President's statement Q1
High level of activity at the start of the year, but varying demand among customer segments.
Demand for Beijer Alma’s operations has generally remained strong, particularly in Europe and the US. In Germany and China, however, a weaker automotive industry impacted the overall scenario and cost adjustments have been made. Order bookings fell 10 percent during the quarter compared with the year-earlier period, when Habia signed a major offshore order worth MSEK 100. Net revenues rose 3 percent, with earnings remaining essentially unchanged. Order bookings from industrial customers in the Nordic region, which impact all of our subsidiaries, remained strong. Cash flow declined slightly as a result of acquisitions.
Within Lesjöfors, Industrial Springs continued to grow. Invoicing increased 5 percent, despite the effects of the automotive industry in Germany. Positive developments included the trend in the US and sales synergies with other geographic regions. Within Chassis Springs, demand from end customers declined approximately 15 percent compared with the record-breaking levels in the preceding year, primarily in the UK.
Within Habia, demand in Other Industry remained strong, particularly from defense customers. Telecom was on a par with the past two quarters. Production began on offshore projects, with delivery scheduled during the year. An additional order was signed during the quarter.
Beijer Tech had a very strong quarter, with profitable growth in most customer segments, resulting in nearly doubled operating profit and higher margins. As a result of carefully selected acquisitions and a clear strategic direction, the customer and product mix has improved over time.
In March, the Group acquired Encitech Connectors AB in Halmstad, which produces and distributes electronic components with a large share of exports. The company has expanded Beijer Tech’s position as a long-term owner of industrial manufacturing and trading companies. In January, the Group completed the minor acquisition of Uudenmaan Murskaus, which was successfully integrated into Beijer Tech’s Finnish operations during the quarter. On May 3, Beijer Tech signed an agreement to acquire Codan AS in Norway, thereby providing a platform for the geographic expansion of the Fluid Technology business area.
Henrik Perbeck, President and CEO