BWT Extends Market Leadership Proceeding Fit and Well Equipped into a Challenging Year 2009
“Although we are affected by the weak market environment, we are aware of the fact that for water in general there is no recession. Thanks to our organisation and the commitment of our employees we can react flexibly to the challenges on the market.
In our new business, Point-of-Use, we achieved extraordinary growth of +54%. In view of our investments in product-innovations we do not let ourselves get unsettled by the global economic turbulences and we consequently and persistently follow our strategies“, says Andreas Weissenbacher, Chairman of the Board of the BWT Group.
In 2008, turnover advanced by 3% reaching € 410.2 million after growth of 10% in 2007. Some regions were able to maintain their high level achieved in the previous year with most countries still having registered growth. While business in the residential and commercial technology (at the Point-of-Entry) increased by 2%, the Point-of-Use (small, professional filter systems for the end consumers and caterers) advanced by more than 54% generating € 17.4 million.
Investments in the market launch of the PoU-segment as well as generally low sales growth led to EBIT declining to € 29.2 million from € 36.3 million in the previous year. Net income of € 20.6 million was 21.4% below the year 2007 record of € 26.3 million. Earnings per share amounted to 1.16 € for the year 2008. Operating cash flow increased by 25% to € 28.1 million and allowed internal financing of the increased investment programs and share buy-back programs as well as the reduction of the bank liabilities.
Despite substantial investments of € 16.6 million (after € 13.9 million in the previous year), dividends of € 6.8 million (0.38 € per share) and the share buyback of € 5.3 million (about 0.3 million shares), BWT increased the equity ratio as of 31/12/2008 to 49.0% and continued to reduce gearing, from 20.4% in the previous year to 18.8% at the end of 2008. Moreover, for the first time more than € 12 million were spend on research and development. The innovative PoU-product program was extended in the field of professional users in gastronomy, catering, with backing ovens, steamers and vending applications introducing new standards of quality. Also in 2008, many new key accounts choose BWT for these new products.
New BWT subsidiaries were set up in the Netherlands and Russia.
Andreas Weissenbacher: „We could reduce a decline in sales from 11.3% in January 2009 to 6.3% in February. In the PoU-business we achieve growth of 80% in particular with the BWT bestmax professional filter-cartridges. Nevertheless, guidance on earnings for the year 2009 is difficult to give. In spite of many measures to reduce costs and optimize processes, declining results in comparison to 2008 cannot be ruled out. Close relations with clients established for years, strong service and distribution networks as well as the good position as the European market leader with a strong balance sheet and a full pipeline of product innovations are important foundations for BWT to emerge stronger out of this unfriendly economic climate.”
Source: BWT Wassertechnik GmbH