Continued growth despite varying demand in an uncertain economic climate
Demand in the quarter remained generally favorable, although with variations between geographic regions and customer segments. In relative terms, operations in the Nordic region were stronger and contributed organic growth, while demand in the rest of Europe and Asia was impacted to a greater degree by a weaker economic climate and specific external factors, such as the war in Ukraine. Inflation continued to fuel cost increases, which were offset with equivalent price increases, while supply chains increasingly stabilized.
Lesjöfors noted mixed demand, although with major variations between geographic regions and customer segments. Volumes in the Chassis Springs business area were significantly lower, partly due to the discontinuation of sales to Russia, but were also lower in the rest of Europe. Within Industrial Springs, the Nordics were the strongest region. Demand was also favorable in the North American market, which has become increasingly important for Lesjöfors. Both Asia and Central Europe are facing a more uncertain economic situation and weaker demand in general, but most notably greater volatility between customer segments and countries. The acquired companies Alcomex, Plymouth Spring and John Evans’ Sons all contributed profitable growth.
For Beijer Tech, which operates in the Nordic market, demand was stable and particularly strong in Norway. This contributed to favorable organic growth and a continued positive margin development. Acquisitions also contributed further profitable growth.
Habia Cable, which was divested in October, had a good final quarter in the Group, with favorable order bookings, revenue and profitability.
Strategy and acquisition
The acquisition of the US company John Evans’ Sons, which holds a strong position in springs for the medical device industry, was completed at the beginning of the quarter. The focus has initially been on business development and integrating the company into the Group. Further opportunities for growth and synergies will be created within the Lesjöfors Group.
In October, Lesjöfors also acquired the Turkish company Telform, a successful manufacturer of industrial springs for a diversified customer base in the domestic and European markets. Through this acquisition, Lesjöfors is expanding its production footprint and low-cost manufacturing capabilities.
The divestment of Habia Cable to HEW-Kabel was also completed in October. As a result, we have ensured continued scope for creating value through investments and acquisitions in Lesjöfors and Beijer Tech. This will strengthen our strategic focus in a more uncertain world, where we need to be agile and able to accelerate and brake at the same time as needs and opportunities arise.
Henrik Perbeck, President and CEO