Annual Report 2023

Annual Report 2023



Market cultivation intensified

The most important part of the diverse market cultivation activities is carried out by the employees in field service at the various local sales companies. They are in daily contact with wholesalers, plumbers, sanitary engineers, architects and investors. In an extraordinarily difficult market environment with a declining building construction industry, customer contacts were intensified compared to the previous year. They increasingly used the possibilities offered by hybrid sales, where personal contact is combined with digital resources such as video calls or video conferences.

Close partnership with wholesalers

In Geberit’s three-stage business model, wholesalers play a key role. Wholesalers offer plumbers the entire range of products across the various product categories in the field of sanitary technology and heating applications. They ensure product availability through warehousing and a comprehensive network of pick-up points as well as the logistics to plumbing companies and construction sites. Furthermore, in many countries they have showrooms where they can advise end users on selecting their sanitary products. The close cooperation between Geberit and its wholesale partners is demonstrated by the following examples:

  • The Geberit FlowFit supply system continued on its successful path and was launched in France and the United Kingdom/Ireland in the reporting year. Additionally, the Geberit WC system with the new Acanto WC ceramic appliance – which caused a stir at the leading global trade fair ISH in Frankfurt – was launched in various markets. Prior to the sales launch in the respective markets, both innovations were introduced as part of personal visits to sales representatives and consultants at wholesalers. As a result, they were able to offer in-depth advice to customers from the very beginning and thus actively shape the market launch.
  • The digital sales channel between wholesalers and plumbers has significantly increased in importance in the building technology industry in the last few years. To make use of this, wholesalers require standardised product data and documents with verified quality. Geberit actively supports wholesalers and constantly provides data in line with various standards here, including with the ETIM standard. In this context, the internal data exchange platform DEX was launched in 2023, which allows the Geberit sales companies to export complete product data automatically for the catalogues and ERP systems at their local wholesalers.
  • An increasing number of wholesale customers demand transparency from suppliers in terms of their sustainability performance. This is offered by EcoVadis, for example, one of the world’s largest providers of sustainability ratings for companies with a network of over 100,000 companies in around 180 countries. For its sustainability management, the Geberit Group was awarded the Gold rating in the reporting year, meaning it is among the top five percent of all companies rated by EcoVadis.

Strong partner for industrial prefabrication and project business

Geberit know-how for drinking water supply, roof and building drainage and for the construction of sanitary facilities is implemented in numerous major projects. The durable, space-saving and installation-friendly systems offer significant advantages in planning and design for the responsible parties and craftsmen. Advantages also include expert technical support on topics including sound insulation, fire protection, statics and hygiene.

Manufacturers of prefabricated bathrooms or prefabricated buildings are becoming increasingly important in individual markets, particularly due to the skills shortage. This is because industrial prefabrication allows for uncomplicated installation, faster work processes and higher economic efficiency. Customers in the prefabrication industry are looked after by a specialist sales team at Geberit. Additionally, the prefabrication industry is supplied with specific product solutions in order to further simplify and accelerate the prefabrication process. Geberit has also been active in industrial prefabrication for years and produces prefabricated frame constructions for sanitary installations and completely furnished prefabricated bathrooms for new buildings and renovations at its sites in Lichtenstein (DE) and Matrei (AT).

In project business, Geberit attaches great importance to the strongly developed support in the area of BIM (Building Information Modelling) – a digital, interdisciplinary planning method for optimising the entire planning and building process. Architects, sanitary engineers and building owners use BIM to share information efficiently. This helps them to avoid planning errors and improve productivity, which brings advantages in major construction projects in particular. For a number of years now, Geberit has been providing BIM users with support in the form of product data and calculation modules. A special plug-in is available for the Autodesk Revit planning software, which combines all Geberit BIM tools in one central application and enables direct access to 3D models and planning parameters that are always kept up to date. So far, the plug-in has been downloaded by more than 12,000 planning and engineering companies worldwide.

Attendance at trade fairs

Geberit is convinced that attendance at trade fairs and looking for direct contact with customers is important – particularly in a challenging market environment. As a result, Geberit was present at selected trade fairs in the reporting year to foster and enlarge the network of contacts in the market and to introduce new products and innovations. The new, further expanded trade fair concept was used again: open, modular booths demonstrate know-how and solutions in front of and behind the wall, with the black Geberit GIS installation system used as standard when setting up the booth. Geberit was present with a large booth at the leading global trade fair ISH in Frankfurt (DE). In addition to this, other important presentations were made at VVS in Odense (DK), the Energiesparmesse trade fair in Wels (AT) and at BouwBeurs in Utrecht (NL).

