Flexibility strategy credited for 43pc business growth in hard times
Danzas Holdings recorded 43 per cent business growth in the Asia-Pacific in the first six months this year, compared with the period last year, despite the Asian economic crisis.
Chief executive Peter Wagner said the group had good results because of its ability to shift its services to exports quickly when currencies in the region devalued.
'The group's flexibility enabled it to do well despite the economic situation,' he said.
The devaluation of currencies made regional goods cheaper and importing countries from North America and Europe bought more.
Danzas said there had been an anomaly in Japan where imports of wine rose after younger Japanese women developed a taste for French and Italian wine, a trend which started last year.
Danzas, which has a niche business in importing wine and spirits to Japan, handles 25,000 teu (20 ft equivalent units) of wines and spirits a year worldwide.
Other wine importing countries include Hong Kong, Taiwan and Latin American countries.
Danzas Asia Pacific Management chief executive Juergen John said the group was looking forward to more increases in its business in Asia.
The group, which won a class-A licence in Shanghai this year, operates 10 representative offices in the mainland.
It hopes to turn these offices into branches next year allowing them to handle orders and issue bills of lading.
Mr Wagner said Danzas did not invest in warehouses, but rather leased them or rented them where necessary.
'We want to be flexible so that we can follow our clients,' he said. 'In such a changing environment, we have to be careful about where we are investing.' Danzas' strategy was not to be bound by fixed assets so it was flexible enough to follow its customers and provide them with first-class service.
Mr Wagner said the group managed activities at Shanghai airport and carried out transit warehousing linked to its intercontinental storage and distribution business.
It had set up a task force in Shanghai to further develop its business.
Renato Chiavi, executive vice-president of the intercontinental division, said besides doing its own mainland logistics business, the group was co-operating with other agents to supply them with supply-chain management services.
There was a high demand for warehousing and distribution services, he said.
Mr Wagner said the recent appreciation of the yen had taken pressure off the mainland to devalue the yuan.
'Regardless of its currency, China is a top priority in Asia for Danzas,' he said, adding that the company would 'have to live with currency depreciation' if it ever happened.
Besides rents, salaries and wages for its local labour, Danzas did not have much exposure to local currencies, he said.
Founded in 1866, Danzas' main areas of operation are Northwest Europe, the Nordic countries and Eastern Europe.