Refined strategy for the New Ways division

Refined strategy for the New Ways division

Global megatrends such as resources scarcity, ageing cities or technological evolutions are creating large opportunities for innovative building materials companies like Etex. In 2020, the company launched the New Ways division, focused on offsite lightweight and modular building solutions, to contribute to these challenges. Etex allocated a revenue stream to explore various options, resulting in the acquisition or participation in joint ventures of 9 companies.

Today, three years after Etex started navigating this very new and promising offsite market, the company understands this business much better and has a clearer vision of where it wants to be active and how it can add value for its customers.

Patrick Balemans, Head of Division for New Ways at Etex: “We continue to firmly believe in offsite construction, and we see good opportunities there. However, through our experience with different companies and countries, we have learned that our priority for offsite’s future should be focused on Europe and on two-dimensional (2D) Systems and Solutions. The European market is showing a high potential for offsite construction especially in 2D Systems and Solutions. This is also closer to Etex’s core business of being a provider of products for business-to-business (B2B) customers, versus business-to-consumer (B2C) customers.”

Therefore, Etex is going through the following two changes:

  • Etex finalised the divestment in its four joint venture companies in Latin America: E2E (Chile), Tecverde (Brazil), Icon Plus (Argentina) and Icon Plus (Ecuador). Through its Building Performance division, Etex remains a supplier to these companies and maintains good business relationships with them.
  • e-Loft, the three-dimensional (3D) offsite company in France, is starting a receivership procedure aimed at stabilising the company’s financial situation, including through a potential divestment of the activity. The e-Loft teammates, customers and partners have been fully informed already.

Why this procedure for e-Loft?

E-Loft has been facing significant financial and logistical difficulties for a few years. The main causes of these difficulties are:

  • A 40% increase in the price of materials over the last two years, particularly wood, which cannot be passed on to the customers
  • The lack of suitable personnel on sites, which does not allow us to maintain a rhythm of delivery corresponding to the order book
  • The challenge to find the right balance between the quality of the houses and an economic return

Etex is committed to find the best possible solution for each e-Loft teammate as well as the e-Loft customers.

Receivers have been appointed and they will determine the extent to which the business can continue. During this period, Etex will maintain a constant dialogue with teammates, unions and customers.

In the meantime, e-Loft stopped taking new orders and reduced its level of production to give priority to site work and deliver as much as possible to its current customers.

What is next for the New Ways division?

The division will continue its growth path. The proof of this growth potential of New Ways can be found in the 2022 results published a few days ago. Between 2020 and 2022, the division grew from EUR 10 million to EUR 83 million.

The New Ways division will channel its investment efforts and strategy for the next years into its four other European companies: Sigmat, EOS, Horizon Offsite and Evolusion Innovation, which already showed double-digit revenue growth by the end of 2022.

Patrick Balemans: “We are convinced that the team is doing what is needed to further develop the ambitions of New Ways to become a fast growing and profitable player in the offsite construction market.”