For the third year in a row, our outlook for the year ahead is accompanied by a great deal of uncertainty. After COVID, now the war in Ukraine is a crisis in all aspects, the consequences of which are barely conceivable.
The 2022 budget is focused on the large strategic project Designing our Future. In 2021, Vebego began the process of strengthening the organisation, thereby also strengthening its market position. The intention is to, in 2022 and 2023, form a total of eleven large companies in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, that will operate in cleaning, facility management, landscaping and healthcare.
The year 2022 will therefore involve strong investment in the organisation in the area of HR, IT systems and costs associated with the integration of the companies. The budget takes into account the slowly decreasing impact of the coronavirus pandemic. In the long-term, Vebego also aims to merge and further strengthen its activities in facility services, healthcare and temporary employment in Belgium and Germany; these activities will be supported by a shared service centre located in the country in question. The acquisition of the hectas group in early 2022 also contributes towards an acceleration of growth and ambition in Germany. In Switzerland, the transformation of the current facility services provider, Vebego AG, was already initiated at an earlier stage.
The Vebego companies are constantly working to improve and renew their services, with the goal of serving clients better and more efficiently, but also mainly to reduce workloads and to make the work more enjoyable for the employees. We include the R&D investments that were made in this area in the current operations; these investments do not meet the criteria for capitalisation on the balance sheet.
The result for 2022 is expected to be significantly lower than for the 2021 financial year. This is mainly due to the investments and the large number of strategic projects that have been rolled out in order to be able to grow into the powerful collective Vebego wants to be in 2025. During the preparation of the plans for 2022, the invasion in Ukraine was not yet in the picture. The extent to which these dramatic events will draw a line through Vebego’s plans cannot yet be predicted. The strategic vision for 2025 remains in place, but it may be necessary to adjust in certain areas. The management teams of the Vebego companies are following the (daily) news constantly and taking immediate concrete actions for their own organisation if necessary. The Executive Board is occupied with the longer-term consequences and adjusting at a strategic level. It is precisely now that being able to respond quickly and adequately to the rapidly changing environment is a prerequisite to making and being able to make the right decisions for the short and the longer term, in the interest of Vebego and all stakeholders, so that in 2022 we can do more of what it is that drives us: doing good.