- Consolidated revenue declines to € 182.4 million (previous year: € 197.7 million)
- Group result (EBIT) remains positive at € 4.3 million (previous year: € 8.5 million)
- Significant downturn in revenue expected in the second quarter (especially in the Tableware Division); reliable full-year forecast not currently possible due to the limited visibility of the consequences of the pandemic
Consolidated revenue: € 182.4 million
The Villeroy & Boch Group generated consolidated revenue of € 182.4 million (including licence income) in the first quarter of 2020, a year-on-year decrease of € 15.3 million or 7.7 %. The coronavirus has been having a tangible impact since January, particularly in China. Following year-on-year growth in the first two months, revenue saw a sharp downturn in March, not least due to the closure of Tableware stores around the world.
Incoming orders in the first quarter of 2020 led to the usual seasonal increase in orders on hand, which rose by € 20.6 million to € 65.4 million compared with 31 December 2019. Of this figure, € 46.6 million (31 December 2019: € 35.3 million) was attributable to the Bathroom and Wellness Division and € 18.8 million (31 December 2019: € 9.5 million) was attributable to the Tableware Division.
EBIT: € 4.3 million
EBIT fell to € 4.3 million in the first quarter of 2020, largely as a result of the significant downturn in revenue due to the coronavirus crisis.
The Bathroom and Wellness Division generated revenue of € 125.8 million in the first quarter of 2020 (previous year: € 131.4 million). This € 5.6 million decline in revenue was primarily recorded in the business areas of bathroom furniture (€ -1.1 million) and ceramic sanitary ware (€ -4.8 million), with China in particular having seen a pronounced downturn in revenue since January as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. By contrast, the fittings business area enjoyed encouraging revenue growth of 5.2 %. The Group recorded wellness revenue at the same level as the comparative prior-year quarter.
The Tableware Division generated revenue of € 56.0 million in the first quarter of 2020, down € 9.5 million year-on-year (previous year: € 65.5 million). The substantial downturn in revenue is due in particular to the closure of points of sale imposed by the authorities almost everywhere in the world, which is having a corresponding impact on all sales channels with the exception of e-commerce. In project business, the coronavirus crisis led to a reluctance to invest among many partners around the world, particularly in the tourism and catering sectors, with revenue falling by 15.4 % year-on-year as a result. In direct response to the crisis, some Villeroy & Boch employees have been furloughed and short-time working arrangements are being utilised where possible. The Tableware plants in Merzig and Torgau have also been temporarily at rest since mid-March.
The Villeroy & Boch Group made investments in intangible assets and property, plant and equipment totalling € 3.5 million in the first quarter of 2020 (previous year: € 4.2 million). The Bathroom and Wellness Division accounted for € 2.7 million, with the remaining € 0.8 million attributable to the Tableware Division. In the Bathroom and Wellness Division, the Group acquired new facilities for the sanitary ware plants in Thailand and Hungary in particular. Investments in the Tableware Division primarily concentrated on the maintenance and modernisation of the logistics centre in Merzig and new tools for the production facility in Merzig.
Outlook for 2020 as a whole
The coronavirus crisis is currently dominating public life and is having a major impact on economic development due to the measures that have been taken in many countries around the world. In an ad hoc disclosure on 20 March 2020, the Management Board of Villeroy & Boch AG revised the revenue and earnings forecast published in the 2019 annual report in response to the coronavirus pandemic and stated that revenue and earnings for the current financial year were now expected to be below the previous forecast, which had envisaged slight growth.
The Management Board is reiterating this forecast. The uncertainty concerning the duration of the coronavirus crisis and the form it will take in future means it is not currently possible to issue a reliable full-year forecast for the development of the global and regional economies or the Villeroy & Boch Group in 2020. Despite the countermeasures taken, revenue is expected to decline further in the second quarter of 2020.
Villeroy & Boch:
Villeroy & Boch is one of the world's leading premium brands for ceramic products. The family business, which was founded in 1748 and is headquartered in Mettlach/Germany, stands for innovation, tradition and exceptional style. As a renowned lifestyle brand, Villeroy & Boch offers products from the sectors Bathroom and Wellness and Tableware, and is active in 125 countries.