Stock Exchange release February 4, 2004 12:58:30 PM CET

METSO CORPORATION'S FINANCIAL STATEMENTS 2003: RESULT REMAINED AT A SIGNIFICANT LOSS

 
 
  • In 2003, Metso Corporation's net sales totaled EUR 4,250 million (EUR 4,691 million in 2002).
  • Operating profit before nonrecurring items and amortization of goodwill was EUR 133 million (EUR 251 million). After nonrecurring items and goodwill impairment, the operating loss was EUR 229 million (operating profit EUR 167 million in 2002).
  • Earnings per share was a negative EUR 1.89 (positive EUR 0.48 in 2002). Earnings per share for the fourth quarter of 2003 was EUR 0.47 (10-12/2002: EUR 0.35).
  • New orders worth EUR 4,256 million (EUR 4,646 million) were received. The Corporation's order backlog at the end of the year was EUR 1,505 million (EUR 1,589 million).
  • Gearing at the end of the year was 107.7 percent (118.5 percent on September 30, 2003).
  • The Board proposes to the Annual General Meeting to be held on April 6, 2004 that a dividend of EUR 0.20 per share (EUR 0.60 per share) be distributed.
The uncertainty of the global economy affected Metso's customer industries in Europe and North America. In Asia and particularly in the Chinese markets, investment activity continued to be lively. In the year's final quarter, the North American economy showed signs of recovery. The weakening of the U.S. dollar throughout the year was clearly reflected in Metso's operating environment and weakened the result and the competitiveness of products made in Europe.
The value of orders received by Metso was 8 percent lower than in 2002. However, calculated with the previous year's exchange rates, the value of orders received remained close to the previous year's level. Metso's order backlog at the end of the year was 5 percent less than at the end of 2002. The operating profit before nonrecurring items and amortization of goodwill was EUR 133 million, or 3.1 percent of net sales. The decline in operating profit was primary due to the strengthening of the euro, the lower margins in Metso Paper's large projects than in the comparison year, and the continuing tight competition in Metso Minerals' crushing and screening and minerals processing equipment markets. In 2003, Metso's operating loss was EUR 229 million, or 5.4 percent of net sales.
Measured by results, the year's final quarter was the best, due to increased delivery volumes and improved profitability in the core business areas.
The nonrecurring expenses of the efficiency improvement program were EUR 103 million. The program aims at an annual result improvement of more than EUR 100 million. Furthermore, a goodwill impairment of EUR 205 million was made in Metso Minerals, due to a continued demanding market situation in rock and minerals processing and exchange rate movements that were unfavorable to Metso Minerals.
Short-term outlook
The markets and demand for Metso's products are estimated to remain at the previous year's level in Europe, Asia and South America. In the North American markets, the demand for Metso Minerals' products is estimated to recover.
The practical implementation of measures relating to the ongoing efficiency improvement program will focus on 2004. The market situation and the weakening of the U.S. dollar challenges Metso's profitability performance. Metso's long-term profitability targets are not estimated to be reached within the next two years. In 2004, the primary focus in managing the Corporatation will be the decisive implementation of the efficiency improvement actions and on other measures to improve profitability and strengthen the balance sheet.
 
ATTACHMENT Metso Corporation's Financial Statements Review 2003
 
 
The full report including tables can be downloaded from the enclosed linki