Stockholm, Sweden-based Atlas Copco achieved significant order growth of 22 percent and a good operating margin in the first quarter of 2010, as demand increased from most customer segments and in all regions. Revenues in the quarter decreased 8 percent to SEK 15.3 billion (about U.S. $2.1 billion) from SEK 16.6 billion (U.S. $2.3 billion) in the same period a year ago.
Operating profit increased to SEK 2.6 billion (U.S. $357.9 million) from SEK 2.2 billion (U.S. $302.9 million) a year ago corresponding to an operating margin of 17.2 percent (14.5 percent the previous year, adjusted for restructuring costs). Basic earnings per share in the first quarter were SEK 1.53 (U.S. $0.21) a 26-percent increase from SEK $1.13 (U.S. $0.15) a year ago.
“We have seen a clear recovery in orders, both sequentially and compared to the low level 12 months ago, much as a result of our broad geographical exposure,” said Ronnie Leten, president and CEO of the Atlas Copco Group “It is also pleasing that our efficiency measures have worked so well, and we achieved a solid profit for the period.
“The upturn was most pronounced for mining equipment, but demand for industrial and construction equipment also improved and we recorded double-digit order growth in all business areas. The general demand development was encouraging in North America and especially good in markets such as India, China, and Brazil, while Europe remains weak.”
The overall demand for the group’s products and services is expected to improve somewhat from current levels. Demand in most emerging markets is foreseen to develop favorably in all business areas. Demand in North America is expected to increase gradually, whereas Europe is expected to remain largely unchanged.
Two acquisitions were finalized during the quarter; a compressor distributor in Louisiana and Quincy Compressor.
“We are very happy to now have these companies on board,” Leten said. “They strongly complement our existing business. Our brand promise, sustainable productivity, highlights that we take a long-term perspective in all our business activities. We will build on this fact to make Atlas Copco an even more attractive supplier, partner, employer and investment case.”
Atlas Copco is an industrial group with global positions in compressors, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems.