Henrik Perbeck,  President and CEO Henrik Perbeck,  President and CEO

Varied demand and acquisition-driven growth

The corona pandemic has had a limited impact on operations. However, the effects moving forward are difficult to assess. The Group has therefore strengthened its preparedness and increased its flexibility. The company’s financial position is fundamentally strong.

Group

Demand remained varied during the first quarter. The slowdown at the end of last year also marked the first quarter. Growth was acquisition-driven and a further two companies were acquired at the beginning of the year.

During the quarter, the COVID-19 pandemic had a limited negative impact on Beijer Alma’s operations, revenues and earnings, although our production in China was suspended for a couple of weeks. However, the effects of COVID-19 moving forward are difficult to assess. Since the spread of COVID-19 developed into a pandemic, there are obvious risks for poorer market conditions and disruptions to the supply chain. Accordingly, the Group has taken measures to strengthen its preparedness and increase its flexibility. The company’s financial position is fundamentally strong.

During the quarter, order bookings and net revenues increased, although both declined organically. The margin was lower than in the year-earlier period.

Subsidiaries

In Lesjöfors, demand was stable and growth was acquisition-driven. Order bookings and net revenues rose, although a clear decrease in order bookings for Chassis Springs was noted toward the end of the quarter.

Habia’s order bookings increased somewhat due to new project orders and stable demand from industrial customers. The spread of COVID-19 entailed that the Chinese plant was closed for an additional two weeks in conjunction with the Chinese new year.

In Beijer Tech, the acquisition-driven order bookings increased in Industrial Products, while there was a decline in order bookings in Fluid Technology.

Acquisitions

Through Lesjöfors’ acquisition of Metrol Springs Ltd, we are continuing to build a leading Group in springs, wire and flat strip components. Metrol, based in the UK, manufactures various types of gas springs and has a broad international customer base. During the quarter, Beijer Tech acquired PA Ventiler AB, which is a well-managed, profitable Swedish company that sells valves to, primarily, the pulp and paper industry.

We are also delighted to welcome a new face to Group management from August. Erika Ståhl has been appointed as the new CFO of Beijer Alma. Erika will succeed Jan Blomén, who is retiring after 33 years. I want to take the opportunity again to thank Jan for his excellent contributions to Bejier Alma.

Henrik Perbeck, President and CEO

1,217

Net revenues rose to MSEK 1,217 (1,166).

146

Operating profit totaled MSEK 146 (161).

12.0%

Operating margin was 12.0 percent (13.8).

137

Profit after net financial items amounted to MSEK 137 (155).

1.78

Earnings per share totaled SEK 1.78 (1.99)

1,184

Order bookings increased to MSEK 1,184 (1,143).

Invoicing (MSEK)

Profit after net financial items (MSEK)

Beijer Alma in brief

Order bookings for the quarter rose 4 percent to MSEK 1,184 (1,143). In organic terms, meaning excluding corporate acquisitions and fluctuations in exchange rates, order bookings declined 7 percent. Net revenues increased 4 percent till MSEK 1,217 (1,166). In organic terms, it declined 5 percent. As a result of acquisitions, all of the subsidiaries increased order bookings and net revenues somewhat.

Operating profit amounted to MSEK 146 (161) and profit after net financial items to MSEK 137 (155). Earnings per share amounted to SEK 1.78 (1.99).

During the first quarter, the return on shareholders’ equity was 17.8 percent (22.4) and the return on capital employed was 16.0 percent (22.7).

Cash flow from operating activities totaled MSEK 58 (24). Cash flow after capital expenditures amounted to MSEK –185 (–97). At the end of the quarter, the equity ratio was 47.6 percent (50.8) and the net debt/equity ratio was 38.1 percent (23.8). The share dividend of SEK 2.50 per share, that is, a total of MSEK 151, was paid to shareholders after the end of the quarter on April 1, and therefore did not affect the cash flow and net debt for the first quarter.

During the quarter, the Parent Company expanded its credit facility by MSEK 300.

The number of employees during the period increased to 2,702 (2,622), of which 200 employees came from acquired companies.

Equity ratio

476.0%

Net debt/equity ratio

381.0%

Number of employees

2,702

Lesjöfors in brief

Demand during the quarter was stable, with growth that was acquisition-driven in Industry. Order bookings increased 3 percent to MSEK 673 (654). Net revenues totaled MSEK 726 (690), corresponding to an increase of 5 percent. In organic terms, however, revenues declined 4 percent. Operating profit totaled MSEK 123 (126) during the quarter.

In Industry, demand was somewhat lower than in the preceding year, which led to organically reduced net revenues, particularly in Northern Europe, the US and Asia. As a result of COVID-19, the plants in China were closed for an additional two weeks following the Chinese new year, but the volumes recovered well toward the end of the quarter. Net revenues rose 7 percent to MSEK 538 (504) as a result of acquisitions in the UK and the Netherlands.

Compared with the year-earlier period, Chassis Springs had higher order bookings in most markets, although these dropped off significantly toward the end of the first quarter. This negative trend continued in the first weeks of the second quarter. Net revenues totaled MSEK 187 (186) for the first quarter.

The spread of COVID-19 had no material impact on the Lesjöfors’ net revenues or earnings for the quarter. However, negative effects were observed at the end of the quarter and it is not improbable that this will continue, for example, in conjunction with reduced demand for spare parts for cars, such as chassis springs, and potential extended production stoppages among the company’s customers in the automotive and manufacturing industries.

