Continued strong demand and several new acquisitions
Demand remained strong in most customer segments and geographic regions during the second quarter and the summer. The high level of activity in the industry has put a strain on supply chains, both in terms of raw materials and components. The Group reported a very strong improvement in order bookings, sales and operating profit relative to the first quarter of last year, which was affected by the pandemic. Cash flow remained at a favorable level. Order bookings and sales also increased compared with the first quarter. Operating profit was negatively affected by the data intrusion at Habia, but was nonetheless the second highest in the Group’s history.
For Lesjöfors, order bookings and sales remained at the previous quarter’s record-breaking levels. Demand in the automotive aftermarket for the Chassis Springs business area was especially strong during the second quarter, which is also normally the peak season. High capacity utilization contributed to a high operating margin for Lesjöfors.
Habia Cable also experienced strong demand during the second quarter, with healthy order bookings. Operations were significantly affected by a data intrusion at the company in early April, which resulted in a loss of production and a negative product mix. Thanks to an extraordinary effort from management and employees to minimize the effect on customers, the systems could promptly go back online. Since then, production has been ramped up to meet demand and compensate for the production loss. This will continue during the autumn.
Demand in Beijer Tech’s markets was stable and high, in Fluid Technology as well as Industrial Products. Lead times and purchase prices have increased in many product groups within industrial trading. The companies have managed to offset these through price increases, without significant impact on deliveries to customers. Two profitable companies were acquired early in the quarter, contributing to growth.
The Group has prioritized a strategy of driving profitable growth through acquisitions, which gratifyingly resulted in two acquisitions during the second quarter and two more thereafter. In April, Beijer Tech acquired Noxon within Fluid Technology and Novosystems within building automation. In July, an agreement was signed to acquire Källström Engineering Systems, a well-managed and profitable company in the field of filling solutions for the fast- growing battery industry. In the same month, Lesjöfors carried out its largest acquisition to date: the Alcomex Group, a leading and growing European manufacturer of door and industrial springs, and an attractive platform for continued profitable growth.
Henrik Perbeck, President and CEO