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Gantrex: Working towards an international reporting environment

Key messages

Reference Case Gantrex

Uniform reporting

IFRS

Gantrex is the global market leader in the production, distribution, installation, and maintenance of high-quality crane rail solutions. Gantrex’s products are used in many different applications and end-markets including ports, shipyards, steel mills, aluminum smelters, railway depots, and heavy industries. Gantrex history started in 1971 in a small office in Nivelles, Belgium, and has since grown into an international company with Sales & Service Centers in 20 countries on 5 continents.

From the outset, Gantrex’ strategy has been based on 3 pillars:

  • technological leadership through continuous product development, in which Gantrex invests significantly year after year,
  • a strong local presence with highly qualified staff close to our customers, and
  • top quality products and services to ensure customer satisfaction.


The group realizes a turnover of approximately 85 million euros and employs 300 people globally in 20 countries. In October 2015, Gantrex was acquired by Argos-Soditic, a pan-European investment fund with offices in Paris, Milan, Brussels, Frankfurt, and Geneva.

Aiming at uniform reporting

Each Gantrex affiliate using its local GAAP as the leading GAAP, however, led to a situation whereby different finance and administration practices existed. Also, a different understanding of the reporting rules did not guarantee a uniform and precise business and financial reporting to management. The private equity shareholders of Gantrex requested Trifinance to convert the leading GAAP to IFRS and this for all affiliates in order to achieve uniform reporting

A first study on the impacts of an IFRS conversion had already been performed in previous years. The study focused on theoretical concepts but lacked the operational expertise and the pragmatism of how to adopt IFRS worldwide without causing any disruption in financial and business reporting.

Doing away with volatility

CFO Services’ Corporate reporting specialists stepped in not only to provide the required expertise and capability but also the hands-on mentality and commitment necessary to ensure success. Our Project Consultants' knowledge, do-how and ability to adapt to the client’s different cultures in the affiliates were key in ensuring effective and efficient adoption of IFRS.

Different finance and administration practices often inspired by local legislation and a different understanding of finance & administration rules led to volatility in financial reporting. A uniform set of international rules would support management in taking the right decisions. Gantrex asked support from our team to adopt IFRS as a leading GAAP and to assist in the roll-out of the new Group GAAP to all affiliates.

Gantrex wants to publish IFRS financial statements the first time for the year 2020 which means that an opening balance sheet as at 1 January 2019 and 2019 comparative figures needed to be prepared.

The Gantrex IFRS bible

In collaboration with the Group Finance Department our consultants designed a new IFRS compliant Global Chart of Accounts (GCOA) as well as a Global Finance & Administration and Reporting Manual, the so-called “Gantrex IFRS bible”.

From an impact analysis in the first stages of the project, they continued in calculating and adopting all IFRS rules, including the new standard on leases (IFRS16). An opening balance sheet under IFRS rules and 2019 comparative figures were delivered on time and with minimal noise to the business.

Meetings with the regional controllers were organized to help them understand the IFRS rules and impacts. The documentation and detailed calculations were shared and explained in order to ensure a smooth transition to IFRS in 2020.

Becoming one Group

Implementing international standards in accounting and reporting helped Gantrex to become one Group. Change management was necessary to transform a “local” mindset into a “group” mindset, giving controllers comfort with a new set of rules and guidelines. It turned out to be very beneficial for the communication between affiliates and corporate.

The assignment gave our consultants some invaluable lessons as well. Firstly, it gave them the opportunity to leverage their knowledge on effectively and pragmatically implementing an IFRS environment. Secondly, it taught them how to deal with change management in a company where reporting was locally driven and where resources were limited.

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