Stock Exchange release April 2, 2008 02:00:00 PM CET
Metso Annual General Meeting, April 2, 2008: President and CEO Jorma Eloranta's review
At Metso Corporation's Annual General Meeting, which was opened today at 3:00 p.m., President and CEO Jorma Eloranta estimated in his review that Metso's profitable growth will continue also in 2008: "Both our net sales and our profit were on target in January-February, supporting this year's performance estimate announced in conjunction with the February publication of our financial statements."
"In February, we announced our 2008 net sales growth guidance of about 10 percent on the previous year, at comparable exchange rates, and an operating profit margin level of about 10 percent."
Demand for Metso's products and services has continued favorably in the first months of the year. "As we stated in February, general uncertainty about the growth of the global economy may, however, have an impact on the timing of certain customer projects. In fact, the early-year start-up of a few pulp and paper industry projects has been postponed, but this gives no reason to change the positive general assessment of the market situation," Eloranta says.
In his address, Eloranta emphasized Metso's renewal in recent years. "Last year, 43 percent of our orders received came from emerging markets. It is only a matter of time until these markets generate half our net sales. Our services business has also developed favorably. It currently accounts for 33 percent of Metso's net sales, and we are targeting annual growth of over 10 percent."
Eloranta also highlighted the importance of the energy industry to Metso: Last year, already 17 percent of orders received came from this customer segment. In the longer term, our environmental technology know-how will further strengthen our growth. "New market areas, services and customer segments offer us significant opportunities for organic growth. Our capital expenditure plan for 2008 - more than 200 million euros - primarily targets the strengthening of these growth areas. We are investing particularly in increasing our presence in the markets with the strongest growth. Even after the investments, our balance sheet will be solid enough to carry out value-enhancing complementary acquisitions, should the opportunity arise."
Metso is a global engineering and technology corporation with 2007 net sales of approximately EUR 6.25 billion. Its almost 27,000 employees in approximately 50 countries serve customers in the pulp and paper industry, rock and minerals processing, the energy industry and selected other industries.
For additional information:
Jorma Eloranta, President and CEO, Metso Corporation, tel. +358 20 484 3000
Olli Vaartimo, Executive Vice President and CFO, Metso Corporation, tel. +358 20 484 3010
It should be noted that certain statements herein which are not historical facts, including, without limitation, those regarding expectations for general economic development and the market situation, expectations for customer industry profitability and investment willingness, expectations for company growth, development and profitability and the realization of synergy benefits and cost savings, and statements preceded by "expects", "estimates", "forecasts" or similar expressions, are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current decisions and plans and currently known factors. They involve risks and uncertainties which may cause the actual results to materially differ from the results currently expected by the company.
Such factors include, but are not limited to:
(1) general economic conditions, including fluctuations in exchange rates and interest levels which influence the operating environment and profitability of customers and thereby the orders received by the company and their margins
(2) the competitive situation, especially significant technological solutions developed by competitors
(3) the company's own operating conditions, such as the success of production, product development and project management and their continuous development and improvement
(4) the success of pending and future acquisitions and restructuring.
Executive Vice President and CFO
Vice President, Corporate Communications
OMX Nordic Exchange in Helsinki