Digital tools for sanitary engineers, plumbers and end users

Professional customers are offered support in their daily work that meets their needs as much as possible with digital tools. Fourteen applications are now available for assisting professionals in the planning and calculation of sanitary installations or in the commissioning and maintenance of devices. In the reporting year, the focus was on further enhancing the profile of these applications and launching them in additional Geberit markets.

End users can find inspiration for their bathroom design in six applications, such as the Washplace Configurator, 3D bathroom planner or virtual showrooms for actuator plates. In 2023, there were concerted efforts towards making these tools available in additional markets. The different tools are now in use in 38 markets.

Classroom training sessions and eLearning courses

In the reporting year, it was possible to provide around 60,000 (previous year 48,000) professionals with face-to-face training on products, tools, software tools and installation skills at the 30 Geberit Information Centres in Europe and overseas. At the same time, counter days and local and digital events were organised in numerous markets – often together with wholesalers – to inform craftsmen about new products. More than 61,000 customers (previous year 75,000) took part in such events, of which 1,300 in digital formats. Web-based seminars and training courses now occupy a firm and important place in Geberit’s training offer. 18,000 people took part in the past year (previous year 19,000). This figure also includes those who participated in the Geberit Digital Campus, an online training platform that offers eLearning courses on a range of different skills as part of a self-study programme and was launched in the DACH markets last spring.

Marketing campaign for end users continued

Direct communication with end users helps establish the Geberit brand among this target group on a long-term basis. This target group should be supported or brought in contact with Geberit partners during specific projects. The end user campaign “Better bathrooms, better lives” has been running since 2019. The campaign consists of three digital elements: an advertising campaign on media portals, the websites of the local Geberit sales companies with various configurators and planning tools, and a customer relationship management (CRM) system. After they register in the CRM system, interested end users receive additional advice and support from qualified specialists.

The campaign was continued last year, but with significantly reduced expenditure due to the changed market environment. The campaign generated 2.2 million visits on local websites (previous year 3.6 million visits) and 30,000 end consumer registrations in the CRM system (previous year 34,000). The fact that the number of registrations only decreased minimally under these circumstances compared to the previous year underlines the increased efficiency and effectiveness of the refined focus on target groups in the campaign.

3.3 million e-newsletters sent out testify to the well-established customer relationships (previous year 2.7 million). The number of hits on Geberit’s websites worldwide totalled over 14 million (previous year 18 million).

Targeting customers via social media

The social media presence was further expanded in 2023. The focal points included targeted support of sales activities. The target groups here were professional decision-makers and end users, who were addressed with advertising formats and editorial content. Geberit used the most popular social media channels for these activities and informed the constantly growing communities on LinkedIn (187,000 followers), YouTube (88,000 followers/46 million views), Instagram (213,000 followers), Facebook (388,000 followers), X (formerly known as Twitter, 17,000 followers), Pinterest (8,000 followers) and TikTok (2,000 followers).

Campaign for shower toilets continued

The strong presence of Geberit AquaClean in Europe was maintained. The shower toilet campaign ran in a total of 16 markets. Local celebrities from the worlds of sport, music and entertainment continued to be involved in the advertising campaigns in most of these markets. These local heroes not only addressed end users in print ads and TV commercials, but also took part in events and competitions.

The AquaClean truck, the exclusive AquaClean WC lounges and the AquaClean trailers were again deployed in the past year. The mobile showroom and test units offered interested parties the opportunity to try out a shower toilet at selected events – such as concerts and sporting events – in countries where the shower toilet campaign is in action.

Positive feedback was received at the launch event for AquaClean Alba, which is being launched in 2024. In the fourth quarter of 2023, selected customers, hoteliers, investors and architects from the DACH region, the Netherlands and Denmark received an informative and emotional preview of the new basic shower toilet model at headquarters in Rapperswil-Jona.

The international sales initiative for shower toilets at hotels made encouraging further progress. This meant that prestigious hotel projects could be acquired in the reporting year. The number of four- and five-star hotels equipped with AquaClean shower toilets in Europe is now 700.