Read more about Lesjöfors

Order bookings increased

+3.0%

Net revenues, MSEK

726

Industry, net revenues, MSEK

538

Habia Cable in brief

During the quarter, order bookings increased 1 percent to MSEK 239 (237). Net revenues amounted to MSEK 228 (220), with the increase mainly due to higher volumes of completed offshore projects during the first quarter of 2020.

The Chinese authorities’ decisions to stop the spread of COVID-19 entailed that the Chinese plant was closed for an additional two weeks in conjunction with the Chinese new year. After the plant opened, capacity increased gradually and it was able to fully meet the successively rising demand. It cannot be ruled out that COVID-19 will continue to have negative effects during the year as production and sales are impacted in Europe.

Operating profit was unchanged and amounted to MSEK 16 (16). The extended production stoppage in the Chinese plant had a negative impact on earnings, which was offset, however, by higher revenues and savings measures throughout Habia Cable.

Read more about Habia Cable

Order bookings, MSEK

239

Net revenue, MSEK

228

Operating profit, MSEK

16

Beijer Tech in brief

Order bookings increased in Industrial Products, but declined in Fluid technology. Growth in Industrial Products is mainly driven by acquisitions. Net revenues amounted to MSEK 263 (256). In organic terms, however, net revenues declined 13 percent.

Operating profit during the period amounted to MSEK 13 (24), with the decrease mainly attributable to lower sales of fire hoses, foundry consumables and products in the machinery segment, as well as the production stoppage among key customers in Industrial Products.

Net revenues for Industrial Products rose to MSEK 150 (130). Growth was acquisition-driven. There as weaker demand in Sweden and Finland. In Denmark and Norway, on the other hand, demand remained favorable, but activity decreased toward the end of the quarter, particularly in the offshore industry.

For Fluid Technology, net revenues declined to MSEK 113 (125), partly attributable to strong comparative data from the year-earlier period and a small share of proprietary products. A certain slowdown in demand was noted in trading operations, but with continued healthy activity in the broad base of smaller customers.

The spread of COVID-19 during the first quarter had no significant impact on net revenues or earnings for Beijer Tech, but toward the end of the quarter, a clear downturn was observed in certain segments, as well as delivery problems from suppliers in Southern Europe. Continued negative effects later during the year cannot be ruled out, such as in conjunction with prolonged production shutdowns or canceled maintenance work at the company’s customers in various manufacturing industries.

Read more about Beijer Tech

Net revenue, MSEK

263

Industrial Products, net revenues, MSEK

150

Fluid Technology net revenues, MSEK

113

Corporate acquisitions during the quarter

  • In January, Lesjöfors acquired all of the shares in UK company Metrol Springs Ltd. Metrol Springs is a manufacturer of tooling gas springs and special purpose gas springs, and offers its own range of conventional gas struts. Metrol has further enhanced their product offering with linear actuators and other products. A significant share of sales is generated from a catalog and the company’s websites. The company has a diversified customer base in the UK, Europe, the US, and Asia, serving industrial and automotive customers. The company’s revenues amount to MGBP 7 with high profitability, of which approximately 40 percent are exports to more than 20 countries. The company is based in Northampton and the real estate on which the manufacturing plant is located has also been acquired through the shares in Nitro Springs Manufacturing Ltd.
  • In February, one of the companies in Beijer Tech acquired all of the shares in PA Ventiler AB, which is based in Lindome, outside Gothenburg, in Sweden. PA Ventiler conducts sales of valves, primarily to the pulp and paper industry as well as the chemical and petrochemical industry. The company generates revenues of approximately MSEK 27 with favorable profitability.

Read more about strategy and sustainability

Two acquisitions

Q1 in a summary

2020 Q1 2019 Q1 Change % 2019 annual
Net revenue, MSEK 1 217,1 1 165,6 4,4 4 621,7
Operating profit, MSEK 146,5 161,2 –9,1 582,6
Operating margin, % 12,0 13,8 12,6
Profit after net financial items, MSEK 136,6 155,5 –12,2 557,4
Earnings per share, SEK 1,78 1,99 –10,6 7,15
Order bookings, MSEK 1 184,1 1 142,9 3,6 4 459,6
Net liabilities, MSEK 910,7 498,6 82,7 720,9
Net debt/equity ratio, % 38,1 23,8 60,1 29,9
Cash flow after capital expenditures, MSEK –11,7 –24,1 –51,5 385,4

Net revenue per segment (subsidiaries) MSEK

2020 Q1 2019 Q1 Change % 2019 annual
Lesjöfors 725,8 690,0 5,2 2 563,5
Habia Cable 228,4 219,8 3,9 977,8
Beijer Tech 262,8 255,6 2,8 1 080,1
Parent company and intra-group 0,0 0,1 –100,0 0,3
Total Group 1 217,1 1 165,5 4 621,7

Operating profit per segment (subsidiaries) MSEK

2020 Q1 2019 Q1 Change % 2019 annual
Lesjöfors 122,6 125,7 –2.4 441,3
Habia Cable 15,9 15,8 0,9 80,1
Beijer Tech 13,2 23,8 –44,5 81,4
Parent company and intra-group –5,3 –4,1 29,3 –20,2
Total 146,5 161,2 582,6

NEXT REPORT

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