Husqvarna Group recently announced fourth-quarter 2012 and full-year 2012 revenues. Net sales in the fourth quarter declined 8 percent when adjusted for exchange rate effects to SEK 4.5 billion (about U.S. $708.8 million) from SEK 5.0 billion. The group reported an operating income loss of SEK 618 million (U.S. $97.9 million) compared to an operating income loss of SEK 236 million in the year-ago period.
Full-year net sales remained flat at SEK 30.8 billion (U.S. $4.9 billion) compared to SEK 30.4 billion for the full year 2011. Operating income for the 12-month period increased to SEK 1.62 billion (U.S. $255.8 million) from SEK 1.55 billion in the year-ago period. Earnings per share increased to SEK 1.78 (U.S. $0.28) from SEK 1.73 in 2011, and the board proposed a dividend of SEK 1.50 (U.S. $0.24) per share for 2012.
“Market conditions in Europe weakened significantly in the fourth quarter,” said Hans Linnarson, president and CEO. “Due to the macroeconomic uncertainty, trade partners were cautious about building inventory for the coming season. Sales of seasonal products such as snow throwers and chainsaws declined mainly as a result of the weak consumer demand. Sales were also negatively impacted by delays in some recently launched handheld products.
“For Americas, sales of forest and garden products were slightly lower in the quarter, which mainly was a result of soft demand for snow throwers. Although the operating loss for Americas decreased during the year, the work with measures to further improve the result continues. Construction continued to benefit from a positive development in North America. Operating income for the business area continued to improve, although sales in the quarter declined due to falling demand in markets outside of North America.”
Husqvarna noted that the near-term demand outlook for North America is positive, while the European markets are expected to remain challenging as the macroeconomic uncertainty remains.
The Husqvarna Group is a producer of outdoor power products including chainsaws, trimmers, lawn mowers and garden tractors. The Group is also a European leader in consumer watering products and one of the world leaders in cutting equipment and diamond tools for the construction and stone industries.