The numbers champion

Even before Britta Jürgensen signed on to the HHLA team in 2005, she had already put her new employer to the acid test. One year previously, as an employee of the Ernst & Young accounting firm, she had been tasked with auditing HHLA’s consolidated financial statements. This piqued her interest in the diverse company, and Jürgensen, a Business Administration graduate and tax consultant, had also garnered positive attention in the central finance department at the time.

Born in Flensburg, she has now been in charge of Group accounting for nearly 17 years. Rather than a traditional aloof northerner, she is a very communicative, cordial and perennially busy woman. Nonetheless, she does have to keep a cool head because a lot of important threads come together in her department.

Communication and coordination have to come together smoothly. “We receive numbers from more than 50 subsidiaries and joint ventures per quarter and use them to compile HHLA’s consolidated financial statements,” says Jürgensen of her most important task.

The consolidated financial statements must be compiled based on the strict comprehensive rules for listed companies. The statements are a fundamental component of HHLA’s Annual Report, one of the most important documents that a stock company is obliged to publish each year. And every year there are changes to the international accounting policies that must be adhered to.

Curious about us?

They have a lot to say – from the port, from the past, from their day-to-day work or from abroad.

Read more

In addition, when new companies are integrated into the HHLA Group, or when parts are sold or consolidated, this must be immediately reflected in the financial reporting. The team must adhere to a detailed schedule so they meet the legal publication deadlines.

Britta Jürgensen blossoms in the midst of her energetic team, and laughs easily – when there’s time for it. Does she have a unique understanding of numbers? Yes, it does help if you’re good at doing estimations in your head: she sees most discrepancies immediately. This number isn’t plausible, the number sign is wrong, there was a different number here in the interim report, and so on. “Maths were always my thing because there’s only one correct result,” says Jürgensen, laughing. At the moment she has time for a laugh – but in five minutes, she’s off to her next meeting.

Published 12/2021