Wienerberger Annual Report 2016 Wienerberger Annual Report 2016

Smart Solutions

Smart Solutions The Wienerberger world
from the digital perspective

Unique designs illustrate the complex nature of future-oriented solutions. They open up entirely new perspectives to the viewer and symbolize our endeavors to rethink proven and tested procedures and pave the way for innovations.

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Success Story #1
No more flash flooding

Everything flows – and in an orderly manner, thanks to Raineo. This smart system supports the natural circulation of water. This visual, based on NASA data on the topology of Europe, shows how water behaves. When rain falls on the virtual map, water finds its way through the landscape. The artistic abstraction shows a fascinating river structure.

No more flash flooding

Climate change is progressing and its impact is being felt all over the world. Extreme rainfall events have become more and more frequent over the past forty years. This is a particular problem for urban agglomerations, where large sealed surfaces are unable to absorb infiltration water and the sewer systems are not designed for such huge quantities of water. As a result, flash flooding occurs. With its Raineo system, Pipelife, the plastic pipe specialist, offers a forward-looking smart solution.

Rainwater harvesting and treatment

Raineo is simple and effective: Rainwater is collected, purified through filtering, stored underground in so-called Stormboxes and reused for various purposes. On the one hand, water can thus be harvested for irrigation or sanitary facilities. On the other hand, rainwater returns to the water cycle through infiltration and maintains the natural function of the soil.

The Stormbox is the core of this patented system. With about 95% of its volume available for storage, it can take up to 206 liters of water. For temporary rainwater storage, several Stormboxes are stacked and connected with one another. They take high loads and can handle any volume of collected water – from parking lots to airport runways. Pipelife supports its customers throughout the project by offering advice and software solutions from the planning phase to completion. Raineo is already in use in 25 markets served by Pipelife.

This system takes the burden off sewer systems in cities, as well as the growing residential areas around them, and prevents major damage through flash flooding. At the same time, we promote sustainable water management and the efficient use of this vital resource.

Hielke Hoekstra, R&D International
Project Manager, Pipelife International
Interior view: One Stormbox can
hold up to 206 liters of water.

Success Story #2
Digital garden Design

Users of the GardenVisions App can design their own open spaces by varying the shape, color and surface finish of the paving. This image was inspired by the diversity of product configurations. Surfaces and threedimensional objects were generated from graphic patterns and a visual cross-section was created through super-position: a work of art that symbolizes the impressive range of this app.

Digital garden design

At work and at play, useful apps have become part of our lives. In line with this trend, the Wienerberger Group is continually developing new mobile solutions. With its GardenVisions App, Semmelrock, the specialist in concrete pavers, has taken the lead. This smart solution enables private individuals to visualize their open spaces according to their own wishes – with elegant slabs for the patio or decorative pavers for the garden path.

Surface design custom made

Using the GardenVisions App, customers can display a photo of their plot of land on a smartphone or tablet computer and try out different formats, colors and surface structures. The range of products available is continually updated in the app, which also provides information on building materials dealers in the vicinity. Since its launch in Hungary in 2016, the app has been downloaded more than 4,000 times. In 2017, it will be rolled out in Austria and six other countries.

Wienerberger relies on smart solutions in other areas as well. The My GS App developed by General Shale, Wienerberger’s US subsidiary, helps field staff to efficiently process orders. Pipelife, the specialist in plastic pipes, has developed a safety app to prevent accidents at its production sites. Innovations like these enable users to access and share important information at any time. Processes can thus be optimized and customers receive even better and more accurately targeted services.

The GardenVisions App is extremely easy to use. It gives you a perfect impression of which type of paving goes with your house.

Sabine Berger, Head of Group Marketing, Semmelrock
GardenVisions App
garden design in just a few steps

Success Story #3
New possibilities through innovative technologies

From prototypes to complex products for special applications – the potential of 3D printing is almost unlimited. Layer by layer, the workpiece takes shape. As shown in this image, objects are created in a computer-controlled additive process by laying down successive layers of material. The visual presentation is reminiscent of wireframe model used in printing.

