FILE PHOTO: The logo of shower toilet and plumbing supplies maker Geberit is seen at its headquarters in Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo
January 13, 2022
ZURICH (Reuters) -Geberit on Thursday reported its strongest annual sales growth in 22 years as customers stranded by the pandemic chose to improve their homes with its piping and bathroom products.
The maker of ceramics, shower toilets and other construction supplies reported annual sales rising 16% to 3.46 billion Swiss francs ($3.78 billion). The sales growth was the strongest since the company went public in 1999.
The company attributed the increase to people improving their homes during the pandemic, as well as customers in the construction industry rebuilding inventories.
The sales growth was helped by favourable comparisons when compared with 2020, although the annual figures were still 16.4% above the pre-pandemic sales levels in 2019.
“The exceptionally good results seen since the second half of 2020 show that Geberit has emerged stronger from this COVID-19-related challenging conditions and has gained market share,” the company said.
“Despite the considerable challenges arising along the supply chains, the group was able to safeguard product availability.”
Geberit, whose products are used in new build and refurbishment projects, is seen as a bellwether for the health of the broader construction market.
During the fourth quarter sales rose 6.7% to 773 million Swiss francs. The Swiss company, which is due to publish its full-year earnings on March 9, said it expects an operating cashflow margin (EBITDA) of around 31%, the same level as a year earlier.
The construction sector has enjoyed an upswing during 2021, helped by the return of demand that was suppressed last year, reopening of building sites and low interest rates supporting many schemes.
Geberit is also wresting with higher raw materials costs and introduced two additional price rises last year to deal with it. The company uses metals like aluminium and copper, plastics and ceramics in its products.
($1=0.9146 Swiss francs)
(Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Shounak Dasgupta)