Atlas Copco this week reported revenues in the fourth-quarter 2010 increased 22 percent to SEK 19.40 billion (about U.S. $3.03 billion) from SEK 15.94 billion in the year-ago quarter. Operating profit increased to a new record of SEK 4.01 billion (U.S. $625.8 million), corresponding to an operating margin of 20.7 percent, from SEK 2.45 billion, including restructuring costs of SEK 80 million in the fourth quarter of 2009.
Order intake increased 27 percent to SEK 19.37 million (U.S. $3.03 billion) from SEK 15.28 billion a year ago, an organic growth of 28 percent.
"We can look back at 2010 with pride,” said Ronnie Leten, president and CEO of the Atlas Copco Group. “We have strengthened our position in the market and accomplished strong results. We continue to invest in our operations to stay fit for even more profitable growth. One example is the substantial investment of almost half a billion Swedish kronor to increase production capacity and efficiency of rock drilling tools in Fagersta, Sweden. Another is the big investment in a new R&D center in Nanjing, China, which was approved today. The updated goals show our focus on all aspects of sustainable development, including a strong commitment to continued growth and high profitability.”
The group aims for an annual revenue growth of 8 percent over a business cycle and an increased dividend payout ratio. The near-term overall demand for the group’s products and services is expected to increase somewhat, the company said. The demand in the emerging markets as well as from the mining industry is expected to stay strong. Some mature markets, like North America, are expected to continue the recent improvement.
Atlas Copco’s board of directors proposed a dividend of SEK 4.00 and a mandatory redemption of SEK 5.00 per share.
Atlas Copco, Stockholm, Sweden, is an industrial group with leading positions in compressors, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems.