We look back on an intensive year, with internal and external challenges. Developments like the launch of Vebego as a new brand in the market, explicating a new overarching culture and the merger of companies required time, energy and – again – money; over four years we are investing 30 million euros in redesigning our company. Externally, we had to contend with high inflation rates and labour market shortages last year. But the efforts paid off. We have made great strides in making Vebego future-proof. The net result for 2023 is again positive and in line with a multi-year trend: since 2021, our turnover has grown by 40%. This healthy financial result helps us to achieve our goals: creating meaningful jobs based on the conviction that everyone has the right to a good job and income to go with it. Meaningful jobs. Great work. Better world.

Special anniversary year for our family business

The artwork 'Growing Together' which was created to celebrate Vebego's 80th anniversary.

In 2023, we celebrated our 80th anniversary. The unveiling of the Tonny Goedmakers path was the icing on the cake. The municipality of Voerendaal decided to rename the cycling and hiking path ‘Fietspad in de Koning’ between Voerendaal and Heerlen as the 'Tonny Goedmakers pad', in honour of the role Vebego plays for the region.

To celebrate the anniversary, we had our own symbolic artwork made and placed in the garden of Kasteel Cortenbach in Voerendaal. The artwork - titled 'Growing Together' - connects old and new and represents employees, customers and society. These are the stakeholders we do it for. These are the stakeholders who, in our eyes, have to do it together to strengthen each other optimally.

Nice steps in our interplay with employees, customers and society

2023 showed that we are making great strides in our interplay with employees, customers and society. The Net Promotor Score (NPS) showed that 50% of our customers answered positively when asked whether they would recommend us to others. Already six of our companies are certified as ‘Great Place To Work’.

EcoVadis, which measures our performance in the area of sustainability, confirms that we are on the right track. For example, Vebego Facility Services in Germany was rated 'silver' at the end of 2023 and Vebego AG in Switzerland was rated 'gold'. The further professionalisation of the Vebego Foundation, with an international board from 2024, also fits into that picture. Just like Queen Máxima's visit to our joint venture IBN in June 2023. At our invitation and from her role as honorary chairman of SchuldenlabNL, Queen Máxima attended a meeting of the Dutch Coalition for Financial Health (NCFG) that day. This coalition of companies is committed to the financial health of their employees. Vebego has been actively involved in this from the start.

Sponsoring curling: a sport much like Vebego

In the anniversary year 2023, we also decided to sponsor the Dutch curling team. Partly as a tribute to founding father Tonny Goedmakers who, as a swimmer, was on course for the Tokyo Olympics until World War II threw a spanner in the works. More importantly, the sport resembles Vebego in many aspects. It is all about teamwork and developing potential. And just like Vebego itself, this sport wants to become more visible and grow, read: make it to the Winter Olympics for the first time, in 2026.

New brand: working on visibility and recognisability

An important milestone in 2023 was the successful launch of the Vebego brand. The new logo, the new company names and the updated visual identity exude simplicity, accessibility and people-orientation. Vebego has an annual turnover of almost 1.5 billion euros in cleaning, care, facilities management and landscaping, but until recently it was neither really visible nor recognisable enough for (potential) employees and customers. Partly due to the rebranding, that visibility has been increased. Customers also speak to us about this. They increasingly see the breadth of our services and the strength of our collective. We have also become more visible in the media. That is great in itself, but what is even more valuable is that we are increasingly being found on the themes that matter to us. Such as meaningful work and inclusiveness. We are also strengthening visibility in other ways. For example, with a new office and meeting place on Amsterdam's Zuidas. We also want to be visible in this Dutch financial district and underline that our work and the inclusiveness we stand for can also be seen.

Organisation in transformation

Vebego is transforming from a company with many entities to a new, powerful collective that operates under one name: Vebego. In 2023, we took another big step in this regard. At the beginning of 2023, Vebego Cleaning Services was launched in the Netherlands. Several companies with a lot of history and different backgrounds – national players, local players, more specialised companies – merged into one new large company. This transition is progressing well. Employees start to feel connected to the new company. We also got a clearer idea for ourselves and others of what we stand for in the market. Vebego Groen, which also started in 2023, profiles itself as the 'nicest, smartest and greenest company’. Vebego Cleaning Services has chosen the summary phrase 'Maak meedoen mogelijk’ (Enable participation). In Germany, hectas and Servico continued together as Vebego Facility Services. Here too we picked up steam during 2023. Our people-oriented story is landing better and better, internally and externally. In Belgium, the process of bringing the cleaning companies under one company under the Vebego flag started in 2023.

Beliefs & Behaviours: culture made explicit

Another achievement: in 2023, we made our implicit culture explicit. In several sessions, we identified our Beliefs & Behaviours. Keywords in that context include: Positively surprised. Keep growing every day. Help each other succeed. Appreciate your people. We all try to apply those shared Beliefs and Behaviours in our daily work. I myself do that by putting colleagues on the podium whenever possible. Like my colleague Sharif Moud who got the stage at the Inclusivity Event in Amsterdam. Sharif works at Schiphol via Vebego Participation and does wonderful meaningful work there that deserves to be seen.

Photographer Jimmy Nelson at the Vebego Leadership Conference in 2023, expressing the great value of truly seeing one another

Value creation: from CFO to CVO

As Vebego, we want to create value for clients, employees and society. A big step we have taken in this regard is that in 2023 we have replaced the position of CFO with that of Chief Value Officer, in the person of Sirka Hintze. We are preparing the implementation of the CSRD reporting standards and have developed a 'Value Creation Dashboard'. This dashboard will help us on our way to 2025 when, according to the CSRD, Vebego will be required to report on social and environmental impact.

About 2024

The outlook for 2024 is good. We count on healthy growth, despite the continued shortages in the labour market. We expect further improvement in value creation by our core businesses and see opportunities to further increase our brand awareness. The Strategic Leadership Team is solid. My uncle Ronald Goedmakers has left the Board of Directors with effect from 1 February 2024. But, as is befitting of our family business, he remains involved. He will take my father's place on the supervisory board at the end of 2024.

I hope you will enjoy reading our annual report!

Ton Goedmakers, CEO

Mijn Rapport