CHG-Meridian Group, a provider of IT and finance, including computer leasing, has posted upbeat figures for the 2019 reporting year, while identifying challenges ahead as the asset finance sector comes to terms with Covid-19.

The group said lease origination was up by 32% to €1.99bn (£1.73bn) against €1.51bn (£1.31bn) in 2018, exceeding the record figure achieved in 2018.

The proportion of international lease origination (outside its home market of Germany) was 60%, a rise of 8% year-on-year. The group operates across 27 countries.

Profit from ordinary activities (before taxes) amounted to €91m, which was slightly lower than the prior-year figure (2018: €95m). The Group’s net income (after taxes) fell by 2% to €65m (2018: €66m).

Mathias Wagner, chairman of the board of management of the CHG-Meridian Group, said: “Despite demanding overall conditions such as the downturn of the global economy, serious changes in many industrial sectors, and persistently low-interest rates, we were able to continue our success story and set a new record for lease origination of about €2bn.”

CHG-Meridian specialises in providing IT infrastructures for the digital workplace and lifecycle management for IT digitalisation and modernisation investments.

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The business is also active in healthcare technology for hospitals, warehousing and logistics technology and material-handling vehicles for industrial companies.

In 2019, the healthcare and industrial technology segments of the company contributed to 18% of the Group’s lease origination.

CHG-Meridian also reported an increase in the number of refurbished and remarketed devices. It reported that almost 700,000 IT devices – or 95% of all IT hardware and devices returned by customers – could be refurbished and brought onto the secondary market in a second lifecycle.

The provision of professional data erasure continues to be a significant service offering said the company. Across the group, data was certifiably erased from a total of 266,000 assets and devices, this equates to a year-on-year rise of almost 25%, against 213,000 in 2018.

“The principles of the circular economy are deeply rooted in the DNA of CHG-Meridian and have shaped our business model for decades.

Wagner said: “Professional refurbishment of used IT equipment and its subsequent remarketing belong to our core competencies. In doing so, we link our entrepreneurial activities with environmental, social, and community concerns.”

Against the background of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, CHG-Meridian expects leasing origination to be negatively affected in 2020.

Wagner said: “We have a positive outlook for the period following the crisis and in the medium term.

“In recent weeks, many companies have identified deficits in the area of digitalization and remote working or restrictions for home-office settings.

“In this regard, we can offer targeted support based on our experience and services.”