Kitchen buyers at American outlets of the Ikea furniture chain will have their countertops covered by an Israeli product – Caesarstone, an engineered stone marble and granite substitute made in Kibbutz Sdot Yam. Ikea and Caesarstone signed an agreement with Ikea US, to serve as that company’s exclusive non-laminate countertop vendor. Caesarstone will source, finish and distribute countertop products, including mainly Caesarstone quartz surfaces as well as other materials. The first countertops are expected to be available at Ikea starting in 2014, the company said.
Caesarstone was one of Israel’s fastest growing companies between 2002 and 2008, with the company expanding sales and revenues by an annual average of 30%. The worldwide housing downturn in 2008 hurt the company some, but it quickly bounced back; Caesarstone had revenues of $260 million in 2011, with a net profit of $29 million, up 31% from 2010. In 2012, Caesarstone’s revenues increased from the previous year by 14.2% to $296.6 million, and its net profit rose 36.4% to $39.6 million.
Caesarstone has been making the engineered quartz slabs that made it famous since 1989, after some fits and starts, and has been profitable since 1993. In February 2012, Caesarstone filed an Initial Public Offering on the Nasdaq, with shares initially worth $11 each. Slightly more than a year later, Caesarstone shares are trading at $28.
Commenting on the deal, Yosef Shiran, Chief Executive Officer of Caesarstone, said, “We are excited to begin this important relationship with one of the world’s great retailers. Ikea has been a driving force in bringing great modern design and tremendous value to a wide range of consumers around the world, particularly through their customized kitchen and bath product lines. This collaboration with Ikea reinforces Caesarstone quartz surfaces’ superiority in quality and designs.
“We believe that our organization’s strong capabilities will make this project a success and we look forward to contributing to the continuing success of Ikea,” he added.