An interim statement issued by Höganäs AB has reported net sales down 13% year on year for the first quarter 2013 (1 January – 31 March) at MSEK 1,577 (1,813). Gross profit for the period was reported at MSEK 445 (475).
The company stated that demand conditions were worse than the corresponding period of the previous year in most markets, apart from China and South America. Operating income was MSEK 250 (283), and income after tax was MSEK 186 (204). Lower sales volumes had a negative impact on income, while savings measures and a continued focus on cost efficiency had a positive effect. Operating margin was 15.9% (15.6).
Alrik Danielson, CEO and President, stated, “The market remained fairly weak in Europe and several other regions in the first quarter, although good growth was reported from China. But comparisons of 2013 with the previous year across much of Asia are negatively affected by the recovery effects that favoured year-2012 sales after a 2011 that suffered from the tsunami and flooding. In the sequential recovery from the poor fourth quarter of 2012, we are endeavouring to safeguard our operating margins, and continuing to invest in our priority R&D segments.”
“The outlook is essentially unchanged compared to the assessment made in the Year-end Report of 6 February. We have a fundamentally positive view of South America and Asia. However, sales growth numbers in Asia in 2013 will be negatively affected by the recovery effect in 2012. In addition, the Indian economy is fairly weak, and Asian exporters will be affected by weak market conditions in Europe. We expect demand to improve in North America, but the rate of recovery may remain volatile. European market conditions were poor in the first quarter of 2013 due to declining domestic demand, and we do not think we see the prospects of this recovering rapidly.”
Posted by: Paul Whittaker, Editor ipmd.net, [email protected]