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Press release 30 April 2024

Financial results Full Year 2023:

  • Revenue: €5,368 million, reflecting a limited decline of 1.8% compared to record high 2022
  • Normalized EBITDA decreased by 23% to €349 million
  • Normalized EBITDA margin decreased to 6.5% of revenue (FY 2022: 8.3%)
  • Operating Cash Flow increased by 4% to €414 million (FY 2022: €399 million)
  • Cash Conversion increased by 17%pts to 82% (FY 2022: 65%)

Throughout 2023, BME faced a challenging macroeconomic environment characterized by a contraction in demand and prices, combined with high cost inflation. Contrary to the high price inflation in 2021 and 2022, the year 2023 showed a downward inflationary trend with deflation in certain geographies and product categories. Markets in Northern Europe (Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Austria) were more severely impacted by these developments whilst in Southern Europe (France, Spain and Portugal) further organic growth was achieved. Despite these obstacles, BME demonstrated resilience, reporting a limited decline of revenues by 1.8% versus previous year to reach €5,368 million.

Normalized EBITDA came out at €349 million. Good traction on targeted cost reductions, a record high contribution from strategic initiatives and the positive impact from acquisitions could not compensate for lower volumes, lower or negative price inflation and steep inflation on our operating costs, impacting mainly labor, energy and lease costs. On our Operating Cash Flow and Cash Conversion, we had a strong working capital release in 2023 following disciplined cash management, particularly on our inventory.

Notwithstanding the rapidly changed circumstances, BME continued to invest significantly to achieve its mid-term growth with a specific focus to further increase its customer experience. A central wood warehouse was opened in Switzerland, two new distribution centers for the sanitary, heating and plumbing business were built in Germany and new formats for our branches in Portugal and Germany were introduced.

The Group also managed another six successful acquisitions in 2023, bringing the total to 29 acquisitions across the Group since BME became an independent company at the end of 2019. The focus remains on consciously growing BME’s footprint to drive synergies and create additional revenues going forward by increasing its proximity to customers.

Remco Teulings, CEO of BME Group, commented:
“After several years of strong growth, we were faced by strongly declining markets in 2023. Our key geographies were confronted with a decrease in volumes and a downward trend in price inflation. The key drivers of our business, most notably the interest rates and cost of building materials have developed negatively over the past year and this has impacted our end-markets, both in the residential new build segment and in our renovation end markets.

To navigate through this challenging environment, we stepped up our strategic initiatives by driving successful commercial initiatives on pricing and private label, by improving our procurement conditions, and by implementing a stringent cost reduction program. These measures helped us to limit the significant negative market impact on our results by realizing a historical high uplift in our EBITDA of more than €80 million by our initiatives.

In 2023, we also continued our long-term growth strategy by investing in new distribution centers, optimizing customer journeys through increased digitization, and executing bolt-on acquisitions. We are convinced that we are well positioned to reap the benefits from these continuous investments, by leveraging our scale especially when overall demand improves. We know that the mid- to long-term outlook for our business remains very solid, especially given the structural shortage of housing across most of our geographies and the need to renovate the ageing housing stock in Europe, particularly to address the energy efficiency topic.

Good progress has also been made to embed the sustainable action points outlined in our sustainability report into our daily routines. Many initiatives throughout the organization have been implemented including stringent heating policies, re-use of pallets, retrofitting most locations with LED lights, and increasing the number of solar panels on our locations. All these initiatives helped us to report solid progress on our ongoing commitment to reduce carbon emissions of our organic operations, achieving an 12% reduction in emissions in 2023 compared to 2022.

Stepping up on our strategic initiatives, together with the hard work of our employees and constructive cooperation with our suppliers, we laid a solid foundation to build on in 2024 to secure sustainable and profitable growth for the years ahead. This will allow us to continuously improve our customers’ experience of working with our company.”


Watch video of Group CEO Remco Teulings sharing the highlights of our 2023 results.