EQS Group-Ad-hoc: Forbo Holding AG / Key word(s): Half Year Results
Double-digit organic sales growth - disproportionately higher operating profit - group profit doubled - guidance
increased for full year 2021
30-Jul-2021 / 06:00 CET/CEST
Release of an ad hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 LR
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.
AD HOC announcement pursuant TO ARTICLE 53 of the six exchange regulation listing rules
The Forbo Group - a leading manufacturer of floor coverings, building and construction adhesives, as well as power
transmission and conveyor belt solutions - reported net sales of CHF 623.1 million in the first half of 2021
(prior-year period: CHF 542.3 million), representing a gratifying increase of 14.9% (14.3% in local currencies).
Operating profit (EBIT) rose to CHF 82.1 million (prior-year period: CHF 41.1 million), an almost twofold increase. The
EBIT margin improved significantly to 13.2% (prior-year period: 7.6%). Group profit doubled to CHF 63.5 million
(prior-year period: CHF 31.7 million).
Baar, July 30, 2021
Forbo made a good start to 2021 despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The first half of the year saw a continuation of
the positive trend recorded in the fourth quarter of the previous year. The markets continued to revive, despite the
fact that locally occurring outbreaks of COVID-19 around the world operationally challenged Forbo again with new
Demand rose in many markets and customer segments. Forbo's strategy of offering high-quality products and services
rather than simply expanding into volume business proved successful during these challenging times. Also under such
special circumstances, Forbo developed application-specific innovations and brought them to the market. Its globally
oriented market position, the strong brand and the long-standing, close customer relationships helped Forbo participate
quickly and efficiently in the upswing.
Operating profits and margins increased significantly in the first half of 2021 and showed a disproportionate growth
compared to sales. This was primarily attributable to the substantial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the prior-year
period, when from February onwards Forbo was confronted, unexpectedly at the time, with full lockdowns imposed at
extremely short notice. Businesses forced to shut down, interruptions to supply chains and canceled or indefinitely
postponed customer projects were the order of the day. In many instances this was happening in countries where Forbo
has major production plants, assembly centers and sales organizations. This had a significant negative impact on
operational efficiency and productivity in the first half of 2020. At the same time, it was important for Forbo to
protect the health of its employees with hygiene and protection measures and adjustments to work processes, causing
additional expense. During this period, the company adapted its operating structures and processes to the prevailing
Over the past months, due to the gratifying growth in sales, Forbo has been able to improve utilization of its
production and assembly sites considerably, which has resulted in disproportionately higher margins. The sharp increase
in prices for raw materials since the end of 2020 had for now only a limited impact on the first half of 2021, but will
significantly more affect earnings in the second half-year.
Double-digit sales growth in all regions
In the first half of 2021, Forbo achieved a substantial growth in sales of 14.9% to CHF 623.1 million (prior-year
period: CHF 542.3 million), which equates to an increase of 14.3% in local currencies. Adjusted for currency effects,
this offsets the downturn from 2020. All regions contributed to this growth in local currencies: by +14.0% in Europe,
+12.9% in the Americas and +17.7% in Asia/Pacific. Forbo is still periodically affected by COVID-19 restrictions in
some local markets. In most cases, the markets which were heavily affected in the prior-year period recorded the
highest increases in sales. Individual customer segments have seen varying degrees of recovery. Sales orders in the
gastronomy sector was an area to show only a moderate level of recovery, a trend that applied to both divisions. For
Flooring Systems it affected floor coverings for restaurants, hotels and bars. For Movement Systems it was
food-processing companies in the system catering.
Translation of local sales into the corporate currency reveals the different developments in the individual currencies.
Flooring Systems recorded a generally positive currency effect, whereas for Movement Systems the currency translation
effect was negative overall on account of the greater share made up by the weaker Japanese yen and the US dollar.
Flooring Systems reported sales growth of 15.5% in the corporate currency (14.0% in local currencies). Projects in the
healthcare and education segments are on the increase, while demand remains moderate particularly in the office space
and retail segments, as well as in the gastronomy business.
