Currency-adjusted sales growth despite record highs of previous year
In 2022, net sales decreased by 2.0% to CHF 3,392 million. This slight decrease was due to negative currency effects of CHF 234 million. In local currencies, net sales growth was 4.8%. This growth was driven by strong sales price increases of around 9% and continued strong volume growth in the first half of the year. Volumes reached a new record level in the first half of the year due to the build-up of inventories at wholesalers as a result of the extraordinary price increases. In the second half of the year, volumes declined sharply. This was caused by the anticipated destocking of the excess wholesale inventory, and also by the end of the COVID-19-induced home improvement trend from previous years. However, the successful launches of new products and strong growth in emerging markets outside of Europe had a positive effect on volume growth. When compared with 2019 – and thus with net sales before the COVID-19 pandemic – strong growth after currency adjustments of 22% was seen across all regions.
In 2022, 64% of net sales were generated in euros, 10% in Swiss francs, 4% in US dollars, 3% in British pounds and 19% in other currencies.
The following changes in net sales in the markets and product areas are currency-adjusted.
Currency-adjusted growth in net sales in all markets
Despite a strong equivalent period in the previous year, the European markets recorded positive growth rates in all countries and regions in 2022. As a whole, these markets grew by +4.3% after currency adjustments. Double-digit growth was posted in the United Kingdom/Ireland (+13.8%), Italy (+13.5%) and the Iberian Peninsula (+10.1%). Growth was also delivered in Eastern Europe (+6.5%), the Nordic Countries (+5.1%), Switzerland and France (both +4.1%), the Benelux Countries (+3.7%), Austria (+3.3%) and Germany (+0.8%). The Middle East/Africa region continued to grow very strongly at +21.4%. Growth was also achieved in America (+2.8%) as well as in the Far East/Pacific region (+6.5%) which was negatively affected by lockdowns and the slowdown of building construction activity in China.
Strongest growth in Piping Systems
In the product areas, Piping Systems saw growth of +10.8% after currency adjustments due to larger price increases and the successful launch of the new FlowFit piping system. Installation and Flushing Systems grew by +2.0%, although they were significantly affected by the reduction in inventories at wholesalers in the second half of the year. Bathroom Systems saw an increase in net sales of +2.3% due to the strong base effect from the previous year and comparatively lower price increases.