Villeroy & Boch AG closed the third quarter of 2020 with revenue of € 208.0 million (including licence income), up 6.8 % on the same period of the previous year (€ 194.7 million). This applies to both the Bathroom and Wellness Division (+6.5 %) and the Tableware Division (+8.0 %).
This means the downturn in revenue in the second quarter due to the pandemic has already been substantially recovered after nine months. In the first nine months of 2020, the company generated consolidated revenue of € 548.7 million (previous year: € 587.9 million), thereby reducing the deficit recorded in the first half of the year from -13.4 % to -6.7 %.
Orders on hand more than doubled, from € 44.8 million as of 31 December 2019 to € 100.5 million as of 30 September 2020. € 80.7 million (31 December 2019: € 35.3 million) of this figure relates to the Bathroom and Wellness Division, while € 19.8 million (31 December 2019: € 9.5 million) relates to the Tableware Division.
EBIT: € 10.3 million
The extremely good performance in the third quarter allowed the Group to close the first nine months of the 2020 financial year with operating EBIT of € 10.3 million, thereby already offsetting the loss recorded in the second quarter in full. This was thanks to significantly improved revenue development in the third quarter as well as the savings generated through stringent cost management. Despite this, the slump in demand resulting from the coronavirus crisis and the plant shutdowns and restrictions initiated in the second quarter meant that EBIT was still down € 12.0 million on the previous year (€ 22.3 million).
Development in the divisions
In the Bathroom and Wellness Division, revenue amounted to € 138.4 million in the third quarter of 2020, up an unexpected 6.5 % on the previous year (€ 130.0 million). Encouragingly, this development was reflected in all business areas, particularly wellness (+16.7 %) and the business area with the highest revenue, ceramic sanitary ware (+4.6 %). On the back of the strong third quarter, the Bathroom and Wellness Division reported revenue of € 383.8 million in the first nine months of the 2020 financial year (previous year: € 401.6 million), down just 4.4 % on the previous year (after the first half of the year: -9.7 %). In other words, the division substantially offset the revenue deficit as of the end of the third quarter.
The Tableware Division also enjoyed extremely encouraging development on the whole in the third quarter. Quarterly revenue increased by 8.0 % year-on-year to € 69.1 million (previous year: € 64.0 million), allowing the revenue deficit from the first half of the year due to the coronavirus (-21.7 %) to be reduced to -11.5 %. The Tableware Division closed the first nine months of the 2020 financial year with revenue of € 163.0 million (previous year: € 184.1 million). After 26.0 % in the first half of the year, the encouraging revenue growth in the Group’s e-commerce activities increased further to 30.9 % as of 30 September 2020. By contrast, revenue from retail stores (-23.5 %) and project business with hotel and restaurant clients (-47.6 %) in particular was still down on the previous year due to pandemic-related factors.
Investment volume in the first nine months of 2020: € 10.7 million
The Group invested € 10.7 million in property, plant and equipment and intangible assets in the first nine months of the 2020 financial year (previous year: € 17.9 million). The Bathroom and Wellness Division accounted for € 7.0 million, with the remaining € 3.7 million attributable to the Tableware Division. In the Bathroom and Wellness Division, new facilities were acquired for the sanitary ware plants in Thailand and Hungary in particular. Investment in the Tableware Division related primarily to the maintenance and modernisation of the logistics centre in Merzig and acquisitions for production in Merzig.
Outlook for 2020 as a whole
Following the significant impact of the coronavirus pandemic in the second quarter of 2020 in particular, the strong performance in the third quarter means the Management Board of Villeroy & Boch AG considers the current economic situation of the Group to be broadly satisfactory once again. In addition to the worldwide uncertainty due to the pandemic, global trade conflicts and the threat of a no-deal Brexit are weighing on the outlook.
“In light of the encouraging recovery in our business in the summer months, we are raising our forecast for the 2020 financial year substantially. We expect the positive revenue trend to continue in the traditionally strong fourth quarter provided the rise in coronavirus infections does not have a negative impact on the economy,” commented Frank Göring, CEO of Villeroy & Boch AG.
The Management Board is now forecasting an operating result (EBIT) of € 30-35 million. The previously announced target was to offset the losses recorded in the first half of the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the second half of the year and report a positive operating result. Thanks to stringent cost management since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and significantly improved revenue performance in the third quarter, with revenue even increasing year-on-year, this target was achieved sooner than expected.
The new forecast is subject to the assumption that governments will not take any further significant measures to curb the pandemic with a corresponding negative impact on the economy.