Business report > Business and financial review
Currency-adjusted sales growth within medium-term target range
Sales reached CHF 2,187.8 million for 2012 as a whole, which represents growth of 3.1%. At +4.5% in local currencies, total sales were in line with the medium-term growth expectations of 4 to 6%. The negative currency effect of 1.4% was more than compensated by a positive price effect of 1.3% and a positive volume effect of 3.2%.
In spite of the restrained sales growth experienced since 2008, the longer-term trend remains encouraging. Average growth for the last ten years was 5.6%.
Strongly diverging performance in individual markets
The following changes in sales figures by markets and regions refer to local currencies.
Most markets recovered again after a decline in the third quarter. European sales rose by 4.7% for the year as a whole. Double-digit growth was posted in Austria (+12.6%), the Nordic Countries (+10.8%) and Central/Eastern Europe (+10.2%). Good growth was also recorded for France (+9.5%), Germany (+8.9%) and the UK/Ireland (+5.9%), while the Benelux Countries performed more or less on a par with the previous year (+1.2%). In contrast, Switzerland (-4.4%), which was affected by substantial price reductions, Italy (-6.6%) and the Iberian Peninsula (-19.5%) had to accept – in some cases – drastic reductions in growth. The other regions Middle East/Africa (+5.6%), America (+2.6%) and the Far East/Pacific (+1.5%) ended the reporting period with positive figures in spite of sometimes extremely challenging conditions.
Product areas reported more or less equal growth
Sales for the Sanitary Systems product area increased by 2.8% in Swiss francs to CHF 1,242.8 million. Growth in local currencies was 4.3%.
Sales for the Installation Systems product line, at 35.6% of Group sales the most important product line, rose by 3.9% in local currencies. In the reporting year, drywall elements and designer actuator plates were again mostly responsible for this growth. At +8.6%, the strongest growth was posted by the Cisterns and Mechanisms product line, which accounts for 11.1% of total sales. Sales were boosted by the strong growth of the AquaClean shower toilet – in particular as a complete solution – and the Monolith toilet module, which is breaking into ever more markets. Sales of filling and flush valves recovered from the slump experienced in the previous year, mainly because of the good performance of the generally volatile OEM business. In contrast, sales of traditional exposed cisterns stagnated as a consequence of Geberit's efforts over many years to convert to concealed solutions. Sales for the Faucets and Flushing Systems product line, which accounts for 5.8% of total sales, increased slightly by 1.5% in 2012. Compared to the extremely positive trend in the previous year, this product range was affected more strongly by the challenging market conditions faced by the US subsidiary Chicago Faucets. Sales of urinal flush controls remained stable at the previous year's level. Sales for the Waste Fittings and Traps product line, representing 4.3% of total Group sales, improved only slightly by 1.0%. Double-digit growth for floor outlets was offset by weaker sales for bathtub drains and sink drains.
Sales for the Piping Systems product area grew by 3.4% to CHF 945.0 million. The increase in local currencies was 4.8%. Sales for this product area thus improved only slightly more than those for the Sanitary Systems area in the reporting year – in contrast to the previous year when Piping Systems sales increased more substantially.
Sales for the Building Drainage Systems product line were more or less on a par with the previous year (+0.2%), contributing 14.0% to total sales. The Pluvia roof drainage system and Silent-PP did well. The successful Supply Systems product line posted 7.2% growth. The contribution of this product line, which is the second largest measured by Group sales, climbed to 29.2%. The Mapress product range in stainless steel, carbon steel and copper and the Mepla multilayer piping system in particular delivered impressive growth rates.