By Joan Faus
BARCELONA -Spain’s Fluidra, the world’s largest maker of swimming pool equipment, said on Monday its 2021 net profit more than doubled to 252.4 million euros ($282.3 million) as COVID restrictions boosted demand.
The net profit increase was in line with Refinitiv’s estimates. The company was one of the main winners from the pandemic as travel restrictions encouraged people who were stuck home to build swimming pools.
Shares in Fluidra traded 3.2% up shortly after opening, while the blue-chip IBEX 35 index was 1.8% down.
Led by the North American market, the company’s sales grew 47% to 2.19 billion euros last year. Sales reached the company’s latest forecast of a 40%-45% increase and slightly surpassed Refinitiv’s estimates.
The Barcelona-based company has set up slower sales growth targets for 2022 though it said it has a “solid base” for the year thanks to the growing demand and the impact of its intense expansion process after it acquired five companies last year for a total of 494 million euros.
Fluidra expects sales to grow 12%-17% this year and its earnings per share to rise 10%-16% after they soared 103% in 2021, faster than it had forecast.
The company said it raised its prices “over a middle single digit” in the fourth quarter to offset the increase in inflation and expects to raise them again in the second half of 2022.
It also warned that supply chain disruptions continue, especially in its largest market, North America.
($1 = 0.8941 euros)