New possibilities through innovative technologies

Smart solutions are gaining ground in industrial manufacturing. Digitalization leads to future-oriented solutions and process technologies that help to save resources and energy. Wienerberger’s engineers are experimenting with new technologies and developing new processes. 3D printing has promising potential, especially in energy-intensive ceramic production.

A special nozzle – 3D-printer-made

3D printing can be used to produce tailor-made products with complex geometries in small series. Wienerberger is currently testing equipment for firing kilns that would be extremely difficult to produce by conventional methods: special nozzles which ensure optimal temperature distribution in the firing kilns. This innovation results in lower energy consumption and improved product quality.

Rapid prototyping is another area in which Wienerberger uses 3D printing. Prototypes are printed and optimized until mass production by less expensive means is feasible. Wienerberger successfully uses this technology for the design and optimization of its H-cassettes, which are used to hold roof tiles during firing. Further applications, such as the production of spare parts or the design of prototypes of new products, will be introduced soon.

Our special nozzles, an in-house development, help to improve product quality and reduce energy consumption. Additionally, the homogenous temperature distribution inside the kiln ensures lower scrap rates.

Dirk Saldsieder, Head of R&D, Engineering
and Technical Support, Wienerberger

Special products

New nozzles
for firing kilns

Success Story #4
Networking in Building Design in the Digital Age

Networking at all levels and optimized construction processes – that’s Building Information Modeling. This visual illustrates the collaborative process. A generative algorithm creates a network of all the entities involved in the project. Their roles in the system are aesthetically visualized in terms of size and the degree of interconnection between the nodes.

Networking in Building Design in the Digital Age

Efficient processes, smart applications, connecting with the world in a matter of seconds: digitalization is transforming all walks of life, including the way the economy functions. Smart solutions have found their way into building design. As a technology and innovation leader, Wienerberger is working on a large number of networking projects within the framework of its Digital Agenda. The best example is Building Information Modeling (BIM), an innovative development in which Wienerberger UK is playing an important role.

Developing ideas together

BIM centers on 3D models that are generated and exchanged online. All stakeholders – from architects to principals – have access to the same database. They can define, share and analyze the desired specifications via digital channels. As a design system, BIM offers measurable advantages: it facilitates coordination, enables planners to draw up more accurate cost estimates, and results in faster project completion.

The Brookwood Project in Surrey, UK, is a best-practice example. Thameswey are developing a project of 80 single- and two-family houses as well as four four-story residential buildings, all based on the e4 brick house concept. Wienerberger applied BIM standards throughout the design process, relying entirely on in-house know-how. Networking in building design has proved to be a great success: all stakeholders are cooperating efficiently and the costs of the project have been significantly reduced.

Digitalization and BIM will result in more projects being completed on time and within budget. We are proud of having positioned ourselves as a new partner for our customers in the digital planning and design of construction projects.

Paul Surin, Head of Built Environment, Wienerberger UK
3D models simplifies planning processes, as exemplified by the Brookwood Project in Surrey, UK.

Essentials 2016

Chief Executive’s Review

Heimo Scheuch
Heimo Scheuch Chief Executive Officer of Wienerberger AG

As our performance shows, Wienerberger turns challenges into opportunities for sustainable growth.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In 2016, we concentrated our efforts on the implementation of our strategy and succeeded in generating further organic growth through intensified innovation, diversification and optimization. Our EBITDA rose to € 404 million and we more than doubled our net profit, year on year, to € 82 million. This is all the more satisfactory in view of the fact that 2016 was a year marked by high volatility in some of our markets, currency and interest-rate fluctuations, and a downward trend in infrastructure spending in several Eastern European countries.

It also shows that Wienerberger has made great progress in its development in recent years and is now much better capable of addressing the challenges of a continuously changing environment.

Our strategic focus on innovation is an important pillar of our success.

