With no change to the high level of demand for glass packaging, the dominant features of the 2022 fiscal year were persistent delivery bottlenecks and rising prices. The loss of production capacity in Ukraine during the first quarter of 2022 made it even more difficult to cover the demand situation. In this challenging environment, the Vetropack Group succeeded in increasing its net sales from goods and services by 10.2 percent (16.9 percent after adjusting for currency effects) to reach CHF 899.4 million in the 2022 reporting year (prior year: CHF 816.5 million).
Johann Reiter, CEO of the Vetropack Group, sums up the challenging year under review in these words: "This year, we were able to achieve so many things that previously seemed unthinkable and unrealistic. Our sites undertook wide-ranging efforts to find solutions. This shows the Group's strength, and it has brought us closer together."
Throughout the fiscal year, our priorities were determined by the war in the Ukraine, rising energy and production costs, and the unabated high level of demand for packaging glass.
The Vetropack Group sold 5.26 billion units of packaging glass in the 2022 reporting year. Due to the absence of capacity at our plant in Ukraine, therefore, sales volume was 10.6 percent below the prior year's figure of 5.88 billion units. Consolidated net sales from goods and services rose by 10.2 percent to reach CHF 899.4 million (prior year: CHF 816.5 million). After adjustments for currency effects, the increase was as much as 16.9 percent: given that the sales volume decreased, this reflects the high level of energy surcharges.
Vetropack was able to post consolidated EBIT of CHF 89.1 million for the 2022 reporting year (prior year: CHF 81.6 million). The EBIT margin was 9.9 percent (prior year: 10.0 percent). Cash flow in the year under review reached CHF 142.2 million (prior year: CHF 154.1 million). The cash flow margin was 15.8 percent of net sales (prior year: 18.9 percent). Due to war damage at the Ukrainian plant, a value adjustment of CHF 31.4 million had to be charged to the reporting period. The Vetropack Group's consolidated profit is CHF 40.7 million, which is below the previous year's figure (prior year: CHF 63.8 million).
Outlook for the 2023 fiscal year
The European packaging glass industry and its customers continue to anticipate high demand for packaging glass. Capacities for 2023 are utilised and inventory levels are low at the start of the year. Bottlenecks in the logistics chain continue to be likely. Costs of energy, operating materials and personnel can be expected to rise in 2023. It follows that a price increase in the low doubledigit percentage range can be anticipated.
Vetropack will celebrate the start-up of its new plant in Boffalora sopra Ticino in 2023, marking a milestone in the company's history. The new plant will produce approximately 100,000 metric tons more packaging glass per year than the previous plant in Trezzano, thus increasing the Group's capacity by about 7 percent. As planned, one of the two furnaces at our Kyjov plant in the Czech Republic will also be renovated in the third quarter of 2023. As part of this renovation, moreover, the Group will be installing its first servo-controlled glass production machine: this will represent another step towards digitalisation.
On account of the high start-up costs to be incurred in 2023 coupled with low productivity during commissioning of the new plant in Italy, the EBIT margin is set to decrease. However, the Group's profit is expected to be significantly higher because no further value adjustments on the Ukraine plant are anticipated.
General Assembly of Vetropack Holding Ltd
The General Assembly of Vetropack Holding Ltd will take place on Wednesday, 19 April 2023 at 15:30 at the Stadthalle Bülach, Allmendstrasse8, 8180 Bülach.
The Board of Directors will propose to the Annual General Assembly the payment of a reduced gross dividend of CHF 1.00 (2021: CHF 1.30) per class A registered share and CHF 0.20 (2021: CHF 0.26) per class B registered share.
The Board of Directors of Vetropack Holding Ltd has decided to nominate Raffaella Marzi for election to the Board of Directors. She is running to succeed Rudolf W. Fischer, who is retiring from the position. Raffaella Marzi, like Rudolf W. Fischer, draws on many years of professional
experience in the field of human resources and is now a member of the Group Management and Head Human Resources and Compliance at Sika AG in Baar.
The Board of Directors is committed bringing a new member with this expertise on board as seamlessly as possible. Topics such as employer branding, talent management and management development have a high priority. Rudolf W. Fischer, first became a member of the Board of Directors in 2000. Claude R. Cornaz expresses the Boards gratefulness: "We are deeply indebted to Rudolf W. Fischer for his many years of tireless dedication and appreciate the contribution he has made to the successful development of our company".