Sweden’s Sandvik Group has reported that invoiced sales were down 9% to SEK 20.4 billion in the third quarter 2013 when compared with Q3 2012, and down 6% over the first nine months of 2013 to SEK 65.6 billion.
“The strong Swedish krona (SEK) adversely affected earnings by SEK 250 million in the third quarter and by SEK 900 million SEK in the first nine months of the year. Nevertheless, operating profit totalled SEK 2,531 million SEK, or 12.4% of invoiced sales in the seasonally weakest quarter of the year, despite negative metal price effects and, declining sales and production rates” stated Sandvik’s President and CEO Olof Faxander when presenting the company’s third quarter results.
Sandvik’s Machining Solutions division, which includes the Sandvik Coromant cutting tool product area, showed 4% higher sales at SEK 6.9 billion. The slightly positive demand trend observed earlier in the year in Europe was also noted in the third quarter.
Asia improved from a low base while demand in North America slowed somewhat from a high level. The acquisition of the remaining 51% of the shares in cutting tool producer Precorp Inc. was announced during the quarter, and in September, the Sandvik Coromant product area introduced the GC4325 insert grade, a cemented carbide (hardmetal) breakthrough product designed for steel turning applications.
The Sandvik Venture division, which includes the newly created product area Sandvik Hyperion combining Diamond Innovations and Sandvik Hard Materials, saw invoiced sales decline by 8% to SEK 1.25 billion in the 3rd quarter. Operating profit for Sandvik Venture amounted to SEK 199 million, down 22% on the same period last year. The Hyperion product area provides products and services within applied materials, such as super-hard and hard materials, based on cemented carbide, cubic boron nitride, and synthetic diamond.