According to a press release from 22 February 2023, the Wienerberger Group despite difficult market conditions achieved an outstanding overall performance and a robust organic growth in all business units in 2022, underlining the resilience of its business model with.
Record-setting revenues thanks to an innovative, sustainable product portfolio
Although a downturn compared to 2021 was seen in the new build, renovation, and infrastructure markets from the second quarter, Wienerberger was still able to post its best results ever, as external revenues rose to around euro 5.0 billion (versus euro 4.0 billion in 2021). The strong, double-digit revenue growth of 25 percent was mainly driven by the company’s dedication to developing system solutions that are innovative and sustainable. The Group’s EBITDA surged 48 percent higher in 2022 to reach more than euro 1.0 billion (2021: euro 694 million).
As CEO Heimo Scheuch explained, “Last year we successfully exceeded our own expectations and generated a 48 percent increase in current EBITDA compared to 2021. This success based on our innovation leadership in water management and green building.“
Apparently, Wienerberger is „consistently committed to the goal of being climate neutral by 2050, so by the end of 2023 we will have reduced CO2 emissions by 15 percent compared to 2020.“ For the ongoing year, Scheuch is confident expecting again strong earnings through an innovative, sustainable solutions portfolio: „As with the recently communicated intention to acquire the Terreal Group, Wienerberger will continue to actively pursue growth opportunities in our markets and create value for our shareholders. Creating the expert for pitched roofing in Europe is a very exciting opportunity to expand our exposure in the renovation market. As we have shown with the acquisition of Meridian in the US, we will rapidly integrate Terreal into our local operations in particular in France and Germany.”
Management of costs and energy supports EBITDA growth
Wienerberger attributes the outstanding results in terms of both revenues and profits to stringent cost management, the Group’s self-help program and the forward-looking energy procurement strategy. According tot he press release, gas and electricity are continuously purchased in advance based on the production planning. Consequently, around 96 percent of the required gas supply was already bought forward in 2022.
The Group’s portfolio was systematically streamlined for growth perspectives and profitability by way of strategic disposals (for example the management buy-out in Russia and withdrawal from certain export markets with lower margins) and a number of recent acquisitions, which had a tangible positive impact on revenues and profits. For instance, FloPlast, the British producer of wastewater and rainwater solutions, benefited from the strong conditions on the renovation market, and the 2022 integration of Meridian Brick, the all-around supplier of façade solutions in North America, has already yielded significant synergies.
Robust performance by all business units
Despite the difficult market conditions, all three of Wienerberger’s business units achieved excellent results in 2022: For example, external revenues at Wienerberger Building Solutions rose 17 percent to euro 2.7 billion (versus euro 2.3 billion in 2021), with operating EBITDA expanding 37 percent to euro 655 million in 2022 (previous year: euro 476 million). Wienerberger Piping Solutions posted an excellent result, as revenues rose 15 percent to euro 1.4 billion (from euro 1.2 billion in 2021). Despite declining market volumes, operating EBITDA also increased by 14 percent, advancing from euro 123 million in 2021 to euro 141 in 2022, thanks to the effective, proactive management of margins. In parallel with this, the product portfolio of Wienerberger Piping Solutions was supplemented with the acquisition of two system solution suppliers, Vargon in Croatia and QPS in Norway. During the reporting period, the North America Business Unit also registered strong gains in external revenues and profits: External revenues improved 89 percent to euro 945 million (previous year: euro 499 million), while operating EBITDA more than doubled to euro 226 million (from euro 94 million in 2021). This increase in earnings is attributed to the successful integration of Meridian Brick and the exceptionally good development of margins in the pipe business.
Dividend increase and outlook for 2023
In light of the excellent results for 2022, the Managing Board will propose to the Annual General Meeting that the dividend be increased by 20 percent to euro 0.90 per share for 2023.
In its outlook for 2023, Wienerberger expects global market conditions to remain unsettled. Several factors will continue to play a role this year, such as the war in Ukraine, high volatility on the financial markets, a slow decline in inflation and still rising interest rates. The markets in Europe and North America will be considerably weaker in 2023 than in previous years, particularly in the new build market (-15/-20 percent) and in infrastructure (-5/-5 percent) as well. The market for renovations, maintenance and repair (accounting for 29 percent of revenues) will remain rather stable. In this market environment, Wienerberger intends to significantly outperform its markets in 2023 again.