- New record in sales and earnings
- New corporate strategy at the heart of future action
- Outlook: Coronavirus difficult to assess
Uzin Utz AG, a globally active full-range supplier of flooring systems, has again closed the financial year 2019 with record sales. Group sales increased by 7.7% to EUR 372.4 million (2018: EUR 345.7 million). At EUR 30.2 million, consolidated earnings before interest and taxes were significantly higher than in the previous year (2018: EUR 21.3 million), thus confirming the highest earnings figures in the company's history.
GOLD successfully completed
"We are pleased to be able to present our shareholders with a special and, above all, another very successful financial year. At EUR 30.2 million, we achieved the best earnings before interest and taxes in our company history. And in terms of sales, we almost reached the "golden" EUR 400 million mark with EUR 372.4 million. With this very strong year 2019, we have succeeded in in successfully concluding our GOLD growth strategy after a 5-year term in a committed final sprint and a great team performance", Heinz Leibundgut, CFO of Uzin Utz, says. "Above all our thanks go to our employees. The dynamism, motivation and commitment this program has triggered at all levels was impressive. Over the last five years, for example, EBIT savings of around EUR 12 million have been achieved through optimisation contributions within the framework of the initiative of the employees “EBIT+”," Heinz Leibundgut continues.
Review of fiscal 2019
2019 was not only marked by a positive business trend for the Group. It was also important to set the course for the next six years. The realignment of the corporate strategy was an intensive project in the past fiscal year.
"On the one hand, our review of the situation showed that the measures we recently initiated were good and correct. On the other hand it showed that we must not close our eyes to long-term trends and changing markets, despite record earnings and the extraordinary economic situation in the construction industry," says Philipp Utz, member of the Management Board. According to the company, a changing market situation, a declining level of qualification in the skilled trades and new processing target groups are increasingly present in many countries and require standard products tailored to their needs. The two megatrends digitisation and sustainability are increasingly shaping and changing the market.
New corporate strategy at the heart of future action
"We do not see this as a threat, but rather as a great opportunity that must be seized with the right strategy. If we want to continue our success, it is not enough to concentrate on changing the international focus and investing further in our technology leadership, but to define the cornerstones for a new corporate strategy based on GOLD", Philipp Utz continues. In an unusual bottom-up process for a family business, the development and design of the new strategy Passion 2025 was placed in the hands of the employees. An international team worked together with the Board of Management in developing the overriding goals for the four key areas of "People", "Planet", "Profit" and "Products and Services".
"We had a good start into 2020, and the eruption of the coronavirus is unlikely to have a negative impact on our first quarter results. Given the current uncertainty about the virus, it is not possible to predict the exact impact on our business. At the moment it is really difficult to answer how long the state of emergency will last. We want to offer all our employees reliability and security even during the crisis. That is why we are examining the situation and market developments on a daily basis and adapting our measures accordingly," Julian Utz, member of the Board of Management and head of the crisis team at Uzin Utz, says. "At present, we are not yet experiencing a decline in demand - at least not in Germany. We have adapted our work organisation and currently see ourselves in a good position. However, the situation may change rapidly as a result of a decline in business activity on the part of our customers, construction site delays, increased protective measures or raw material supply bottlenecks. We are preparing ourselves as well as possible for these challenges. In each case, it is important to us to secure and maintain jobs in the long term. In case of a restriction of business operations, we want to ensure that no one in the Uzin Utz Group loses their job", Julian Utz concludes.