Baar, Switzerland – Forbo Group has posted a slight improvement in 2019 earnings, helped by improved efficiency and lower prices of raw materials.
The Swiss group’s net sales fell 3.4% to CHF1.28 billion (€1.1 billion), as both its Flooring Systems and Movements Systems divisions saw a decline in demand in their core markets.
Earnings (EBITDA), however, rose by 7.6% to CHF233 million, while operating profit (Ebit) increased marginally to CHF176.3 million, said the Swiss maker of floor coverings, building adhesives, power-transmission and conveyor belts on 3 March.
Overall, Forbo noted "a greater reluctance [by customers]” to invest in 2019, as substantial projects were “either postponed indefinitely or reduced in scale.”
Demand in northern and southern Europe weakened over the course of the year, while the group posted "firm growth" in Denmark and Italy.
Both divisions, said the Swiss group, faced “very mixed conditions” in their different markets and customer segments.
Flooring Systems reported a decline of 1.5% in sales to CHF870 million, reflecting an “increasingly volatile” economic conditions, said Forbo.
The segment’s earnings rose 4% to CHF172 million on the back of improved raw material prices and despite negative currency effects.
Movement Systems division remained flat with sales of CHF411 million while registering marginal increase in sales in the Asia/Pacific and Americas regions.
Segment earnings rose by 14% to CHF69 million, helped by lower raw material prices and higher processing efficiency.