|Key data||2017||2016 3)|
|Shipped tonnage, thousands of tonnes||172||166|
|Net sales, SEK M||2,094||1,813|
|Change compared to previous year, %||15||-7|
|Operating result (EBIT), SEK M 1)||78||55|
|Operating margin, %||3.7||3.0|
|Underlying operating result (uEBIT), SEK M 2)||72||45|
|Underlying operating margin, %||3.4||2.5|
|Investments, SEK M||10||4|
|Average number of employees||312||310|
1) The operating result 2017 has been impacted by items affecting comparability of SEK -7 M (-3).
2) Included as a part of BE Group’s alternative performance measures, see also tab Alternative performance measures.
3) BE Group Produktion Eskilstuna has been reported under Parent Company & consolidated items since the fourth quarter of 2017. Comparative numbers have been restated.
Business area Sweden & Poland accounted for 48 percent (47) of BE Group’s net sales in 2017. This business area includes the Group’s operations in Sweden consisting of the companies BE Group Sverige and Lecor Stålteknik, as well as the Polish operation BE Group Poland. The roughly 2,000 customers in the manufacturing and construction industries receive deliveries from warehouse and production facilities in Malmö, Kungälv and Norrköping in Sweden and Trebaczew in Southern Poland. In addition to these facilities, BE Group Sweden has local sales offices in a total of seven cities. The size and needs of the customers vary widely; the ten largest customers account for about 24 percent of the business area’s sales. Local presence, a high level of service and good understanding of customers are prerequisites for serving the market. The competitors in the market include SSAB-owned Tibnor and Stena Stål, which is a part of the Stena Group.
BE Group owns 50 percent of the company ArcelorMittal BE Group SSC AB in Karlstad, a steel service center where metal coils are cut and slit.
Sales and business performance
Net sales for the year increased by 15 percent compared with the previous year, and amounted to SEK 2,094 M (1,813). The operating result amounted to SEK 78 M (55). Adjusted for inventory gains of SEK 13 M (14) and items affecting comparability of SEK -7 M (-3), the underlying operating result was SEK 72 M (45).
Tonnage in the distribution business in Sweden increased by 4 percent compared with the previous year and contributed to significantly improved result. The higher underlying result for the business area is mainly attributable to the continued price increase of steel. The joint venture ArcelorMittal BE Group SSC is reported in accordance with the equity method and the participation in earnings for the year amounted to SEK 11 M (8).
In 2017, focus has been on continuing to serve our customers in a professional manner, which provided positive effects in the form of higher sales and profit. The continued recovery we have seen in prices during the year has also resulted in inventory gains. Many things have fallen into place internally, but the work of strengthening our margins will also continue in 2018. This will be accomplished through active work to increase and clarify the values we create and price them correctly, but also by streamlining the purchase processes. Altogether, this should lead to us achieving our goal of growing more than the market in 2018 and that we do so with retained or better margins.
The investments in the form of upgrades of the existing cutting line and an entirely new slitting line for metal coils in our joint venture ArcelorMittal BE Group SSC, have meant that we during the year were able to offer better quality and a broader product offering to our customers. With this, we expect continued good growth and a positive profitability development in the company.
* Comparative numbers have been restated with regards to BE Group Produktion Eskilstuna.
** Underlying operating result (uEBIT) is the reported operating result (EBIT) before items affecting comparability and adjusted for inventory gains and losses (deductions for gains and additions for losses). See also tab Alternative performance measures.