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Vaillant announce growth despite market trend

Vaillant Group, the ventilation and air-conditioning technology specialist has grown despite a difficult market environment in financial year 2010.
The company have announced generated sales of €2.3 bn, with the operating earnings (EBIT) of €163 mn exceeding the previous year's result of €143 mn by almost 14 per cent. Technologies such as heat pumps, solar thermal systems and condensing heating appliances, as well as system components and services have predominantly contributed to that growth say Vaillant.
Speaking at Vaillant Group's press conference at the International Sanitary and Heating Fair (ISH) in Frankfurt-on-Main, Germany, CEO Dr Carsten Voigtländer said: 'The Vaillant Group, with its focus on energy-efficient technologies and first-class services, can look back at a successful financial year 2010. In an environment still partly affected by the economic crisis, we have expanded our market share in the most important markets and increased sales.'

Highly efficient technologies have driven growth for the company in 2010, such as condensing boilers which have lifted sales by 12 per cent compared to the previous year. Sales of solar thermal systems, which use solar energy for hot water supply and heating support, were 4 per cent above the previous year, and sales of heat pumps increased by 5 per cent. Sales of system components increased by almost 3 per cent, for controllers and storage systems, and this development was also accompanied by a considerable gain in market share. The company also said growth has taken place in services such as maintenance and commissioning, a core business area, which has generated a sales increase of 8 per cent and now constitutes about 20 per cent of total sales.

The market for products based on renewable energies in particular recorded some massive downturns throughout Europe. In Germany alone, the most important Vaillant Group market, the demand of solar thermal systems dropped by almost 30 per cent according to the German BDH industry association. Sales of heat pumps were 6 per cent below the level of 2009. Changes in statutory subsidy conditions, lower energy prices and a concentration of consumer investment on state-promoted photovoltaic installations have significantly slowed the development of the heating technology industry and the turnover of highly efficient, environment-friendly technologies in Germany.

In the individual regions, the Vaillant Group developed consistently positive. In Central Europe, sales rose from €585mn in 2009 to €602mn in 2010 (+2.9 per cent). The positive development of the Vaillant Group in Germany in particular contributed to the increase. Northern Europe posted a sales increase of 5.6 per cent, mostly due to growth in the UK and Belgium; and sales in Southern Europe exceeded the previous year by 2.5 per cent. Despite the volatile market situation in Eastern Europe, sales were also up 5.6 per cent.

Ralf-Otto Limbach, Vaillant group managing director of sales and marketing said: 'The company's successful development in all sales regions reflects our consistent orientation on customer requirements and market conditions. In 2010, we further optimised our sales structures and drove forward the development of important markets.'

Focusing on core businesses, Vaillant also sold its British subsidiary Abru on in April 2010, separating itself from its last marginal activity stemming from the takeover of the British conglomerate Hepworth in 2001.

The workforce at Vaillant has also grown, mainly from the growth in the service sector, in production and in research and development (R&D). The R&D focus in 2010 focused especially on the development of products based on renewable energies, such as heat pumps, solarthermics and hybrid systems. In addition, an important focal point was the combined heat and power sector. As part of a development cooperation with the Japanese engine manufacturer Honda, the Vaillant Group brought Europe's first micro-CHP system with gas engine technology for use in single- and two-family houses to market maturity. Altogether, the Group launched 17 new product families and started 27 new development projects in 2010.
17 March 2011


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