• Net sales rose 14% during the first quarter, to SEK 1,731 million (1,525). For comparable units net sales fell 1%.
• Operating profit before amortisation of intangible assets (EBITA) decreased by 8% to SEK 161 million (175), and the EBITA margin was 9.3% (11.5).
• Profit after tax decreased by 13% to SEK 95 million (109).
• Earnings per share were SEK 2.38 (2.73) for the first quarter.
• The return on operating capital for the last 12 months was 33.2% (38.5).
We are currently experiencing the most dramatic and complex decline in the global economy since the 1930s. Starting in the real estate and financial sectors in the US in late 2007, the economic downturn has now spread to most industries around the world.
Indutrade has historically been affected less by economic fluctuations than many other companies, mainly owing to the industries and technology areas that we are exposed to. Indutrade has evolved in some respects since the last two economic downturns in the 1990s and 2000s. We have grown considerably, broadened our geographic markets and the market segments in which we work, and we now have a greater share of companies with own products and own production. During the first quarter of this year, Indutrade showed a similar pattern as during the previous economic downturns, which is proof that the strategic orientation we have chosen is right.
Within the Group, the views on the market development are varied. Companies that have the energy sector as their main market are experiencing continued strong growth, while companies that are exposed to commercial vehicles, for example, have been hurt by a significant drop in volume. Indutrade's largest businesses, comprising valves, measuring instruments, filters and pumps for the process industry and the municipal water and wastewater sector, are areas that have only to a minor extent been affected by the recession thus far. The need to repair, maintain and replace consumable parts is constant, regardless of the current state of the overall economy.
Despite considerable currency fluctuations, economic decline and changes in the product and customer mix during the quarter we achieved an EBITA margin of slightly more than 9% and only a slightly lower gross margin.
I am convinced that our decentralised business model, which is based on a clear market presence and clear profit responsibility among the subsidiaries as well as their employees, is the reason for this level of earnings.
The Indutrade companies that are experiencing lower sales volumes have initiated cost-cutting programmes. We will see the effects of these programmes gradually throughout the rest of the year.
We did not acquire any companies during the quarter. Candidates are out there, but we have chosen to put the acquisition process on hold until we see a stabilisation in the economy and market.
Johnny Alvarsson, President and CEO
This report will be commented upon on the web at the following links: