Our overall objective is to deliver sustainable growth in shareholder value by increasing sales and profits at above market level growth rates through leadership in products, operations, sales, marketing and distribution.
We intend to leverage the Eurocell brand, and the advantages that our vertically integrated business model with local distribution offers over our competitors, in order to grow our market share. We have five key strategic priorities to help us achieve our overall objective.
|TARGET GROWTH IN MARKET SHARE||Increase market share of PVC rigid and foam profiles to utilise spare manufacturing capacity.|
|EXPAND OUR BRANCH NETWORK||Investment in new branches to drive sales and medium-term profit growth.|
|DEVELOP INNOVATIVE NEW PRODUCTS||Maintain market leadership by offering the latest in product innovation.|
|INCREASE THE USE OF RECYCLED MATERIALS||More use of recycled material helps to mitigate raw material price increases, enhances product stability and lowers the carbon footprint of our manufactured goods.|
|EXPLORE POTENTIAL BOLT-ON ACQUISITION OPPORTUNITIES||Consider acquisition opportunities when they arise.|
|STRATEGIC PRIORITIES||PROGRESS IN 2016||FOCUS IN 2017|
|TARGET GROWTH IN MARKET SHARE||
|EXPAND OUR BRANCH NETWORK||
|DEVELOP INNOVATIVE NEW PRODUCTS||
|INCREASE THE USE OF RECYCLED MATERIALS||
|EXPLORE POTENTIAL BOLT-ON ACQUISITION OPPORTUNITIES||
EXPAND OUR BRANCH NETWORKplus
Expanding the branch network secures sales growth and delivers good returns in the medium term, as the new branches begin to mature, but does create downward pressure on profitability in the near term. In order to demonstrate this growth potential, the table below shows the performance of our existing branch estate by age.
|< 2 years||2-4 years||> 4 years|
|Number of branches||33||12||114|
|Average annual sales per branch (£000)(1)||200||500||800|
(2) Indicative. Represents EBITDA as a percentage of sales, before regional infrastructure and central costs.
We opened 18 new branches in 2016 and have plans to open a further 30 in 2017. We are also in the midst of trials to reduce the start-up costs associated with new branches. This is being achieved largely by sharing resources with neighbouring branches until the new sites become more established. As the network expands, we anticipate more opportunities will arise to leverage the existing infrastructure and support new branches reaching profitability sooner.
Taking the historic maturity profile into account, along with our initiatives to reduce start-up costs, we concluded that the proposed branch network expansion pace should drive good medium-term growth.
Other initiatives to drive sales growth in the branches include the addition of 500 new third party product lines in 2016 and continued focus on innovative products such as Equinox and Skypod, as well as the sale of windows through branches.
In addition, the acquisition of Vista Panels has driven growth in the sales of doors in the branches. The recent acquisition of Security Hardware will allow us to develop the spares proposition for our branches.
Overall, our aim is to provide a one-stop shop for builders and installers which, together with excellent customer service, should drive increased customer spend and expand our market share.
By way of example, our Rhyl branch opened in July 2016 under the reduced start-up costs regime. We began operating with just two employees, but also sharing staff and a delivery vehicle with a neighbouring branch 12 miles away. The branch has performed well and we expect it to reach an EBITDA break-even run rate during the third quarter of 2017.
INCREASE THE USE OF RECYCLED MATERIALSplus
We recycle both old windows (‘post-consumer’ waste) and customer factory offcuts (‘post-industrial’ waste) at our recycling and extrusion facility in Ilkeston.
Post-consumer and post-industrial waste is collected from a variety of our customers and other providers. In general, around two-thirds of the input feedstock for recycling is post-consumer and one-third is post-industrial waste.
In 2016 we produced approximately 11.6k tonnes of recycled PVC compound for use in our extrusion processes.
Of the recycled compound produced, 6.0k tonnes (being almost exclusively derived from post-consumer waste) was used alongside virgin resin in the manufacture of many of our rigid PVC products in our primary extrusion processes. This represents 14% of material consumption, up from 9% in 2015
Most of the remaining 5.6k tonnes of recycled PVC compound produced (being almost exclusively derived from post-industrial waste) was used in products which are manufactured at the Ilkeston plant from 100% recycled material, including thermal inserts and cavity closer systems. Note that these products are not included in the % usage data illustrated below.
During the second half of 2016, we invested £1.1 million in a project to increase our recycling production capacity to 14k tonnes of recycled PVC compound per annum, up from 10.5k tonnes. This includes investment in the Ilkeston plant, as well as the tooling required to make the rigid profile. A further £0.9 million will be invested in the first half of 2017 to complete the project. We expect recycled material usage to increase in 2017.
When we develop new products, we look to include as much recycled content as possible. For example, the Modus and Eurologik systems now comprise 45% recycled materials. In addition, the continued expansion in the use of recycled PVC windows remains attractive to the new build market.
As such, we will also evaluate in 2017 whether to progress with investment to further increase our recycling capacity. In doing so, we will assess the extent to which we can expand our waste collection service to provide the necessary feedstock for the recycling plant.
EXPLORE POTENTIAL BOLT-ON ACQUISITION OPPORTUNITIESplus
We have a successful track record of acquiring and integrating businesses, with seven acquisitions completed over the past 10 years.
We will continue to assess and consider potential bolt-on acquisition opportunities in the markets in which we operate. Our focus is principally on businesses that add value through range extension, operational efficiencies or added value products, or to satisfy a make-or-buy decision.