Stockholm, Sweden-based Atlas Copco last week announced record profitability and continued strong demand from the mining, construction, manufacturing and process industries, in all geographical areas. First-quarter 2007 revenues were SEK 13.39 billion (about U.S. $1.99 billion), a 12-percent increase from SEK 11.95 billion (U.S. $1.78 billion) in the same period in 2006. Operating profit was SEK 2.54 billion (U.S. $377.8 million), a 21-percent increase from SEK 2.10 billion (U.S. $311.7 million) in the year-ago period.
“This is our 20th straight quarter of volume growth, and we are continuing to strengthen our market presence,” said president and CEO Gunnar Brock. “In the near term, we expect that demand from most customer segments will remain at the current high level.”
Basic and diluted earnings per share were SEK 2.98 (U.S. $0.44), compared with SEK 2.83 (U.S. $0.42) in the first quarter of 2006.
“We took several measures during the first quarter to further strengthen the market organization, for example by opening new customer centers in Pakistan and Tanzania,” Brock said. “Atlas Copco also expanded manufacturing capacity in many locations to meet the increase in orders, and today the company announced an investment of MSEK 224 (U.S. $33.3 million) at its drill steel factory in Fagersta, Sweden.
“Selective acquisitions will continue to be part of the group’s growth strategy. The purchase of Dynapac, announced in February, is making Atlas Copco a leading supplier of compaction and paving equipment for road development, and the acquisition of Greenfield improves the offering of compressors aimed at the natural gas vehicles market. The Dynapac deal is expected to be closed in the second quarter.”
The board of directors approved a dividend of SEK 4.75 per share (U.S. $0.70) effective May 2, to shareholders of record. Dividends are estimated to be distributed on May 7.
Atlas Copco is a global provider of industrial productivity solutions. The products and services range from compressed air and gas equipment, generators, construction and mining equipment, industrial tools and assembly systems, to related aftermarket and rental.