Metso's Interim Review, January 1 - March 31, 2001: IMPROVED PROFITABILITY; INCREASED ORDER BACKLOG
- Metso Corporation's net sales for January-March were EUR 1,002 million (EUR 860 million in January-March, 2000).
- Operating profit was EUR 62 million (EUR 17 million).
- Income before extraordinary items and taxes was EUR 66 million (EUR 15 million).
- Earnings per share were EUR 0.32 (EUR 0.07).
- New orders totaling EUR 1,130 million (EUR 1,314 million) were received.
- The order backlog at the end of March was EUR 2,042 million (EUR 1,907 million on December 31, 2000).
Demand for Metso's products remained good in the January-March period. Market situation for Metso Paper remained good in Europe and South America. The growth in the business area's net sales was due to the delivery of large orders received earlier and the strengthening of service operations. Investment projects for new machines were pending mainly in China. The demand for Metso Minerals' products began to increase towards the end of the review period, with the exception of North America where it leveled off. The demand for Metso Automation's products continued to be brisk, particularly in Europe. In addition, there were signs of a pick up in certain Asian countries.
Profitability was clearly better than in the corresponding period last year in all business areas. The Corporation's operating profit percentage was 6.2 percent.
Metso received new orders at approximately the same level as in January-March last year. The order backlog at the end of March was 7 percent higher than at the end of 2000.
The public offer made by Metso in June 2000 for the acquisition of Svedala Industri AB, the Swedish manufacturer of rock and mineral processing equipment, was approved by the EU Commission. The deal can be closed when clearance has also been received from the US Federal Trade Commission and Metso has became the owner of more than 90 percent of Svedala's share capital. Metso has extended the offer's acceptance period until June 1, 2001.
The short-term market situation is estimated to continue as mainly favorable for Metso, despite uncertainty factors related to the development of the global economy. Metso's profitability is expected to improve this year compared with 2000, based on the good order backlog at the end of March and on the fact that the synergy benefits and cost savings of the merger that created Metso will be fully realized in 2001.
The full report including tables can be downloaded from the enclosed link