Geberit Targets Shower Toilet Boost as Debts Slow European Sales

Geberit AG (GEBN), the Swiss maker of toilets and bathroom piping systems, predicted a “challenging” year for construction as European governments reel in spending and lending.

Net income rose 2.2 percent to 392.3 million francs ($413 million), the Rapperswil-based company said in a statement today. It will pay a dividend of 6.60 francs per share, in line with a Bloomberg forecast.

Chief Executive Officer Albert Baehny is eyeing a move into Latin America and ramping up production of the AquaClean product, which combines a toilet with a bidet, as he seeks to make good on a missed sales goal in 2012 caused by slow demand from Switzerland to Italy.

“In Europe, volumes in the construction industry are likely to contract overall in the wake of the saving measures introduced in the public sector largely influenced by a lower readiness to provide debt financing,” Geberit said in a statement. The company gets over 90 percent of sales from Europe.

Geberit will focus on marketing new products, organic growth initiatives and its “very promising” shower toilet business, it said.

The AquaClean product range combines a toilet with a bidet and can be customized to include warm-air drying. Baehny has not broken out targets for AquaClean or specify the product’s contribution to profit, saying the information is confidential.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Winters in Zurich at pwinters3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Thiel at sthiel1@bloomberg.net

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