Insulation industry news from Global Insulation
Denmark: Rockwool Group has launched a new brand identity including a new corporate symbol, a graphic representation of a volcano. It says that the symbol stands for the, ‘commitment to enrich modern living through processes and products that exist harmoniously.’ It will be used across all of the group’s brands. It is also intended to demonstrate to customers and stakeholders how the company uses volcanic stone to ‘enrich and transform modern living.’ The group has also adopted a new motto – ‘Release the natural power of stone to enrich modern living’ – to compound the theme.
“I am proud of the Rockwool Group’s long heritage in harnessing the power of one of the world’s most abundant natural resources in sustainable and innovative solutions that help solve the challenges of modern living. The updated brand identity marks an important evolution in the way we talk about our company, conveying a consistent vision and shared heritage across our diverse product portfolio’s full range,” said Mirella Vitale, Rockwool’s Senior Vice President for Group Marketing, Communications & Public Affairs.
Denmark: Bjørn Høi Jensen, the chairman of Rockwool, has announced that he will not be standing for re-election at the company’s annual general meeting in April 2017. He said that as he had met his goals to review the management group, start a new growth plan and introduce an ‘extensive’ improvement in results that he was standing down earlier than planned. He originally became chairman in 2014.
Rockwool’s external net sales for its insulation division dropped by 2% to Euro1.63bn in 2016 from Euro1.66bn in 2015. In local currencies the company calculated a slight rise of 0.7% for its net sales. However, its overall profit nearly doubled to Euro166m from Euro90m and its earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose by 21% to Euro389m from Euro322m. It blamed the poor sales on the industrial and technical insulation industries and the slow development of construction in Russia in both new build and renovation. In a statement Jensen described 2016 as a year ‘marked by tough conditions.’
The insulation and building materials producer also announced that it was planning to build three new production plants including a stone wool factory in Mississippi, US. Land acquisitions for the projects are expected to be completed in 2017.
Denmark: Sales from Rockwool’s insulation business have fallen slightly by 2% year-on-year to Euro1.22bn in the first nine months of 2016 from Euro1.24bn in the same period in 2015. However, the group reported this as a 1.2% rise in local currencies. Earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) rose by 61% to Euro114m from Euro71m. By region it said that sales performed well in North America, showed signs of improvement in Western Europe but continued to decline in Russia.
Denmark: Rockwool’s earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) have risen by 78% year-on-year to Euro64m in the first half of 2016 from Euro36m in the same period of 2015. Its sales revenue fell by 2% to Euro784m from Euro799m due to currency variations. In local currencies its revenue rose by 2.1% due to the Building insulation segment, whereas the Industrial & Technical insulation area continued to be challenged by low investment levels in the oil and gas related industries.
“I am very satisfied with the continued improvement in our performance, especially within the Insulation business. This is a result of the acceleration of our Business Transformation Program, improved market conditions in Germany and the successful expansion in the US. We are confident that we will deliver a strong result for 2016,” said chief executive officer Jens Birgersson.
Regionally, markets in Asia and North America performed well. Markets in Western Europe showed continued improvement but sales in Russia continued to fall.
Denmark: Rockwool’s profit has risen by 56% year-on-year to Euro28m for the first quarter of 2016 from Euro18m for the same period in 2015. Its net sales fell slightly to Euro494m from Euro499m. it reported sales of Euro368m in its insulation business, a slight fall from Euro375m in the first quarter of 2015. The company stated that sales growth had continued from 2015 into early 2016 in most markets with the exception of Russia where exchange rate variations contributed to a slight decline in net sales in the quarter.
“We continue to improve the overall health of the business. I am especially pleased to see that our business transformation programme is contributing so significantly to the strong Q1 result. The growth in North America continues and in Europe we see good developments in both Northern and Southern Europe, a trend we would like to see spreading to the core markets of Germany and France. Russia is the main challenge at the moment, but even with this important market at a low level we made solid progress in group profitability,” said company chief executive officer Jens Birgersson.
Denmark: Rockwool Group has become a founding member of a new cross-political network ‘Energy Solutions’ between business and members of the European Parliament. The new networking group is intended to build links between political groups and industry when discussing common policy options to meet the EU 2030 energy and climate ambitions as part of the European Energy Union.
Energy Solutions was started by Morten Helveg Petersen, Vice President to the European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE Committee) and a member of the European Parliament, together with founding members from four different political groups in the European Parliament and member states including Angelika Niebler, Miroslav Poche, Ian Duncan and Mr. Claude Turmes. Industry is represented by companies such as 3M, DONG Energy, Danfoss, GE, Grundfos, EDF, EoN, Microsoft, Panasonic, the Rockwool Group, Schneider Electric, Siemens, Velux and Vestas.
