Interim report on the second quarter of 2023: Villeroy & Boch achieves consolidated earnings (EBIT) of € 38.7 million in the first half of 2023 despite a downturn in the construction industry

Consolidated revenue: € 437.8 million: The Villeroy & Boch Group generated consolidated revenue (including licence income) of € 437.8 million in the first half of 2023, down € 52.5 million or 10.7 % on the same period of the previous year due to economic factors. Revenue in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) region declined by 13.9 % or € 56.1 million. This was due in particular to the weak performance in Central Europe, where revenue fell by 14.6 % or € 24.7 million. By contrast, revenue in Southern Europe increased by 9.7 % or € 2.0 million. Revenue outside Europe rose by 4.1 % or € 3.5 million, mainly as a result of improved revenue from project business in China.

EBIT: € 38.7 million: The Villeroy & Boch Group generated EBIT of € 38.7 million in the first half of 2023, down 6.3 % on the same period of the previous year (€ 41.3 million). The downturn in earnings due to revenue development was only partially offset by cost savings and income from currency hedges. The non-operating result of € 0.3 million included in EBIT comprises income from the partial recognition of the gain on the disposal of the former plant property in Luxembourg, which was largely offset by expenses from a write-down on an equity investment and project expenses in almost the same amount.

Development in the divisions: The Dining & Lifestyle Division generated revenue of € 137.2 million in the first half of 2023, down 2.6 % or € 3.7 million on the previous year (€ 140.9 million). Project business with hotel and restaurant customers saw particularly strong growth of € 2.7 million on the back of the Group’s pronounced focus on the high-end segment. Revenue with the Group’s own retail stores increased slightly year-on-year to € 41.1 million. By contrast, e- commerce business saw a downturn in revenue (€ -8.0 million) in line with the general trend in online retail. The Dining & Lifestyle Division ended the first six months with an operating result (EBIT) of € 5.1 million, up slightly on the previous year (€ 4.9 million).

The Bathroom & Wellness Division generated revenue of € 298.9 million in the first six months of 2023, down 14.0 % on the strong prior-year period (€ 347.7 million). The downturn in revenue was observed in all business areas. It was particularly pronounced in the ceramic sanitary ware business (€ -21.5 million) due to the economic slowdown in Europe and the reduction in trade inventories in the first half as well as in the wellness business (€ -14.4 million), where revenue from outdoor hot tubs declined as consumers became more reluctant to invest in light of the political restrictions imposed as a result of the energy crisis. By contrast, new products such as toilets with new flush technology met with a positive market response. Thanks to the sustained strength of its project business, the division achieved substantial revenue growth in Asia with market-specific products including ViClean shower toilets in particular. As a result, the Bathroom & Wellness Division closed the first half of 2023 with an operating result (EBIT) of € 33.3 million (previous year: € 37.9 million). The downturn in earnings due to revenue development was only partially offset by falling procurement prices, especially for energy.

Investments: The Group invested € 16.1 million in property, plant and equipment and intangible assets in the first half of 2023 (previous year: € 10.3 million). The Bathroom & Wellness Division accounted for € 11.8 million, with the remaining € 4.3 million attributable to the Dining & Lifestyle Division. Investment activity in the Bathroom & Wellness Division concentrated on toilet pressure casting machines and a photovoltaic system in Hungary, a washbasin pressure casting system in Romania, a new vertical moulding machine in Belgium and new moulds for the wellness plant in the Netherlands. Investment in the Dining & Lifestyle Division related mainly to the modernisation of production facilities and pressing tools in Merzig and Torgau and the acquisition of new facilities and tools for these sites, as well as the modernisation of the Group’s own retail stores.

Outlook for 2023 as a whole: The market environment remains characterised by an unusually high degree of uncertainty. This relates in particular to the continued development of the construction industry and the negative impact of the further rise in interest rates on the propensity to invest. As a result of the downturn in the construction sector in Europe, which is known to be ongoing, the Management Board of Villeroy & Boch AG expects a year-on-year decrease in consolidated revenue of 3.0 % to 6.0 % and of 5.0 % to 10.0 % in operating EBIT for 2023 as a whole. This is taking into account the forecast reservation in the Q1/2023 report and the business performance in the first six months of the year. The forecasts for the return on net operating assets and investments remain unchanged.

Tableware International

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