Höganäs AB has reported a strong start to 2011, with net sales during the first quarter up 14% year on year to MSEK 1,770 (€198m). Sales volumes were 11% higher and demand conditions were better than in the corresponding period of the previous year in all regions. The sequential volume increase (compared to the preceding quarter) in Europe and America was very positive stated the company.
“After a record 2010, Höganäs began 2011 with robust growth despite strong comparables from the first quarter 2010”, stated CEO Alrik Danielsson. “2010 came to a very strong conclusion on growth markets, while more mature markets were less robust. Consequently it is pleasing to note that Europe and North America largely led volume growth in the first quarter.”
“Operating margin improved compared to the fourth quarter 2010 and was very strong. Although the margin was even better in the corresponding period of the previous year, we benefitted from a significantly weaker Swedish krona at that time. Metal price inflation also dilutes our margin in percentage terms, even if it only has a limited impact on income in absolute terms.” added Danielsson.
The start to 2011 is also characterised by Höganäs’ sustained high investments in research and development, mainly in component solutions for new electromagnetic applications and in powder based gear wheels for gear boxes.