Business and financial review


Above-average sales growth in local currencies

The Geberit Group’s cumulative sales were CHF 2,122.6 million for 2011 as a whole (prior year CHF 2,146.9 million). As a result of negative developments in exchange rates, this resulted in a 1.1% decline in Swiss Francs compared to the prior year. Calculated in local currencies, however, the sales growth was 9.5%, an above-average increase in comparison to the long-term sales development.

The decline in sales in Swiss Francs included a negative foreign-currency effect of 10.6%, which was only partly balanced out by a positive price effect of 1.8% and a positive volume effect of 7.7%.

Despite a slow down in sales growth since 2008, the sales trend remains positive in the medium term. Average growth has been 6.2% annually over the past ten years.

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Generally positive performance in the markets and regions

The following sales by markets and regions relate to changes in local currency.

European sales increased by 9.5%. The upturn, which had already started in the previous year, continued in most European markets. Double-digit growth was posted in the United Kingdom/Ireland (+26.2%), Austria (+15.3%), France (+12.6%), Germany (+12.3%), the Nordic Countries (+11.6%), Central/Eastern Europe (+10.3%) and the Benelux Countries (+10.2%). Also showing increases were Italy (+2.9%) and Switzerland (+1.4%). The only European market that continued to register a drop in sales was the Iberian Peninsula (-9.5%). America (+10.2%), Far East/Pacific (+10.0%) and Middle East/Africa (+7.5%) also grew in 2011, under sometimes extremely challenging conditions.

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Stronger growth in Piping Systems

In Swiss Francs the Sanitary Systems product area fell by 3.7% to CHF 1,209.0 million. In local currencies, on the other hand, growth reached 7.0%.

Sales from the most important product line, Installation Systems, which accounted for a 36.2% share of Group sales, increased by 6.9% in local currencies. As in prior years, drywall elements and the attractive, designer actuator plates were primarily responsible for this growth. Sales in the Cisterns and Mechanisms product line increased by 7.3%, thus accounting for 10.7% of total sales. Strong growth in sales of the AquaClean shower toilet and newly introduced Monolith toilet modules boosted overall sales. By contrast, and primarily due to weak OEM business in the Far East/Pacific region, filling and flush valves as well as business in traditional exposed cisterns stagnated (as a consequence of the conversion to concealed solutions Geberit has been pushing for years). The Faucets and Flushing Systems product line increased by 7.2%, resulting in a 5.7% share of total sales. This product range benefited from the gratifying development of business in the US subsidiary Chicago Faucets, which increased despite the challenging market environment. Also positive in this area was the sales development in urinal flush controls. The Waste Fittings & Traps product line held its own in the framework of the development of the entire product area. Shower drains posted high, double-digit growth, to which the recently launched wall drain for floor-even showers contributed significantly. Sales in this product line increased by 6.4% and the share of Group sales was 4.4%.

Sales in the Piping Systems product area increased by 2.5% to CHF 913.6 million; the increase was as much as 13.1% in local currencies. The trend of increased growth in the Piping Systems product area thus held through the whole year. Product sales in this area benefited from business in new construction, which increased in many major markets compared to previous years.

After currency adjustments the Building Drainage Systems product line grew by 12.6%. The contribution to total sales was 14.5%. In this product line, the Pluvia roof drainage system and Silent-PP line were especially notable among the overall gratifying results with high double-digit growth rates. Sales in the Supply Systems product line were equally successful, posting growth of 13.4%. In this area the Mapress product range in stainless steel, carbon steel and copper delivered impressive growth rates. The contribution of this product line, which is the second largest measured by Group sales, climbed to 28.5%.

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