In the year under review, the KION Group laid the main foundations that will enable it to manage and report the Group's financial services activities as a separate segment (Financial Services, FS).
The reasons behind managing FS separately are the rising demand for innovative, tailored finance solutions and the resulting growth in the importance of such activities for the KION Group. Within the Group, the FS activities constitute a key cross-brand service function that cuts across the business of the Linde and STILL brands and acts as a valuable sales tool and means of customer retention. Other important factors behind the spin-off of the FS organisation include the different business models and value drivers in the industrial and finance businesses.
In future, the cross-brand FS segment will take over responsibility for the management of the following key areas of activity in the KION Group: financing of short-term rental fleets, long-term leasing as part of sales financing through the provision of innovative and tailored finance solutions, and risk management for the leasing business. Short-term rentals and indirect leasing arrangements will remain with the brand segments.
Separate financial services companies have been established in the core markets of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. Further countries with a high proportion of finance and leasing business will be integrated gradually.
During the course of 2011, the Group also developed a reporting model for the discrete recording and management of financial services business. Future reporting in the KION Group will be based on this model. In the notes to the financial statements in this annual report include voluntary additional disclosures based on the new reporting model and the associated revised breakdown of business activities in order to give prominence to the increasing importance of financial services activities in the KION Group and to the future segment structure. In doing so, the aim of the KION Group is to provide the highest possible degree of transparency for capital markets.