Business Area Sweden & Poland accounted for 51 percent (52) of the Group’s net sales in 2019. The business area includes the Group’s operations in Sweden consisting of the companies BE Group Sverige and Lecor Stålteknik, as well as the Polish operations BE Group Poland. The roughly 2,000 customers in the construction and manufacturing 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 at additional six locations. The size and needs of the customers vary widely; the ten largest customers account for about 22 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 thin sheets are cut and split. The company is a modern Steel Service Center for processing of thin sheets with sales of SEK 814 M (838) in 2019.

Lecor Stålteknik offers finished prefabricated steel deliveries to construction projects, as well as bridges and industrial frames. The operations had sales of SEK 64 M (116) in 2019.

Sales and business performance

Net sales for the year decreased by 11 percent compared to last year, amounting to SEK 2,209 M (2,476). Operating result amounted to SEK 73 M (123). Adjusted for inventory gains and losses and items affecting comparability of SEK -5 M (19), the underlying operating result amounted to SEK 79 M (104).

The result weakened mainly due to the declining sales volumes and tonnage decreased by 10 percent compared to 2018. Lecor Stålteknik delivered a result of SEK -11 M (-6). The joint venture ArcelorMittal BE Group SSC AB is reported in accordance with the equity method, with the participation in earnings for the year amounting to SEK 3 M (4).

Continued development

In 2019, focus was on continuing to serve our customers in a dynamic manner, which contributed to dampening the effects of the economic decline. Many things have fallen into place internally, but the work of strengthening our margins will also continue in 2020. This will be achieved through active work to increase and clarify the values we create and price them correctly, but also by streamlining the purchase processes.

Key data 1) 2019 2018 %
Nyckeltal 1) 2019 2018 %
Shipped tonnage, thousands of tonnes Levererat tonnage, tusentals ton 168 187 -10%
Net sales, SEK M Nettoomsättning, MSEK 2,209 2,476 -11%
Operating result (EBIT), SEK M Rörelseresultat (EBIT), MSEK 73 123 -41%
Operating margin, % Rörelsemarginal, % 3.3 5.0 -1.7%
Underlying operating result (uEBIT), SEK M 2) Underliggande rörelseresultat (uEBIT), MSEK 2) 79 104 -24%
Underlying operating margin, % Underliggande rörelsemarginal, % 3.6 4.2 -0.6%
Investments, SEK M Investeringar, MSEK 17 16 6%
Average number of employees Medelantal anställda 340 338 0.6%
1) In the result, the intra-group expenses invoiced from the Parent Company have been eliminated. The effects regarding IFRS 16 have been reported under Parent Company & consolidated items and have not been allocated to the business areas.
2) Included as a part of BE Group’s alternative performance measures, see also Alternative performance measures.
Operating result (EBIT)
Underlying operating result 1)

1) 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 Alternative performance measures.