is driving a strict restructuring program to make the bank profitable again. Almost every second branch is to be closed. In addition, 10,000 full-time jobs will be cut in parallel. The Swiss bank UBS has nevertheless raised the price target for Commerzbank from EUR 4.60 to EUR 4.70 after the publication of a detailed strategic plan until 2024 but left its rating at "Sell". Given the numerous challenges, caution is still advisable here.
Well on the way with the bus
Things are going very well at the moment in the electric bus segment at Chinese e-mobility Company BYD. Now, the Warren Buffet-backed Company has been selected by US officials to sign a framework agreement for the purchase of electric buses by agencies in the United States. Under the agreement, transit agencies across the country and the United States will be able to buy BYD tour and city buses that are American-made. BYD operates its plant in Lancaster, California. It is not only in North America that business with electric buses is flourishing. The Chinese have also received a follow-up order from Europe, or more precisely from Romania. After the first order in January of this year, BYD has received a follow-up order for 20 all-electric 12-meter low-floor buses for the city of Constanța on the Black Sea coast. As with the first order, most vehicles are to be produced at BYD's production facility in Komárom in neighboring Hungary.
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