The business continues to deliver growth and improved profitability
Statement from the CEO
The business continued to deliver growth and improved profitability in the fourth quarter. Net sales increased by 5 percent and the result improved significantly, mainly driven by tonnage growth and improved profitability in the production businesses in Sweden and Poland and despite temporarily increased production and material cost in the Finnish business. The distribution businesses in our main markets are doing better and we see that our focus on improvement activities is having an effect.
The steel prices stabilized in line with the previous quarter which resulted in lower inventory gains compared to last year. Altogether, the operating result increased and it was positive that the cash flow from operating activities recovered as expected after the relatively weak development in the first three quarters. As a result, the balance sheet is increasingly stronger and the net debt/equity ratio has decreased to 49 percent (60).
Tonnage and sales growth
Demand in our main markets remains satisfying. During the
quarter, we had a good tonnage growth in business area Sweden & Poland while Finland & Baltics was in line with last year.
For the full-year, we have seen a similar trend where growth primarily comes from business area Sweden & Poland while Finland & Baltics remains at the same level as in 2017. For the full year, the Group shows a total sales growth of 10 percent.
Demand in the next quarter is expected to remain strong in the company’s main markets while steel prices stay on the same level as those seen in the fourth quarter. Continued cost control and improvement measures are expected to continue to strengthen the Group’s profitability.
President and CEO
Bridge 2017-2018 operating result SEK M
|Brygga resultatutveckling 2017–2018. MSEK||Q1||Q2||Q3||Q4||jan-dec|
|Operating result 2017||Rörelseresultat 2017||46||-13||19||5||57|
|Reversal of inventory gains (-)/losses (+)|| |
Återläggning lagervinster (-)/förluster (+)
|Items affecting comparability||Jämförelsestörande poster||–||42||–||10||52|
|Underlying operating result 2017|| |
Underliggande rörelseresultat 2017
|Change in sales||Försäljningsförändring||13||22||20||8||63|
|Change in underlying gross margin|| |
|Change in overhead costs||Omkostnadsförändring||1||-10||-5||2||-12|
|Underlying operating result 2018|| |
Underliggande rörelseresultat 2018
|Reversal of inventory gains (+)/losses (-)|| |
Återläggning lagervinster (+)/förluster (-)
|Items affecting comparability||Jämförelsestörande poster||–||-16||–||4||-12|
|Operating result 2018||Rörelseresultat 2018||55||22||33||22||132|
Items affecting comparability in Q2 2018 is related to the exit of the operations in Prerov, Czech Republic, SEK -9 M is affecting the Group’s consolidated statement of comprehensive income while SEK -7 M refers to translation differences from previous fiscal years.