2. Corporate governance practices

The corporate governance of KION GROUP AG is essentially determined by the provisions of the German Stock Corporation Act and the German Codetermination Act. It also follows the recommendations of the GCGC. KION GROUP AG complied with all but one of the GCGC’s recommendations in the reporting period.

These fundamental principles are combined with the KION Group's own understanding of transparent, responsible, and sustainable corporate governance, taking account of the societal expectations of all stakeholders in each of the markets in which the Company operates. One of the KION Group's objectives under its KION 2027 strategy is to use the resources available to it in the individual parts of the Company responsibly and sustainably. The KION Group's actions are therefore guided by environmental, social, and economic considerations. Details of the KION Group's sustainability strategy and non-financial Group report as required by law can be found in the 2022 sustainability report, which will be published at www.kiongroup.com/sustainability.

2.1  Human rights

The KION Group acknowledges its general responsibility as a corporate citizen for respecting human rights worldwide. In its employment and commercial relationships – and therefore both internally and in the supply chain – the KION Group views human rights as the minimum standard to be upheld as a matter of course. It follows the definition set out in the United Nations' Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, i.e. in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (available on the UN website), as codified by the signatory states in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), and the eight principles and rights at work prescribed in the fundamental conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) (available from the ILO website).

Details of the processes used by the KION Group to protect human rights can be found in the 2022 sustainability report, which is published at www.kiongroup.com/sustainability, and on the KION Group website at www.kiongroup.com/responsibility, under 'Sustainable development goals – decent work and economic growth (SDG 8)).

2.2  Compliance, risk management, and internal control system

The KION Group builds its long-term success on the application of a set of practices and processes that are standardized across the Group and are based on the compliance management system, a risk-oriented internal control system, and proactive risk management.

Compliance management system

As a company with operations around the world, the KION Group has corporate social responsibility toward its customers, suppliers, employees, financial backers, other business partners, and the general public. This corporate social responsibility requires the KION Group, everywhere and at all times, to comply with all applicable laws and internal policies, some of which go further than the law, to respect ethical values, and to act in a sustainability-oriented manner. To help it do this, the KION Group has put in place a comprehensive compliance management system, centering around the KION Group Code of Compliance.

Details of the compliance management system can be found in the section 'Compliance', which is part of the combined management report.

Internal control system

The KION Group has an internal control system designed to meet the specific needs of the Company. Its processes are intended to ensure the correctness of the internal and external financial reporting, the efficiency of the Company’s business operations, and compliance with key legal provisions and internal policies.

Details of the key features of the internal control system can be found in the 'Risk report', which is part of the combined management report.

Accounting-related internal control system

For its accounting process, the KION Group has defined suitable structures and processes as part of its internal control and risk management system and implemented them throughout the Group. Besides defined control mechanisms, it includes, for example, system-based and manual reconciliation processes, clear separation of functions, strict compliance with the double-checking principle, and written policies and procedures. The overarching aim is for the separate financial statements, consolidated financial statements, and combined management report to be fully compliant with the relevant statutory and regulatory requirements and, in particular, the applicable financial reporting standards. Changes to these requirements and standards are analyzed on an ongoing basis and taken into account as appropriate. Details can be found in the 'Risk report', which is part of the combined management report.

Risk management system

For the Company to be managed professionally and responsibly, the Executive Board must use the risk management system established in the Company to regularly gather information about current risks and how they are evolving, and then report on this to the Supervisory Board’s Audit Committee. The risks that have been recorded are managed on an ongoing basis, reviewed quarterly, and reassessed after action to mitigate them has been taken.

The KION Group’s risk management system is documented in a Group risk policy that defines tasks, processes, and responsibilities and sets out the rules for identifying, assessing, reporting, and managing risk. The policy features a comprehensive risk catalog, which also covers environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) risks. Specific individual risks are then reported by each Group entity. Reporting on cross-segment risks and groupwide risks is carried out by Corporate Controlling and the relevant Group functions.

Further details on the risk management system can be found in the 'Risk report', which is part of the combined management report.

Appropriateness and effectiveness

The Executive Board of KION GROUP AG has created a framework based on three systems – the internal control system, the risk management system, and the compliance management system – that is designed to make internal control and risk management and the measures implemented under the systems both appropriate and effective. In addition, the systems are subject to regular monitoring and reviews by third parties. External audits are carried out, as are reviews by the Internal Audit function, which reports on its findings to the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board's Audit Committee.

Based on its examination of the internal control and risk management systems and on the reporting of the Internal Audit function, the Executive Board of KION GROUP AG is not aware of any circumstances that would call into question the appropriateness and effectiveness of these systems.

2.3  Audit of the financial statements

The Company’s independent auditors, which are appointed by means of a resolution of the Annual General Meeting, audit the separate financial statements prepared by the Executive Board of KION GROUP AG, the consolidated financial statements, and the combined management report. Since 2021, Mr. Stefan Dorissen has been the global client service partner at the appointed independent auditors, Deloitte GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft (Deloitte). The separate financial statements, consolidated financial statements, combined management report, and non-financial report are discussed by the Audit Committee and then reviewed and approved by the Supervisory Board. 

