BWT grows sales by 5% in the first three quarters
"We grew sales by 7% organically and in Point of Use by 22% until the end of the third quarter and are also keeping our balance sheet healthy – despite big investment and rocky economic conditions. The first rank with the Upper Austrian Innovation Award for BWT for the superior Magnesium Mg2+ technology and the table water advertisement campaign in Germany and Austria were the highlights of the third quarter“ says Andreas Weissenbacher, CEO of BWT – Best Water Technology Group, about the results until the end of September 2011.
As at the end of September, the BWT Group’s consolidated revenues showed an increase of 4.8% from €345.2 million to €361.8 million. Growth on a like-for-like basis came to 7.2%. The BWT Group achieved revenues of €26.3 million from Point of Use products during the first nine months of the year, representing a year-on-year increase of 22.4%. Growth in the third quarter was 23.7%. The comprehensive advertising measures aimed at establishing the BWT brand as the leading international “water brand” were chiefly responsible for the reduction of EBIT by €3.0 million to €4.3 during the third quarter.
Earnings before tax were €19.8 million (previous year: €26.1 million) for the first three quarters. Due on the one hand to improved earnings in countries with higher tax rates and on the other hand to tax expenses from prior periods, the Group’s tax rate rose to 31.5% from 23.3% for the same period of the previous year. The Group’s consolidated net earnings after minority interests amounted to €13.5 million for the first nine months of the year (2010: €20.0 million) and €2.6 million in the third quarter (2010: €5.4 million). Earnings per share were €0.79 as at 30 September, against €1.16 in 2010.
Investments in fixed assets increased significantly against 2010. Up to the end of September, €16.2 million had been invested in 2011 so far compared with €10.2 million during the same period of the previous year. The majority of these investments went into expanding production, logistics and research capacities at the Mondsee site. Despite high levels of strategic capital investment, the net debt of the BWT Group fell from €25.1 million at the end of September 2010 to €22.9 million at the end of September 2011. As a consequence, gearing (net debt to equity) fell from 15.3% in 2010 to 14.1% in 2011. The BWT Group’s equity ratio has also improved as at 30 September, amounting to 48.1% of total assets against 47.6% for the same period of the previous year.
Andreas Weissenbacher says, "The revolutionary Magnesium Mg2+ table water filter technology and several other product innovations now give us the historic opportunity to launch the brand BWT as the consumer water technology brand. We follow along this path with persistence aiming to generate considerable growth in sales and earnings in all business segments.“ As planned, the additional marketing expenditure aimed at establishing the “BWT” brand and expanding the Point of Use business, above all in the table water filter product segment, is resulting in the medium term in a decline in earnings, which has been exacerbated by the difficult market environment in France, Italy and Spain and the pressure on margins in Eastern Europe in 2011. The BWT Group is still expecting to achieve consolidated revenues of €470 million in 2011. From the current perspective, it looks unlikely that the group earnings target of €1 per share will be met, the fourth quarter, as was also the case last year, makes only a minor contribution to earnings.