Denmark: Rockwool has reported that its profit fell by 19% year-on-year to Euro91m in 2015 from Euro113m in 2014. Its net sales rose slightly to Euro2.21bn from Euro2.18bn. The fall in profit was attributed to write-downs of Euro21.4m in India and China as well as severance costs of Euro15.4m in connection with restructuring measures. Rockwool expects sales revenue to continue to grow in 2016.
For its insulation business, Rockwool’s sales fell slightly to Euro1.67bn in 2015 from Euro1.68bn in 2014 due to a difficult market in Russia and further negative effects due to currency effects. Operating profit remained static at Euro99m, with the exclusion of the write-downs and severance costs.
Denmark: Rockwool has appointed Mirella Vitale as the new Senior Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs. She currently holds the position of Vice President of Global Marketing and Market Intelligence at Vestas. Vitale will assume her new position by 1 March 2016.
Denmark: Rockwool's profit rose by 34% year-on-year to Euro19m in the third quarter of 2015. Its operating profit fell from Euro51.5m to Euro31.9m and its turnover dropped from Euro580m to Euro571m. Rockwool has now downgraded its growth for 2015 to 1 – 2% and its profit to Euro147m.
CEO Jens Birgersson said that Rockwool's most important markets, Germany and France, were challenging, while there is positive development in the US and in Northern Europe. The company has invested Euro36.2m in a new ceiling board production plant in Mississippi, US. Rockwool is implementing a savings strategy aimed at making annual savings of Euro49.9m as of 2017.
Denmark: Rockwool International has posted its financial results for the first half of 2015. These show a marginal improvement in performance for the period compared to the same period of 2014.
Its sales came to Euro1.06bn, a 2.3% increase compared to the same period of 2014 with no significant overall effect from exchange rates. However, for the second quarter of 2015, net sales were 1.7% down compared to the second quarter of 2014.
The external sales of Rockwool's Insulation Segment reached Euro798.6m in the first half-year, which is slightly below 2014 but represents an increase of 1.0% based on comparable exchange rates. For the second quarter of 2015 external sales decreased by 1.0% compared to same period of 2014, mostly due to a negative exchange rate effect of 1.2%. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the first half were Euro155.6m.
Sales prices have continued to be stable in most countries where Rockwool operates with the exception of France where sales prices decreased in a number of key segments. Input costs have were also reported to have been 'stable' in the first half of2015, with some positive effect from raw materials stemming from lower energy prices.
First half-year sales in Western Europe increased by 2.0% with only limited effect from exchange rates. The German and, to a lesser extent, the French insulation markets continued to be disappointing whereas most other European countries showed solid signs of recovery. For the second quarter of 2015 Western Europe increased 0.4% against the same period in 2014, with no impact from currencies.
Eastern European insulation sales decreased by 14.6% compared to the first half of 2014 and also decreased by 2.6% based on comparable exchange rates. While sales in Poland continued to perform well, the decrease was primarily due to lower sales in Russia where difficult market conditions continued to prevail. For the second quarter of 2015 sales decreased by 11.3% but by only 1.8% based on comparable rates, thanks to slightly more positive conditions in Russia.
In North America and Asia, the positive development of sales in the first quarter slowed. Sales increased by 21.7% compared to 2014 primarily due to a positive exchange rate effect as the increase at comparable exchange rates was 8.9%. The growth mainly comes from North America while sales in Asia decreased slightly. For the second quarter of 2015 sales increased by 20.7% but only 5.4% based on comparable rates.
Going forward, Rockwool expects that market conditions in Europe will continue to improve gradually in line with the development seen in most of the countries during the first half of 2015. It is also expected that trading conditions in Germany will improve in the coming quarters, even if it is unlikely that the delayed plan for new government incentives to stimulate energy renovation in buildings will be ready to benefit the German insulation market in 2015. Sales prices in Europe are expected to remain around their current level.
The instability in the Russian economy makes it difficult to predict how business conditions will develop, but Rockwool has maintained its forecast of a decline around 15%. It is not expected that sales price increases can offset the high inflation given the competitive situation in the Russian insulation market.
Despite a slower development in the second quarter, Rockwool says that it is still confident that sales in North America will register a double digit increase supported by good market conditions and increased interest in the properties of mineral wool. The green field factory in Mississippi remains on target to reach the end of its scheduled running-in period by end 2015.