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.
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.
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.
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