Ulrike Sattler

Ulrike Sattler, Project Manager of Marketing, EGGER Retail, talks to us about the current status of EGGER and its future plans.

woodandpaneleurope Tell us about your recent investments.
  Ulrike Sattler: We are planning investments for the growth and maintenance of our plants in 2012/13 as well, even though on a smaller scale compared to the previous year. EGGER was able to benefit from the recent trend of private households increasing investments in home renovation and improvements. Therefore, EGGER significantly increased the turnover of its products for furniture and interior design in the 2011/12 business year by 16 per cent to EUR 1.575 billion (previous year: EUR 1.363 billion).

EGGER spent EUR 50 million for maintenance investments and EUR 356 million on growth projects. EGGER also commissioned an OSB plant with an initial capacity of 340,000m3 (12,007,000 cubic feet) in Radauti, Romania. It is part of the EGGER Building Products Division founded in 2011. The investments could be financed from the strong, free cash-flow, facilitated by borrowing capital instruments.

 
woodandpaneleurope Despite the Eurozone crisis Egger has reported improved yearly performance. How?
  Ulrike Sattler: EGGER demonstrated positive developments for all key performance figures at the 2012 annual press conference, notwithstanding the debt crisis in Europe and high consolidation pressure in the industry. Turnover increased by 11 per cent to EUR 1,963 million. EBITDA grew by 15 per cent to EUR 262 million. With the takeover of the Russian plant in Gagarin and the expansion of the plant in Radauti (Romania), EGGER increased the number of its employees to nearly 6,800.
 
woodandpaneleurope What are your expectations from the ongoing financial year?
  Ulrike Sattler: Operating profit increased despite the high expenditures. The wood-based material manufacturer was able to increase its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation by 15 per cent to EUR 262 million. Gagarin made an above-average contribution to the increase in our results of operations. This confirms that our strategic decision to invest in further growth was the right one. The capacity utilisation for the EGGER Group as a whole was very good in the past business year. Furthermore, the positive response to the new ZOOM collection for distributors, tradespeople and architects as well as the new FLOORLINE flooring collection shows that EGGER also made the right decisions in product development.
 
woodandpaneleurope Prices of raw-materials are increasing. How do you plan to keep up the pace?
  Ulrike Sattler: EGGER continues to count on product diversity, market diversification and ongoing innovations in its products, processes and services in order to further strengthen its market position. The solid financial basis supports long-term supply relationships with customers and suppliers, as well as further stable growth based on our own performance.

As a family company, sustainable and responsible business operations continue to take centre stage. This is the basis for success over the long term.

 
woodandpaneleurope What are your plans for expansion?
  Ulrike Sattler: We expanded our market share in furniture and interior design, we were able to increase our turnover by 16 per cent. Unfortunately, we were not able to benefit much from this trend with our EGGER Building Products. EGGER generated turnover of EUR 167 million in this segment (previous year: EUR 186 million). Here the key difference was the decrease in the cutting volume due to the log wood price. With a turnover of nearly EUR 348 million (previous year: EUR 329 million), the EGGER Retail Products division also contributed to the increase in turnover with nearly 6 per cent.

EGGER expanded its chipboard plant in Rambervillers, France with a next-generation lamination line and a warehouse with an area of 11,500m2 (123,785 square feet) in 2011/2012. The British plant in Hexham commissioned a new impregnation line, a new air purification system and a new short-cycle lamination line. Next to the OSB plant, the company’s own resin production and a new impregnation line were also constructed in Radauti (RO). The laminate plant in Gifhorn (DE) increased the capacity there by one-fifth with a new line. “We are planning investments for the growth and maintenance of our plants in 2012/13 as well, even though on a smaller scale compared to the previous year.

The company is currently building a new visitor forum at the plant in Brilon (DE) with a presentation area of 3.100m2 (33,368 square feet), modelled after the forum at headquarters in St. Johann in Tirol. Conference and training facilities as well as offices are also part of the project. The Brilon Forum is constructed using the standardised modular system used at the Radauti administration building and the TechCenter in Unterradlberg.

woodandpaneleurope What can your consumers expect in terms of products this year?
  Ulrike Sattler: With ZOOM and FLOORLINE, EGGER successfully presented two large new collections in 2012. The unique concept of decor and material combinations including edging, combined with comprehensive services, was met by a consistently positive response from more than 9,000 industry visitors at 92 events worldwide. The FLOORLINE flooring collection for distributors was presented by EGGER at a customer event in Kitzbühel. The decision to develop and coordinate products and services from the users perspective is proving the right strategy.

Part of this strategy is the EGGER Innovative programme, which includes regularly supplying customers with current information about technology and design through the company’s media and the expansion of online services. These include the new online EGGER Shop, where customers can order decor samples, advertising media and the visualisation software VDS PROFI. More and more customers are also taking advantage of the opportunity to try out the effects of various decors using VDS Online. Through myEGGER, customers can obtain personal access to the EGGER Shop, Trend News and the latest products.

 
woodandpaneleurope A “Great Place to Work Award” in Austria proves Egger to be one of the best places to work. What are the measures the company takes for the safety of its employees?
  Ulrike Sattler: The high level of employee motivation played a major role in the company’s success. In 2012 the Great Place to Work Institute counted EGGER among the top ten best employers in Austria. EGGER also received a special award for integrated health management. We are pleased that our effective human resource development efforts have been recognised. EGGER invested EUR 4.8 million in training and continuing education in the 2011/12 business year. per cent
 
woodandpaneleurope What’s your take on sustainability? How do you ensure sustainability of your products?
  Ulrike Sattler: EGGER generates energy for production at most of its plants. In generating energy, we remain focused on the cascading use of wood, which is used first to make materials and then used to create thermal energy. With the backwards integration of its own forestry companies, its own biomass power plants and resin production within the group, EGGER is gaining greater independence from the commodity markets. Even though the situation has relaxed somewhat, securing the supply of wood, glue and energy for our plants is one of the major challenges facing us in the future.
 
 

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