• Order intake rose 14% to SEK 4,173 million (3,672). For comparable units the increase was 3%.
• Net sales rose 10% to SEK 3,897 million (3,533). For comparable units, net sales were level with a year ago.
• Operating profit before amortisation of intangible non-current assets attributable to acquisitions (EBITA) rose 11% to SEK 451 million (406), corresponding to an EBITA margin of 11.6% (11.5%).
• Profit for the quarter grew 12% to SEK 293 million (261) and earnings per share were of SEK 2.42 (2.18).
• Bonds totalling SEK 1,000 million issued.
Our business model, which is based on acquisitions and development of stable and profitable companies in selected niches, continues to generate profitable growth. The market continues to be favourable, and earnings for the first quarter were stable.
The market situation continued to be favourable during the first quarter of 2018, with stable, high demand. Order intake during the quarter was good and increased by 14%, of which 3% was organic growth. Invoicing rose 10%, driven mainly by acquisitions. For comparable units, invoicing was even with the preceding year’s high level.
Results for the quarter were negatively affected by fewer invoicing days compared with a year ago due to the Easter holiday. The cold and snowy winter had a negative effect, as work conditions were challenging for some of our companies, especially those active in the building and construction industry – in the Nordic countries and to some extent also in the UK and Ireland. Some of our companies are being challenged by high capacity utilisation and longer delivery times among suppliers, which has also had a negative effect.
Order intake grew organically in six of our eight business areas and exceeded invoicing by 7%. Organic sales increased in six of our eight business areas. The lower sales in the Benelux business area is entirely attributable to significantly lower sales for one of the larger companies in the power generation/energy segment, but this is compared with high sales volume a year ago.
Overall the Group’s companies performed well during the quarter and achieved improved earnings. EBITA and earnings per share grew 11% compared with a year ago. The quarter’s EBITA margin of 11.6% is on par with the same period a year ago.
The restructuring that begun at the end of 2017 in the Sander Meson Group is continuing according to plan. The measures have involved consolidation of businesses, staff cuts and other activities aimed at strengthening long-term profitability.
In February we refinanced our operations by issuing two unsecured bonds worth SEK 1,000 million in total.
Our new organisational structure has been in place since the start of the year with an increased number of business areas and an expanded management team, which has further strengthened our business focus and is enabling continued profitable growth.
During the quarter we acquired Zijtveld Grijpers in the Netherlands. The company designs, manufactures and markets hydraulic grabs that are used in a wide range of industrial applications. We also carried out a few add-on acquisitions during the quarter.
Indutrade’s business model, which is based on decentralisation and entrepreneurship, appeals to many potential sellers of companies. The opportunities to acquire successful companies with similar values foundation as ours remain favourable.
We have had a good start to 2018, with a stable business climate and healthy underlying demand. Indutrade’s business model remains firm and gives us favourable prospects for continued positive development and to generate long-term sustainable, profitable growth.
Bo Annvik, President and CEO
This report will be commented upon as follows:
The interim report will be presented via a webcast at 3 p.m. (CET) on 26 April under the following link:
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The information in this report is such that Indutrade AB is obligated to make public in accordance with the EU Market Abuse Act and the Swedish Securities Market Act. The information was submitted for publication by the agency of the following contact persons at 2 p.m. (CET) on 26 April 2018.