Our industry, too, is in a state of profound transformation. The complexity of business processes is increasing and a wide variety of stakeholders are interacting more and more closely. Consequently, value chains are evolving permanently. In this environment, it is essential for us to take advantage of the progressive digitalization of entire business processes, but not without taking social and ecological components into account in our decisions in the interest of sustainable corporate development.

As the year 2016 has shown, it is thanks to our role as the technology and innovation leader of our industry and the consistent implementation of our Digital Agenda that we are being increasingly successful in positioning our company as a strong partner in new construction, renovation and infrastructure by offering innovative products and services. Last year, we invested approximately 1% of our revenues in research and development and in future-oriented products, and innovative products accounted for 27% of our revenues. Our commitment to “smart solutions” underlines that our strategic focus on innovation is an important pillar of our success and the foundation for long-term, organic growth.

Other central elements of our growth strategy are the continuous expansion of our market positions and the growing diversification of our business areas. During the year under review, we spent € 44 million on growth investments, thus strengthening our presence in the brick business in Eastern Europe and consolidating our pipe activities in Northern Europe. We will consistently pursue this course in 2017. However, our success is also due to a strong commitment to steady improvement. Through the ongoing optimization of our structures and processes in production and management we were able to cut costs by € 7 million last year, and we intend to achieve further savings of € 10 million in the current year.

We have set ourselves a clear growth target for 2017: we want to increase organic EBITDA to € 415 million.

2017 will again be marked by important developments in the political arena, such as the elections in the Netherlands, France, Germany and the Czech Republic, as well as the forthcoming BREXIT negotiations, all of which are bound to have a significant influence on the European economy. The financial markets will also feel the impact of interest-rate and currency fluctuations.

Against this background, we have set ourselves the ambitious target of increasing our EBITDA to € 415 million through organic growth, which is an improvement by 9% over the comparable previous year’s figure.

Owing to our solid operational performance in recent years, we have a strong industrial and financial base, which we are going to use consistently for further sustainable growth. Strengthened by your trust and confidence, ladies and gentlemen, we look forward to continuing on this course together with you.

Heimo Scheuch

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Financial Highlights 2016

Revenues and EBITDA Margin

in MEUR and %

Revenues and EBITDA Margin




Third Party Revenues by Segment

Third Party Revenues by Segment

Revenues by Product

Revenues by Product

A successful year for Wienerberger

In 2016 Wienerberger’s EBITDA increased for the seventh consecutive year – by 9% to € 404 million, and net profit more than doubled to € 82 million. The improvement in profitability was also reflected in the development of free cash flow, which increased from € 135 million in the previous year to € 247 million in the reporting period. The Group’s success is based on the three pillars of its corporate strategy: the focus on innovation and organic growth, the realization of value creating growth projects, and continuous process improvements.

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Mission Statement

Mission Statement

Our Vision

We want to be the most highly regarded producer of building materials and infrastructure solutions and the preferred employer in our markets. We share our values, our knowledge, our experience and our success.

Our Mission

We improve people’s quality of life by providing outstanding, sustainable building material and infrastructure solutions.

Our Goal

The primary goal of our entrepreneurial activities is to achieve a sustainable increase in the value of the company in accordance with ecological, social and economic principles.

Our Values

Expertise – Passion – Integrity and Respect – Customer Orientation – Entrepreneurship – Quality – Responsibility

Our values form the basis of our entrepreneurial activities. We live by our values and share them in our day-to-day cooperation.

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Wienerberger at a Glance

Wienerberger at a Glance

One- and two family houses

Wall, Facade, Roof, Ceramic Pipes, Plastic Pipes, Pavers

Multi-family houses

Wall, Facade, Roof, Ceramic Pipes, Plastic Pipes, Pavers

Non-residental buildings

Wall, Facade, Roof, Ceramic Pipes, Plastic Pipes, Pavers


Ceramic Pipes, Plastic Pipes, Pavers

What we do

North America

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Download Annual Report 2016

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