Clear recovery but uncertainty remains
The third quarter was characterized by a gradual recovery from the previous quarter’s weak demand, as society reopened and the global economy resumed. For Beijer Alma, this entailed improved order bookings and sales, albeit not at the previous year’s levels. Thanks to a continued focus on costs and a favorable product mix, however, the operating margin was up year-on-year. Cash flow remained strong, despite increased activity during the quarter. There is still significant uncertainty in the strength of the recovery in different industries as well as the future development of the COVID-19 pandemic itself.
Demand for chassis springs for Lesjöfors posted a strong recovery during the quarter due to the aftermarket backlog following the workshop shutdowns across Europe in the spring. Order bookings were higher than the preceding year and production was adapted to quickly meet the increased demand. Order bookings in Industry increased month by month, but had still not recovered to the preceding year’s levels.
Habia Cable experienced weak demand during the quarter, combined with lower order bookings and reduced project deliveries in offshore, nuclear power and defense. Personnel reductions were implemented.
For Beijer Tech, which serves Nordic industrial companies, demand increased gradually during the quarter. The picture was mixed, where Fluid Technology with its broad customer base encompassing small and large customers posted a clear recovery. For Industrial Products, demand from Swedish and Norwegian customers remained weak, while demand from Danish and Finnish customers was largely at the preceding year’s levels.
Generally in the market, uncertainty has entailed fewer corporate acquisitions. Beijer Alma’s ambition is to continue to pursue profitable growth through acquisitions, which is possible thanks to our financial strength.
The INU Group, a successful company within building automation systems, was acquired during the quarter, opening up an exciting new area for Beijer Tech.
Henrik Perbeck, President and CEO