Höganäs AB has recorded a 9% drop in net sales year on year for the second quarter 2013. The interim report published by the Swedish metal powder producer stated net sales of MSEK 1,652 for the period, compared with MSEK 1,808 in Q2 2012. Sales volumes were reported up 2%.
As an effect of falling metal prices, metal price surcharges on all significant metals were lower than in the second quarter 2012 added Höganäs. The Swedish krona remained volatile in the quarter and overall the currency effect on sales values was 7% negative compared to the previous year.
“Global market progress presents a divided picture. We are satisfied to see the progress of our volumes in North America and China, while demand conditions were sluggish on some other emerging markets in the spring. In Europe, we saw a marginal sales increase, thanks to Eastern Europe,” stated Alrik Danielson, Chief Executive Officer. “Thus, Höganäs’ broad geographical diversity meant that sales volumes for the first half-year were fairly good overall. However, to reduce the risk of holding excessive inventories in the autumn, we decided to run lower production volumes than the previous year in the spring, as reflected in our improved cash flow.”
First half 2013
The company reported first half 2013 net sales of MSEK 3,229, down 11% year on year. Sales volumes were also down 0.3% in the period.
Höganäs stated that sales volumes in Europe were down on the corresponding period of 2012. Although the downturn is only marginal, the company states that austerity measures in Europe appear to be holding the region’s recovery in check in several market segments. Sales performance in Asia was pushed in a positive direction by China, while strong comparative figures for 2012, due to the recovery post-tsunami and flooding, meant most other countries reported sales downturns.
Healthy growth was achieved in North America as continued positive car production forecasts and market sentiment improved in many other segments. In South America high inventories at the customer level caused fairly weak sales early in the period, stated Höganäs. The growth stimulus measures the Brazilian government has taken in the past two years did generate a gradual positive effect, and volume performance progress in the second quarter was gradually more positive.