Message to shareholders

However challenging, 2020 proved to be a milestone year. The year was marked by crisis management and resilience, but also caring for our people and accelerating our strategic execution.

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“To our shareholders, partners, teammates and customers: we deeply value your commitment to Etex. Thank you for your continuing trust in our organisation.”

 

Paul Van Oyen

 

Execution on our six-pillar strategic roadmap

  • In 2020, we made a number of key investments that will prove central to our futureproof strategy. Chief among them was the acquisition of the business of Knauf Plasterboard Pty Limited in Australia.

  • We expanded our passive fire-stopping reach by purchasing UK-based player FSi Limited.

  • Our newest division, New Ways, focused on evolving from a company incubator into a growth engine. Building on acquisitions as well as increased production capacity.

  • Corporate Social Responsibility was introduced last year as one of our six core strategic pillars.

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Caring for our people remains our top priority

  • Etex rapidly went into crisis mode, creating a dedicated crisis management team and strengthening local decision making, enabling our leaders on the field to take the right steps and inspiring the trust of our people.

  • On the manufacturing side, we rapidly closed factories which enabled us to restart our activities with plenty of confidence from our people.

Our three-pillar agenda

Engaged people

  • Our second employee engagement survey showed a remarkable achievement, particularly given the global context, indicating that our teammates feel more engaged than two years ago.

  • Especially in COVID-19 times, Etex’s strong focus on internal communication was highly appreciated.

  • The ‘United to Inspire’ campaign unfolded throughout the year, with teammates participating in numerous townhall meetings and subsequent initiatives.

Operational performance

  • Our organisation further improved on its already low lost-time accident frequency rate, reducing it from a level between 1.9 and 2.6 down to 1.4, a record low.


  • Manufacturing is now a separate activity, with its own Chief Manufacturing Officer, Christophe David.

  • A Business Process Owners (BPO) team has also been created to further optimise and streamline our processes and to maximise the business and customer value.

Profitable growth

  • After the first lockdowns, markets recovered well, mainly due to a strong renovation upswing around the world. This has benefited our two largest divisions, Building Performance and Exteriors.

  • 2020 was Etex’s best year in terms of cash generation, and our organisation has achieved the lowest level of net financial debt ever.

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