Brussels – The acquisition of Recticel’s engineered foams division by Carpenter, which was finalised by in June 2023, has transformed Recticel into a dedicated insulation manufacturer. As a consequence, the company’s board of directors decided to appoint a new CEO. Jan Vergote, previously of private equity investment company Baltisse, assumed the role on 1 September 2023.
Olivier Chapelle, the outgoing CEO, spent 13 years at the helm of Recticel.
Johnny Thijs, Recticel chairman, said: "In the name of the board of directors, I wish to thank Olivier Chapelle wholeheartedly for having successfully transformed Recticel under difficult circumstances. The company can now fully focus on its next phase of expansion as a pure insulation player. The successor of Olivier, Jan Vergote, has accumulated a lot of experience as managing director and CEO in several European and international companies, active in the construction industry. He brings the experience needed to realise our ambitious growth targets.”
The leadership announcement came immediately after Recticel published its H1 figures for 2023. The company reported a challenging start to 2023, marked by a decline in net sales and profits. The company's net sales decreased by 7.4%, from €287.2m in 2022 to €266.1m in 2023. Adjusted Ebitda also saw a significant drop, plummeting from €31.7 million to €18.2 million, representing a decline of 42.6%.
The company's disappointing financial performance is attributed to the difficult conditions prevailing in the European construction markets, upon which Recticel is heavily reliant. In the residential sector, high inflation and interest rate increases impacted disposable income, affecting new build and renovation activities. Similarly, the industrial and commercial markets witnessed fewer project launches and delays, a trend seen across most European countries, excepting France.
Recticel managed to strengthen its financial position with a net cash position of €142.3m, a significant turnaround from the net financial debt of €250m at the end of 2022.
The company anticipates improvements in demand, particularly in the insulated panels segment, driven by decreased input costs for chemicals, steel, and mineral wool. Recticel expects its full-year 2023 adjusted Ebitda to range between €40m and €45m.
As part of the regulatory challenges to the sale of its engineered foams division to Carpenter, Recticel has reached a preliminary agreement to sell its 33% stake in the Italian foam company Orsa Foam, to its JV partner, Orsa. The agreed purchase price is €7.15m, which will be disbursed in instalments, with the finally payment scheduled for December 2025. The divestment of the Orsa Foam stake is expected to conclude in Q3 2023.