Ahlstrom Corp, Finland

Ahlstrom Corp, Finland

COMPANY WATCH Ahlstrom Corp, Finland Alfa Laval AB, Sweden Key Figures (E million) First quarter ended 31.3 2012 2011 Net Sales Of Which: Filtrat...

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COMPANY WATCH

Ahlstrom Corp, Finland

Alfa Laval AB, Sweden

Key Figures (E million) First quarter ended 31.3 2012

2011

Net Sales Of Which: Filtration

405.8

422.5

87.5

82.3

Cost of Goods Sold

347.3

364.9

Gross Profit

58.5

57.6

Operating Profit Of Which: Filtration

17.0

19.5

6.1

7.1

Profit before Taxes

12.4

14.3

7.8

8.3

Net Profit

Key Figures (SEK million) First quarter ended 31.3 2012

2011

Order Intake

7895

6455

Net Sales Of Which: Equipment Process Technology Marine & Diesel

6831

5899

2233 2778 1820

2193 2499 1207

Cost of Goods Sold

4324

3599

Gross Profit

2507

2300

158

150

1008

1050

735

726

R&D Costs Operating Income Net Income

COMMENT Ahlstrom has posted sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 of E405.8 million, down 3.9% on the E422.5 million of a year earlier. The company’s net profit was also down, falling 6.2% to E7.8 million. In the company’s Filtration segment, sales increased 6.3% on the 2011 comparator to E87.5 million, with the uplift attributed to higher selling prices and favourable currency effects. The segment’s revenues benefited from a recovery in North American transportation filtration markets, while advanced filtration sales such as gas turbine and water applications also rose. Operating profit for the Filtration segment excluding non-recurring items fell 23.2% to E6.3 million due to increased energy and raw material costs stemming from specialty pulps. Improved product mix had a positive impact. During the quarter, the segment also completed significant upgrades to its Global Filtration Technical Center in Turin, Italy. Despite the decline on a year earlier, Jan Lång, Ahlstrom’s president and CEO, was pleased with the quarter’s performance. “We had a good start to the year as our financial perfor-

May 2012

mance improved clearly from the end of 2011,” he said. “The operating environment remained challenging in our main markets, although it was somewhat better than we anticipated at the beginning of the year. The market development in Asia, however, has not been as positive as expected.” Lång said the work the company had done in streamlining its cost base, addressing underperforming businesses and gaining efficiencies in its supply chain had started to bear fruit. “We still have work ahead of us and we will continue to work vigorously on our key development programmes,” he said. Lång outlined five high priority programmes that Ahlstrom had identified to take it forward, namely: winning in Asia, anticipating and delivering on customer expectations, growing through differentiation, implementing a high performance culture and achieving an efficient supply chain. “To achieve our target in growing through differentiation, we have intensified the development of our technology base with unique features,” he added. ■ www.ahlstrom.com

COMMENT Swedish engineering group Alfa Laval had a positive first quarter of fiscal 2012 with order intake up 22.3% on a year earlier at SEK7895 million and sales 15.8% stronger at SEK6831 million, while net income edged 1.2% higher to SEK735 million. Excluding exchange rate variation, the growth in order intake was 20.9%, while net sales were 14.7% stronger compared with a year earlier. Lars Renström, Alfa Laval’s president and CEO, reported that demand in its Process Technology was solid with sales up 11.2% on the 2011 quarter at SEK2778 million and new orders 25.5% stronger at SEK3600 million, although operating income was down 4.4% at SEK501 million. “Particularly strong was the demand from the oil and gas industry and power generation,” he said. In the Equipment division, net sales rose 1.8% to SEK2233 million and orders crept up 1.0% to SEK2339 million, while operating income was down 13.6% at SEK286 million.

Alfa Laval reported in a third division, Marine & Diesel, for the first time during the quarter with the segment comprising most of the recently acquired Aalborg Industries together with other businesses and products previously assigned to the Equipment division. Alfa Laval reported net sales for the new division up 50.8% on the year earlier at SEK1820 million, with order intake up 53.9% at SEK1956 million and operating income 32.7% stronger at SEK369 million. “Most geographical regions showed good growth, with the best development in Central and Eastern Europe and North America,” Renström reported. Alfa Laval posted an operating result for the quarter of SEK1.1 billion, corresponding to an operating margin of 16.5%. “Compared to last year the operating margin was negatively affected by lower capacity utilisation in some factories and product mix, as well as higher overhead costs mainly through investments in sales resources in the BRIC countries,” Renström outlined. ■ www.alfalaval.com

Filtration Industry Analyst

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