The independent auditors review the condensed consolidated interim financial statements and condensed interim group management report in the half-year financial report. They also review the non-financial report. The Executive Board discusses the two quarterly statements and the half-year financial report with the Audit Committee before they are published.

2.4  Avoiding conflicts of interest

Conflicts of interest between the governing bodies and other decision-makers in the Company or significant shareholders go against the principles of good corporate governance and may be harmful to the Company. Even the mere appearance of such a conflict of interest must be avoided. KION GROUP AG and its governing bodies therefore adhere strictly to the GCGC’s recommendations on this subject. The employees of KION GROUP AG and its subsidiaries are made aware of the problem of possible conflicts of interest as part of compliance training and are bound by rules on how to behave in the event of actual or potential conflicts of interest.

Every Executive Board member must disclose potential conflicts of interest to the chairman of the Supervisory Board and the Chief Executive Officer immediately and must also inform the other Executive Board members. All transactions between KION GROUP AG and Executive Board members or related parties must be concluded on an arm’s-length basis.

The Company attaches high priority to preventing the risk of possible conflicts of interest from occurring in the first place. This is especially important given that Weichai Power Co., Ltd., Weifang, People’s Republic of China, indirectly holds a stake of 46.5 percent (as at December 31, 2022) in KION GROUP AG. The Company achieves these aims by avoiding business scenarios or personnel structures that could give the impression of a possible conflict of interest and by setting internal rules for communications. Every year, the Executive Board also publishes a dependency report in line with the relevant requirements that is reviewed by the Supervisory Board and the statutory auditors. The report contains information on all legal transactions and activities conducted in the reporting year between KION GROUP AG and Weichai Power Co., Ltd., as well as their subsidiaries, and on any requirement to compensate for disadvantages that have arisen.

In the reporting year, the members of the Executive Board and Supervisory Board did not have any conflicts of interest that they would have needed to disclose to the Supervisory Board without undue delay. There were also no consultancy contracts or other service contracts or contracts for work that had been entered into between the members of the Supervisory Board and the Company. The posts that the members of the Executive Board and Supervisory Board hold on supervisory boards that are required to be formed by law and on comparable supervisory bodies of commercial enterprises in Germany and abroad are disclosed in the notes to the KION Group’s financial statements under ‘Members of the Executive Board and Supervisory Board’. Related party disclosures are made in the notes to the KION Group's financial statements under ‘Related party disclosures’.

2.5  Managers’ transactions

Under the EU Market Abuse Regulation, the members of the Executive Board and Supervisory Board, and persons closely associated with them, are obliged to notify both KION GROUP AG and the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) without delay of the transactions that they carry out involving shares or debt instruments of KION GROUP AG or related derivatives or other related financial instruments. Such a notification is always required as soon as the value of the purchase and / or sale transactions of the individual member exceeds the sum of €20 thousand within a calendar year. These notifications are published on the KION Group's website.

KION GROUP AG was notified of the following transactions in 2022:

Directors’ dealings in 2022

Transaction date

Name of person required to disclose transaction

Governing body

Financial instrument

Purchase / sale


Price (€)1

Transaction volume (€)1

Nov. 04, 2022

Hasan Dandashly

Executive Board






Sep. 15, 2022

Andreas Krinninger

Executive Board






May 02, 2022

Dr. Richard Robinson Smith

Executive Board






Mar. 04, 2022

Dr. Henry Puhl

Executive Board







Aggregate information

As far as KION GROUP AG is aware, the only members of the Supervisory Board with shares in KION GROUP AG as at December 31, 2022 were Mr. Martin Fahrendorf and Mr. Jan Bergemann. Members of the Supervisory Board have not entered into any commitment to purchase shares in KION GROUP AG.

2.6  Corporate communications and transparency

Regular and timely information about the KION Group's situation is provided to shareholders, financial analysts, and other capital market participants, relevant media, members of the public with an interest in the Company, and employees. The separate financial statements of KION GROUP AG, the consolidated financial statements of the KION Group, and the combined management report are published within 90 days of the end of the financial year to which they relate. The half-year financial report and the quarterly statements of the KION Group are published within 30 days of the end of the quarter to which they relate. KION GROUP AG makes further information available at the Annual General Meeting, during regular conference calls for analysts and investors, in press releases, on the Company's website, and on social media. Company news with relevance for the share price is published as an ad hoc disclosure to ensure that all capital market participants are treated equally.

The KION Group's website also includes a financial calendar, which is kept updated with the dates of significant publications and events, such as annual reports, half-year financial reports, and quarterly statements, Annual General Meetings, financial statements press conferences, and analysts' meetings. The updated financial calendar is available on the KION Group's website.