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CEO Eelco van Heel comments on the current status and future directions for the ROCKWOOL Group as presented in the Annual Report 2013.

European decision makers in the building industry are starting to feel more confident, with building owners and investors becoming more optimistic about the longer term prospects. At last there are indications that the building industry in Europe is moving out of the crisis which has dominated the past few years. Our scenario is not that of a strong and quick recovery, rather a gradual improvement over the coming years which will slowly increase the market for new buildings from the recently low level we have seen in several European countries.

This is good news for the ROCKWOOL Group. Our manufacturing base in Europe is being re-engineered with new technologies which can support fresh market segmentation and positioning strategies.

As the new build construction markets recover, we can be confident that the volumes of insulation products needed will be significant. Since 2008, when the latest crisis set in, the regulations for new buildings have been substantially tightened, meaning a significant increase for insulation volume per square metre constructed.

So far, our level of sales in the refurbishment market has maintained a strong position. We expect this to continue in line with the strengthening of consumer and general market confidence.

While insulation still accounts for more than three quarters of our total business and Western Europe currently generating close to 60% of sales, we are determined to move the ROCKWOOL Group onto a broader strategic platform. To this end, we are expanding our other stone wool and associated businesses, as well as developing our total activities globally. This is a major cornerstone of our Rock the Globe strategy.

During 2013, two significant acquisitions were made. The acquisition of the American ceiling system company Chicago Metallic and the German facade system provider HECK Wall Systems considerably increased our geographical coverage in the respective business segments. Even more importantly, these acquisitions enable us to supply the market with full system solutions which is exactly what today’s construction market decision makers expect from their top class supplier.

Organic growth, however, continues to be our preferred way to increase the performance of the ROCKWOOL Group. With the commissioning of our third North American factory early summer 2014, we will be able to meet the increasingly high demand for our ROCKWOOL stone wool solutions. The recently commissioned fourth factory in Russia is already completely sold out and elsewhere in the world we are also making satisfactory headway.

After some challenging years, we could now be in for more welcome tailwinds. The organisation has been streamlined and is well prepared, so we stand stronger than ever to reap the benefits of our efforts. I sincerely look forward to all our stakeholders joining us on this journey.

You can buy Rockwool Insulation Materials Online from Advanced Insulation 


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