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Swimming pool maker Fluidra surfs pandemic wave

·1-min read
The entrance of Fluidra SA is pictured in outskirts of Barcelona

By Christina Thykjaer

MADRID (Reuters) -The world's largest swimming pool maker Fluidra said demand driven by the coronavirus pandemic that helped it almost double its revenue in two years provided further support in the first quarter.

The Spanish company repeated its growth targets for the year after first-quarter net profit rose 12% to 75 million euros ($80 million) and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) jumped 26% to 170 million euros.

During the pandemic, demand from wealthy people for new swimming pools in their gardens skyrocketed as many were locked down at home and unable to spend their cash on vacations and outside entertainment.

Fluidra shares jumped as much as 6.4% on Thursday after the results release, outperforming the blue chip Ibex-35 index which as up 1.2%.

Fluidra, which is based in Barcelona, said it had benefited from pandemic-induced demand, higher prices and contributions from recently acquired rivals, helping to drive first-quarter revenue 31% higher to 667 million euros.

"We had a solid quarter despite the volatile background we are facing," Chief Executive Eloi Planes said in a statement. "Business fundamentals are still robust, boosted by new construction and we are ready to face the start of the season."

With demand strong and its business of maintaining existing pools set to guarantee future growth, Fluidra maintained its target of annual sales growth of between 12% and 17% in 2022 and for an increase in earnings per share of 10% to 16%.

Fluidra's annual revenue almost doubled in 2021 to reach 2.2 billion euros, up from 1.37 billion euros two years earlier.

($1 = 0.9423 euros)

(Reporting by Inti Landauro and Christina Thykjaer; Editing by Jason Neely and David Clarke)

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