Geberit says British construction market declining as Brexit weighs

Geberit says British construction market declining as Brexit weighs
The logo of shower toilet and plumbing supplies maker Geberit is seen at its headquarters in Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann -
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By John Revill

ZURICH (Reuters) – Plumbing materials supplier Geberit said it was seeing a decline in the British construction market, a side effect of its protracted departure from the European Union, as the company reported better-than-expected earnings during its third quarter.

The Swiss company, whose products are used in new-build and renovation projects, said the downward trend in Britain it expected in recent months had now materialised.

Data on Thursday showed British consumer sentiment falling to its lowest level since 2013, while a study showed the country’s commercial property market had also entered a downturn.

In contrast, Europe remained broadly positive although Italy and France were no longer growing, Geberit said.

During the third quarter Geberit’s operating profit before depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 8.4% to 231.3 million Swiss francs ($234.35 million). The figure beat the 222 million francs expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv data.

Third-quarter sales rose 1.8% to 754 million francs, beating forecasts for 744 million francs. Net profit rose 17.2% to 170.6 million francs, also ahead of estimates.

For the full year, Geberit expects currency-adjusted sales growth of 3% to 4%, confirming its earlier outlook, while it expected an EBITDA margin of around 29%, the top end of its previously stated range.

($1 = 0.9870 Swiss francs)

(Reporting by John Revill)

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