Habia Cable AB

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Habia Cable is one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of customized cables and cable harnesses. Most of its cables are used in high-tech applications in harsh environments.

Its products often have unique properties and are made from high-performance materials that are able to withstand, for example, extreme temperatures, radioactivity, fire, bending or vibrations. Its operations are divided into two business areas: Telecom and Other Industry.

  • Habia has manufacturing operations in Sweden, Germany, China and Poland, and conducts sales worldwide.
  • Its main markets are Scandinavia, Germany, the UK, France, China, India and South Korea.
  • The largest customer segments are telecom, nuclear power, defense, engineering and offshore.

“Margins impacted by price pressure and changes in demand”
modigh vd habia cable satsyta
How would you summarize the developments over the year?

During the first six months, demand in Telecom was strong, but it subsequently dropped to a more normal level. The industrial economy strengthened, while the nuclear power market became weaker. Nuclear power is a project-based business in which demand usually varies, and we saw a major decline in the area compared with the preceding year’s record-breaking invoicing. The year’s earnings were primarily impacted by the change in mix, with the nuclear power segment declining while other areas with lower margins have grown. In addition, production disruptions affected us adversely.

Telecom has grown, but the price pressure remains intense. How are you addressing this?

We are differentiating our products from those of our competitors and highlighting our quality and technical performance. However, not all customers want to pay for this added value. That’s why we are also working to reduce the cost per unit by improving our manufacturing productivity and optimizing product design. But overall, we have retained our position as the global market leader in mobile telecom.

You implemented cost adaptations in 2017. Would you like to comment 
on this?

This is a work in progress. For example, we have reviewed our staffing and cut back on maintenance costs. These measures have had an effect, but we are not satisfied and need to continue increasing our profitability.

Many countries are increasing their defense investments. How is this affecting Habia?

The market has turned and we can see that customers are discussing major projects, both in Europe and beyond. While this has not yet had an impact on our order bookings, it means that we have a number of large projects ahead of us that will probably begin to be realized in 2018. These involve land-based systems, such as communications equipment, and technology for vessels and submarines.

What is the trend in nuclear power?

Compared with our record-breaking deliveries in 2016, this area has declined. As I said, this is a project-based business and the markets where we operate have displayed a weaker trend. This will probably also be the case in 2018. In the longer term, we foresee continued opportunities in nuclear power, both in Europe and in the Middle East and Asia, where numerous projects are planned.

What will the focus be for 2018?

Raising our production capacity, so that we can serve our customers effectively and grow at the rate permitted by market development. We also need to gain a better balance in earnings between project transactions and ongoing business. We also hope that deliveries in offshore will gain momentum in 2018.