There has been good news at some large family businesses recently, with Gebruder Weiss, Volkswagen and Koc Holding publishing strong results.
In Austria, Gebruder Weiss - owned by the Weiss and Jerie families – reported an 8% rise in net sales in its provisional 2012 results, released 19 March. Revenues at the transport and logistics company were €1.15 billion for the year to 31 December, compared to €1.07 billion in 2011.
However, growth was not quite as rapid as 2011, when it reported a 9.2% rise in turnover.
Non-family chief executive Wolfgang Niessner – the 2012 winner of CampdenFB's non-family director award – said in a statement: "Even though the overall dynamics are not quite on par with 2011, some individual branches and regions have once again shown outstanding performance over the last fiscal year."
The company, which also has smaller subsidiaries in areas such as logistics consultancy and software, is one of Austria's oldest family businesses with a 500-year history.
Meanwhile, in Sweden, high street fashion powerhouse Hennes & Mauritz, run by the Persson family, saw a slight dip in its first quarter sales compared to the same period last year.
Preliminary results published on 15 March showed sales in comparable units had decreased by 3%, but H&M attributed this to adverse exchange rates. Also, the first quarter of 2012 benefited from an extra day of trading because it was a leap year.
Full first-quarter figures will be published on 21 March.
Elsewhere in Europe, Volkswagen, controlled by the Piech and Porsche families, saw revenues increase 20.9% to €192.7 billion in 2012, from €159.3 billion the previous year.
The results, published on 14 March, also showed an increase in profit after tax to €21.9 billion from €15.8 billion.
Volkswagen took full control of Porsche last year, as well as buying Ducati motorbikes.
“The improvement in the financial result is primarily attributable to non-cash effects of €12.3 billion from the final valuation of the put/call rights relating to Porsche as of 31 July 2012, as well as from the remeasurement of the existing shares of Porsche held at the contribution date,” said a statement from the company.
In Turkey, Koc Holding's preliminary 2012 results, published 8 March, showed a 13% revenue increase to 84.8 billion Turkish lira (€36.1 billion), from 75.7 billion Turkish lira in 2011.
According to Koc, which is controlled by the eponymous family, its products accounted for 10% of Turkey's exports in 2012. The conglomerate has divisions in a number of sectors including energy, automobiles, white goods and finance.
In Switzerland, the Hayek family’s Swatch Group published its annual report on 6 March – it had net profits of CHF1.6 billion for 2012 from CHF1.3 billion in 2011. It also confirmed revenues of CHF8.1 billion (€6.7 billion), up from €7.1 billion in 2011.