It enjoyed net profit, while net revenue for the year was up 16%, reaching €40 million. Total headcount also continued to rise: all in all, Europe’s biggest B2B marketplace and the B2B network unite.eu now employ some 600 people.
“We’re delighted that we managed to continue our profitable growth in 2019 despite the general slowdown in the economy in the second half of the year,” said Peter Ledermann, in charge of HR and finance on Mercateo’s board. “Our growth isn’t just reflected in our key figures. We expanded our business throughout Europe and set up three more national companies in Switzerland, Belgium and Ireland.”
Focusing more strongly on B2B networking between customers and suppliers, in 2019 the Unite network underwent further expansion. “We now use daily active connections to measure business relationships on the basis of actual orders and thus put them into an economic context,” explained Peter Ledermann, adding: “In 2019, this indicator grew faster than sales and net revenue. We also signed up additional cooperation partners for Unite and expanded existing relationships.”
At the end of 2019, the Mercateo Group announced it would be relocating its German headquarters from Munich to Leipzig and moving into a purpose-built office building in the city centre. “In addition to this pleasing internal news, we intend to provide digital support for productive economic relations on the European B2B market. Translated into figures, this means stable, profitable growth again,” announced Ledermann in his outlook for 2020. “In the face of current economic developments, we’re preparing for various scenarios. Being a marketplace without our own warehouses or logistics, we can operate in the virtual realm with no need for centralisation. The wide variety of suppliers in our product range is also an advantage. We therefore believe we are in a good position. And judging by the first two months of the year, we got off to a successful start in 2020.”