In the first quarter of 2014, the consolidated revenues of the BWT – Best Water Technology – Group declined by 0.5% year on year to €119.3 million. The slight downturn is the result of strategic measures to optimise and streamline the Group’s locations and product portfolio.
Adjusted for changes to the Group structure, consolidated revenues were up 5.8% on the previous year’s level. Revenues in the strategically important Point of Use business posted growth of 14.8% and account for 11.4% of the Group’s consolidated revenues (previous year: 9.9%).
The earnings situation of the BWT Group was characterised by planned increases in advertising expenditure in the first quarter. EBIT decreased to €4.7 million (previous year: €6.0 million) and consolidated net earnings after minority interests at €2.5 million were down €1.1 million on the previous year’s figure of €3.6 million.
Investments in property, plant and equipment and intangible assets rose from €7.5 million to €8.3 million in the first three months of the year. These investments were centered on the expansion of production and logistics facilities at the Mondsee site, which will largely be completed in the first half of 2014, and construction measures relating to a new plant for Membrane production and pharmaceutical water activities in Germany.
Gearing (net financial liabilities to equity ratio) stood at 25.8% as at 31 March 2014 compared with 16.2% as at 31 December 2013 and 22.4% a year ago. The equity ratio was 46.6% compared with 45.0% in March of last year and 47.9% as at the end of 2013. The BWT Group’s employee workforce went down year on year from 2,735 employees to 2,575 employees as at the end of March due to company disposals that were made.
Andreas Weissenbacher: “The extensive measures in connection with the development of the “BWT” brand with the brand message “BWT – For You and Planet Blue” as the leading water brand will be rigorously continued in 2014. The measures associated with this aim not only to boost growth in the Point of Use business but also to bolster the BWT Group’s core business – water treatment products, facilities and services at the ‘point of entry’ – in the long term. We do not expect increases in earnings for the current financial year.”