Movement Systems achieved a sales increase of 13.6% in the corporate currency (14.8% in local currencies). This growth
was driven in particular by the logistics segment with its expansions in e-commerce, mail distribution centers and
global courier services, as well as by a return to increased operations at airports. Renewals in the industrial
production segments showed a further increase; sales of sports treadmills for fitness centers are recovering
Disproportionately higher profitability
Operating profits increased sharply in the first half of 2021 and showed a disproportionate growth compared to sales.
This effect was attributable in particular to increased utilization of production capacity to meet the growth in sales
and improved productivity driven by the optimization of operating structures, and also to the cost reduction measures
implemented in the second quarter of 2020. The effect was counteracted by higher prices for raw materials.
Operating profit before depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) came to CHF 109.9 million (prior-year period: CHF 68.4
million), corresponding to an increase of 60.7%. The EBITDA margin increased to 17.6% (prior-year period: 12.6%).
Operating profit (EBIT) almost doubled to CHF 82.1 million (prior-year period: CHF 41.1 million). The EBIT margin rose
to 13.2% (comparable prior-year period: 7.6%).
On the basis of the substantially higher operating profit, Group profit doubled to CHF 63.5 million (prior-year period:
CHF 31.7 million). Earnings per share (undiluted) increased by 104.2% to CHF 40.52 (prior-year period: CHF 19.84).
Equity ratio remains strong
Equity at the end of June 2021 stood at CHF 677.7 million (year-end 2020: CHF 683.5 million). The equity ratio was
60.0% (year-end 2020: 61.5%).
Solid balance sheet
Net cash came to CHF 182.4 million at end of June 2021 (year-end 2020: CHF 255.9 million). The decline was mainly due
to the dividend payment and the share buyback. In addition, Forbo held treasury shares worth CHF 189.0 million, based
on the share price at the end of June 2021 (year-end 2020: CHF107.4 million based on the share price at the end of
2020). CHF 56.4 million of these are marked for cancellation as part of the share buyback program.
Performance of the divisions
The Forbo Flooring Systems division reported net sales of CHF 423.1 million in the first half of 2021 (prior-year
period: CHF 366.2 million). All three regions reported double-digit sales growth in local currencies: Asia/Pacific
showed the highest increase, followed by Europe and, slightly less, the Americas. In Europe, France, Italy and Spain
benefited the most from the surge in demand. Great Britain also recorded a significant market recovery. Germany, the
Netherlands, Switzerland and Eastern Europe reported a solid increase in sales. Most Nordic markets were more or less
flat year-on-year. Russia again grew strongly. In the Americas region, USA recovered with growth that just hit
double-digits, and Canada also saw clear catch-up effects. In Asia/Pacific, the Chinese market grew significantly and
smaller markets in Southeast Asia and South Korea also performed well, so did Turkey. The building and construction
adhesives activity reported very pleasing overall sales growth.
Operating profit (EBIT) rose by CHF 68.9% to CHF 61.8 million (prior-year period: CHF 36.6 million). This significant
increase was attributable to the positive sales trend, the adjustment of operating structures and the strong
operational leverage. In the second quarter of 2020 in particular, major production locations in France, Great Britain
and the Netherlands were seriously affected by lockdowns imposed at short notice and lengthy company closures. The EBIT
margin increased to 14.6% (prior-year period: 10.0%). In the coming months, further interesting collections are set to
be introduced and will be attractively marketed in combination with good global availability. At the same time, the
sharp increase in the cost of raw materials makes it necessary to adjust corresponding pricings on Forbo's side and to
remain flexible beside prudent cost management.
The Forbo Movement Systems division reported net sales of CHF 200.0 million in the first half of 2021 (prior-year
period: CHF 176.1 million). All three regions reported double-digit sales growth in local currencies: Asia/Pacific
showed the highest increase, followed by the Americas and, slightly lower, Europe. The countries worst hit by the
previous year's slump in demand, such as Great Britain, France, Italy and Spain, reported above-average growth rates.
Most other markets in Europe, including Germany, Switzerland, Scandinavia and Russia, also reported a pleasing rise in
sales. In the Americas, the main market USA showed above-average growth following a strong recovery in the first half
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