Arbon, 23 January 2014 – AFG Arbonia-Forster-Holding AG posts sales of CHF 1.286 billion for the 2013 fiscal year, corresponding to a slight fall of 0.2% after adjustments. Sales performed well in the core business comprising the three divisions: Building Envelope, Building Technology and Building Security. Sales were affected by heterogeneous market trends in Europe. AFG made use of 2013 largely to complete the realignment and implement its expansion to become the leading provider of building envelope and interior construction materials.
Overall, 2013 was an impressive year for AFG. Sales of CHF 1.286 billion were 0.2% down on the previous year after adjustments for currency, divestiture and acquisition effects. Year-on-year sales nevertheless saw slight growth of 0.3% in the core business comprising the three divisions: Building Envelope, Building Technology and Building Security. In view of the strained economic situation still prevailing in most European countries and the continuing pressure on prices and margins from cheap foreign imports, combined with the cost of the corporate transformation, the sales performance is satisfactory. "AFG posted impressive performance in 2013," said CEO Daniel Frutig, commenting on the year which saw implementation of its expansion into the leading provider of building envelope and interiors running in parallel with the realignment.
The realignment of AFG was largely completed in the 2013 fiscal year. The company successfully sold sections that no longer form part of its core business; within this core, AFG launched a number of initiatives to boost competitiveness, streamline industrial production and expand value creation. These measures included investing CHF 30 million in expanding production at RWD Schlatter AG and CHF 34 million in creating competence centres in the Building Envelope Division. The acquisition of the leading Polish window manufacturer Dobroplast means that AFG is now Europe's third-largest producer of windows and doors.
The Heating Technology Business Unit expanded its range of heat pumps by buying the Czech firm PZP Heating. The heat pumps were previously sourced through joint ventures. The acquisition was concluded with retroactive effect on 1 January 2014. The business unit is therefore developing into a system supplier, covering the whole system from heat generation through storage to distribution and regulation. It can be used for both small and large building units. Forster Profile Systems extended its value chain by acquiring its own distributorship in Austria. Focusing on building envelope and interiors has given AFG a clear profile with distinct positioning.
From division to division
The Windows and Doors division (now Building Envelope, without the Doors Business Unit, starting from 2014) generated sales of CHF 488.5 million, corresponding to growth of 2.2% after adjustments. The companies EgoKiefer, Slovaktual and RWD Schlatter contributed to this growth in varying degrees. While the Swiss PVC windows market was marked by a dramatic increase in competition, the markets in the Czech Republic and Slovakia continued to perform negatively. The companies nonetheless managed to maintain or increase their market shares. At Dobroplast in Poland, the downward trend in the domestic market became evident, while exports enjoyed further increases. The firm's own management team made further progress with the integration. RWD Schlatter's sales were up as a result of the new production line and new products.
The Heating Technology and Sanitary Equipment Division (now Building Technology Division, starting from 2014) recorded sales of CHF 445.4 million in 2013, slightly below the previous year's figure. This corresponds to a 2.1% fall after adjustments. The division successfully maintained its position in a challenging market environment. In the company's home markets of Switzerland and Germany, the unusually long winter and the increasingly limited capacity of building tradesmen had a hampering effect. The European markets continued to suffer in some cases from difficult general economic conditions. Sales in Russia and China in particular were very encouraging on the other hand. The Sanitary Equipment Business Unit succeeded in opening up important new markets, thus laying the foundation for further internationalisation.
The Steel Technology Division (now Building Security Division with Forster Profile Systems and RWD Schlatter, starting from 2014) generated sales of CHF 106.6 million in 2013, equivalent to sales growth of 3.9% after adjustments. Growth at Forster Profile Systems is primarily due to positive performance in Switzerland and a higher quality product mix.
The Surface Technology Division, which is no longer part of the core business, posted a 0.5% drop in sales to CHF 64.9 million after adjustments. The fall in the print sector in Europe was only partially compensated by progress in China and France.
The sale of AFG Kitchens was announced on 17 January 2014. It continued to struggle against European competitors and cheap imports, as well as supply problems resulting from the changeover to a new generation of kitchens at Forster Steel Kitchen. AFG Kitchens recorded a 2.8% drop in sales.
Chief Executive Officer
Head Corporate Communications
for currency, divestment
and acquisition effects
|Net revenues in CHF million|
|Heating Technology and Sanitary Equipment division||445.4||456.2||-2.4%||-2.1%|
|Windows and Doors division||488.5||396.0||23.4%||2.2%|
|Kitchens and Refrigeration Technology division||180.1||247.2||-27.1%||-2.8%|
|Steel Technology division||106.6||129.1||-17.4%||3.9%|
|Surface Technology division||64.9||64.7||0.3%||-0.5%|
|./. Group consolidation||-5.1||-12.3|
1) Provisional, unaudited figures under IFRS
2) With Dobroplast since 04.02.2013 (Windows and Doors Division)
3) Without Warendorfer Kitchens since 01.01.2013 (Kitchens and Refrigeration Division)
4) Without Forster Refrigeration since 01.03.2013 (Kitchens and Refrigeration Division)
5) Without Forster Precision Steel Tubes since 01.08.2013 (Steel Technology Division)
6) Without Aqualux since 21.05.2012 (Heating Techn. and Sanitary Equipment Division)