CEO Comments, Q1 2021

Jon Sintorn, President and CEO, comments the first quarter 2021.

It has been a solid start to the year, driven by strong performance in the Nordic and Central European markets.
The lockdown in the UK, which resulted in a closed store network during the winter sales season, burdened sales and profitability in the UK region, however our performance is estimated to reflect the market development. Operating profit for the Group increased to SEK 196m (134), primarily on the back of organic sales growth of 3% and a favourable segment mix.

The demand for home improvements and investments in property is continuing across our markets. Wherever we have been able to operate normally, we have capitalised on these trends, such as in large parts of the Nordics and Central Europe. We have also kept all manufacturing sites open in the period albeit with rigorous health and safety measures.


In the Nordics, our new organisation has delivered above expectations, with Denmark and Sweden being the main contributors to both sales and profitability improvement in the quarter. The strong retail market following the home improvement trend contributed to a positive segment mix and increased average order values. In Finland the project market remains soft.


Despite temporary closures of our UK store network, we have continued to build the order book by digital sales meetings carried out by our store sales staff and through our new department for remote selling. I am very excited about how fast consumers have migrated from physical to digital design appointments, and even though they want the comfort of touch and feel at some point in the sales journey, this will create opportunities for our go-to market strategy in the future. I am also optimistic about our growth in the UK trade segment which continued in the quarter. We will continue to focus on our trade business through e.g. the launch of new products and increasing product availability in our trade store network. The stores in the UK re-opened on April 12 and we are now pushing ahead with the retail spring campaign.


The positive momentum is continuing in Central Europe, supported by pent-up demand in Austria and a strong housing market in the Netherlands. However, year-over-year growth was impacted by the Austrian lockdown last year, and thus we expect the growth rates to return to more normal levels over the course of the year.


A few weeks ago, Nobia’s management team and I had the pleasure of presenting our strategy for the coming years at an online capital markets day. At the event, we outlined our key initiatives for growth, realising structural efficiency and employee engagement - aiming for sustainability and design leadership. I am very excited about the journey Nobia has embarked on and encourage you all to watch the recording at www.nobia.com/ir.


Finally, I would again like to sincerely thank all our employees for their strong commitment and hard work during these ever-evolving times.

 


Jon Sintorn
President and CEO