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Messer - Geschäftsbericht 2008
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Foreword

Dear Business Partners and Customers, dear Friends of Messer Group,

The past year has been the most successful in the short corporate history of the new Messer World, to which Messer Group belongs as a producer of industrial gases. In spite of the economic crisis, which began back in the autumn of 2008, we have been able to achieve high growth in turnover and earnings.

So my thanks go primarily to all our employees, who have contributed to this success with their committed efforts, and I thank you for your confidence.

The last year posed a lot of challenges, and we emerged from them even stronger. One relevant date was May 7 and the end of the four-year ban on using the brand Messer in connection with producing and selling industrial gases in Germany, UK and USA. We have now firmly established ourselves in Germany with Messer Industriegase GmbH. Many gas supply contracts, concluded months ago, have come into effect. Two production plants for air gases, one on site of the Deutsche Edelstahlwerke in Siegen and one at Salzgitter Flachstahl in Salzgitter are under construction. The extension of our European infrastructure by the construction of further seven air separation plants in Spain, France, Poland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Romania, Switzerland and Turkey, a CO2 works in Belgium and filling works in Germany, Italy and Spain, has made further progress. In south-east Vietnam, we have commissioned a new filling plant in Vung Tau. Four further air separation plants are under construction in China and Vietnam. With an investment volume of €193.1 million in 2008, we have continued to follow our strategy of "product supply independence". We shall use these difficult times to develop new products and processes and, possibly, to open up new areas of business. As a family firm, we have many advantages over large concerns: Thanks to our financial independence, we can act with much more flexibility and efficiency.

My vision for the Messer World also includes the construction of a joint corporate headquarters building. A five-storey office building is planned, incorporating a corporate forum (Adolf Messer Forum), built on a location in Bad Soden near Frankfurt/Main. I have been planning this project for a long time and it should be an attractive new location for our staff. The consolidation of all the central commercial departments of the Messer Group and the MEC Group, and the integration of Messer Industriegase, Messer Information Services, Cryogenic Engineering, the family holding companies Messer Industrie and MIG Holding and the Adolf Messer and Hans Messer Social Foundation, should lead to a new sense of identity and solidarity.

History and tradition, combined with state of the art communications technology, will open the doors for the customers, partners and friends of Messer. Together, we wish to enterprise responsibility.

Yours,

Stefan Messer, CEO


 

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