13.05.2024: Event of the Economic Council: As Guest at DURAVIT AG

Upon invitation of Duravit AG, Ulrich Dietz could welcome the participants of the event on behalf of the board of the VS/DS section of the Economic Council and guide them through the event. Duravit AG is certainly one of the section’s flagship companies: With a history of over two hundred years, Duravit AG is today one of the world market leaders in bathroom ceramics, bathroom furniture and sanitary technology products, which are manufactured at several international locations, including in India, Egypt and, more recently, Canada. With this global approach, Duravit AG has succeeded in approximately doubling its turnover since the last event with the Economic Council a good ten years ago.

The main component of the event was an impressive presentation by Thomas Stammel, COO and Board Member for Technology at Duravit AG. He used a wealth of facts and figures to illustrate the difficult economic environment in which companies in the construction industry currently find themselves. For example, the price index for newly constructed real estate in Germany has almost doubled over the last 15 years, primarily due to increased regulatory requirements. In addition, the cost of financing and refinancing has risen again since 2021. Last but not least, the political framework conditions (keyword: Heating Act) have led to massive uncertainty in renovation and new construction and to an overall construction crisis, which has not left Duravit AG unaffected. From the point of view of manufacturing companies, the drastic rise in energy prices in Germany is also extremely problematic.

Unfortunately, a general deterioration in the general conditions for the sanitary industry can currently be observed not only in Germany, but also internationally, perhaps with the exception of the regions of India and South East Asia. Unfortunately, an improvement in the situation is not yet in sight.

Mr. Stammel pointed out that in addition to the immediate economic consequences for companies in the construction industry, there is also the threat of drastic social consequences and political dissatisfaction if there is an increasing shortage of apartments and living space and rents (have to) rise. He proposed pragmatic solutions to replace ideological approaches with fact-based and feasible action based on technology, experience and expertise. Last but not least, coercion should be replaced by stimulus.

Mr. Stammel’s presentation was followed by a lively discussion, including the question of what political impact the situation presented could have and which possible solutions would promise success.

After the discussion, the participants had the opportunity to experience a guided tour through the impressive showrooms of Duravit AG and to ask questions to the competent guides. The event concluded with a get-together with drinks and snacks.

Many thanks to Thomas Stammel and Duravit AG for the invitation to this highly commendable event!

In the below right picture: Thomas Stammel (left in the picture) and Ulrich Dietz