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Mercateo displays solid growth in 2020 after a challenging year for B2B markets

Leipzig (Germany), 27 May 2021: In 2020, B2B markets around the world suffered one of their most turbulent years.

The Mercateo Group supported companies across Europe in their business continuity efforts by ensuring supply for indirect procurement. This in turn fostered growth for Mercateo, with sales increasing by 9% to €343 million and net revenue rising 7% to reach €43 million.

  • Revenue in 2020 up 9% despite weak B2B environment; sales in Q4 up 19% year-on-year

  • With B2B markets hit by volatility, Mercateo finds strong demand for its platform services as a source of transparency and resilience

  • Mercateo Unite platform model leads to growing market share accompanied by steady profitability

In response to the pandemic’s impact on the B2B sector, Mercateo acted swiftly to support the market. In close cooperation with suppliers and manufacturers who had lost their usual distribution channels due to lockdown, Mercateo created digital campaigns to provide much-sought supply visibility and channel diversity. Its market information service B2B Radar evolved into a B2B knowledge and experience hub where market specialists share data, insights and perspectives with the community.

The outbreak of Covid-19 also accelerated the implementation of Mercateo’s Unite platform model. The interplay between Mercateo’s B2B marketplace and Unite’s B2B network strengthened transparency and stability on the market. As well as opening up a whole new world of prequalified suppliers to Mercateo users, buyers benefited from further streamlined accounting services provided by the Unite platform. Unite Financial Services was expanded in 2020 with the foundation of Unite Financial Services Global GmbH and Unite Financial Services Schweiz GmbH, enabling the company to develop the range of financial services provided by Unite.

The pandemic speeded up some internal changes at Mercateo that, in line with its digital business model, were already in the pipeline. For one thing, Mercateo virtualised its complete working environment within Q1 2020. This also paved the way for employing remote workers, allowing Mercateo to expand its recruiting base to candidates all over the world. And despite a tendency throughout the economy to cut back on trainees, Mercateo actually increased its trainee recruitment.

In 2020, the head offices of both the parent company Mercateo Beteiligungsholding AG and its subsidiary Unite Network AG were relocated from Munich to Leipzig. Building work commenced on its new headquarters in central Leipzig. Incidentally, although 2020 was Mercateo’s twentieth anniversary, its birthday festivities inevitably had to be postponed.

“We’d been looking forward to celebrating our twentieth anniversary in 2020. As it turned out, the year proved memorable in another way. I think we did an amazing job in supporting the market throughout these challenging times,” said Peter Ledermann, in charge of Finance and HR on Mercateo’s board. “In fact, these challenges strengthened our strategic initiatives. We are building our B2B platform for the needs of an increasingly volatile world, and in 2020 we all learned how important that agenda is. In 2021, although we hope to see the end of the pandemic, digitalisation and the vital sustainability goals continue to set the pace. We’ll focus on this agenda and maintain the fast-paced adaptation that we learned during this tough but hugely significant year.”

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