- Consolidated revenue up 3.3 % on a constant currency basis
and 2.0 % in nominal terms to € 820.1 million
- EBIT improves by 9.4 % to € 47.6 million
- Group result up 6.6 % year-on-year to € 29.1 million
Consolidated revenue up 3.3 % on a constant currency basis
In the 2016 financial year, the Villeroy & Boch Group increased its revenue by 3.3 % year-on-year to € 820.1 million on a constant currency basis, i.e. assuming unchanged exchange rates against the previous year. In nominal terms, revenue increased by 2.0 % or € 16.3 million.
Robust growth was achieved on the Group's home market of Germany, where revenue rose by € 13.6 million or 6.0 % to € 241.4 million. In the other markets of Europe, the Group recorded revenue growth in the Czech Republic (+11.7 %), the Benelux countries (+5.5 %), Austria (+4.3 %) and Sweden (+2.4 %) in particular. Revenue also returned to moderate growth in France following several years of falling revenue due to economic factors (+0.6 %). Revenue declined in the United Kingdom (-5.2 %), attributable to the weakness of the pound sterling. In Russia, revenue fell by 7.8 % as a result of the sustained weakness of the local currency and economy. The Asia/Australia/Africa region saw revenue growth of 7.9 % thanks in particular to the positive performance in China, the most important market in the region (+35.2 %). At € 47.9 million, revenue in the Americas region was down 7.8 % on the previous year; due amongst other things to exchange rate effects resulting from the weak development of the Mexican peso.
Consolidated EBIT up 9.4 % year-on-year
In the 2016 financial year, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) improved by 9.4 % to € 47.6 million (previous year: € 43.5 million). This was due largely to the positive revenue development and effective cost management. Consolidated EBIT also includes non-recurring income of € 1.7 million from the sale of the plant property in Gustavsberg, Sweden (previous year: € 1.4 million). The Group result improved by 6.6 % to € 29.1 million.
Development in the divisions
The Bathroom and Wellness Division increased its nominal revenue by 5.5 % to € 524.4 million in the 2016 financial year. On a constant currency basis, divisional revenue rose by 7.3 %. The division improved its revenue by 10.5 % in Germany. In Western Europe, Spain (+19.3 %), the Benelux countries (+8.6 %) and Austria (+4.5 %) saw the strongest revenue growth. The main reasons for the increasing revenue in Western Europe were the strength of the Group's bathroom furniture business – where revenue rose by 12.3 % to € 54.0 million, thereby exceeding € 50 million for the first time – and the sustained upturn in demand for rimless DirectFlush WCs. In Eastern Europe, the highest revenue growth was recorded in Ukraine (+44.0 %) and Hungary (+10.2 %). Revenue declined in Switzerland (-18.4 %), Russia (-11.8 %) and Italy (-7.8 %). China saw strong revenue growth of 32.2 % thanks in particular to the extremely successful ViClean shower toilet collection.
The operating result (EBIT) in the division improved by 10.4 % to € 36.2 million on the back of the positive revenue development, efficient administrative cost management and lower commodity and energy costs.
The Tableware Division generated revenue of € 295.7 million in the 2016 financial year (-3.6 %), corresponding to a decrease of 3.1 % on a constant currency basis. Revenue development was affected by the decision to intensify the division's focus on higher-margin trade channels, as well as taking a more cautious approach to special offers and shifting some of its secondary brand business to its licence business. In terms of earnings, the resulting reduction in revenue was almost entirely offset by the additional licence income generated. At € 86.2 million, revenue in Germany was down 1.4 % on the previous year. In Europe, revenue also declined in France (-2.5 %) and the United Kingdom (-9.9 %). The latter was due to the depreciation of the pound sterling, without which revenue would have risen by +0.9 %. Business in Russia enjoyed positive development (+18.3 %). Outside Europe, China saw particularly pronounced revenue growth (+82.9 %) thanks to strong project business with hotels and restaurants. At the same time, however, revenue declined in Japan (-24.5 %) and the Middle East (-17.9 %). The division's e-commerce business again enjoyed positive performance across all sales markets (+7.9 %).
The operating result in the Tableware Division increased by 4.3 % to € 9.7 million in the 2016 financial year. The main reasons were successful inventory optimisation, growth in licence income and increased cost discipline in terms of sales, marketing and development structures and administrative expenses.
Orders on hand, operating cash flow and net liquidity
Orders on hand amounted to € 73.9 million as at 31 December 2016, up significantly on the previous year (€ 63.3 million). The Bathroom and Wellness Division accounted for € 63.4 million of this figure, with the remaining € 10.5 million attributable to the Tableware Division.
In 2016, the cash flow from operating activities improved by € 43.8 million to € 77.9 million. This was due to positive effects from the revenue growth generated and the reduction in inventories and trade receivables. These factors also accounted for the increase in net liquidity to € 60.7 million (previous year: € 15.0 million).
The Management Board and the Supervisory Board will propose to the General Meeting of Shareholders on 24 March 2017 that the unappropriated surplus of Villeroy & Boch AG be used to distribute a dividend in the amount of € 0.53 per preference share and € 0.48 per ordinary share, € 0.04 more than in the previous year in each case.
Investments in property, plant and equipment and intangible assets amounted to € 26.2 million in the past financial year. Of this figure, around three quarters related to the Bathroom and Wellness Division, where investment activity focused on modernisation measures and the acquisition of new facilities. Investments in the Tableware Division concentrated on the expansion and optimisation of the retail network and new technical equipment.
Assessment of the company’s position
"2016 was a good year for us. Despite negative exchange rate effects, we succeeded in recording revenue and earnings growth once again,” commented Frank Göring, CEO of Villeroy & Boch AG.
For the 2017 financial year, the company is aiming to increase its consolidated revenue by 3 % to 5 % accompanied by EBIT growth of between 5 % and 10 %.
Villeroy & Boch:
Villeroy & Boch is one of the world's leading premium brands for ceramic products. The family business, which was founded in 1748 and is headquartered in Mettlach/Germany, stands for innovation, tradition and exceptional style. As a renowned lifestyle brand, Villeroy & Boch offers products from the sectors Bathroom and Wellness and Tableware, and is active in 125 countries.