- Metso Corporation's net sales in January-March totaled EUR 983 million (1-3/2002: EUR 1,111 million).
- New orders worth EUR 1,425 million (EUR 1,291 million) were received. The order backlog totaled EUR 1,974 million in the end of March (EUR 1,932 million).
- Operating profit before nonrecurring items and amortization of goodwill was EUR 11.7 million (EUR 46.7 million). The operating profit was EUR 5.3 million (EUR 30.9 million).
- Income before extraordinary items and income taxes for January-March was negative EUR 13 million (positive EUR 14 million). Earnings per share were negative EUR 0.09 (positive EUR 0.04).
- Gearing at the end of March was 79.5 percent (80.6 at end of 2002).
Metso's market environment continued to be uncertain during the first quarter. In addition to a low level of volumes, the result was burdened by under-utilization of production capacity, a stronger euro and tough price competition in some product segments in the uncertain markets.
The Corporation's net sales were EUR 983 million: 36 percent came from the deliveries of Metso Paper, 38 percent from Metso Minerals, 13 percent from Metso Automation, 8 percent from Metso Ventures and 5 percent from the Converting group. Aftermarket and maintenance services accounted for 37 percent of Metso's net sales.
"Despite the uncertain market situation in the first quarter, the value of new orders received by Metso increased by over one third compared with the last quarter of 2002, and the Corporation's order backlog strengthened from the year-end" says Tor Bergman, President and CEO of Metso Corporation.
Metso's market environment is expected to continue uncertain. In the Chinese market, uncertainty has been increased due to the possible economic impacts of the spreading SARS epidemic. Demand for new paper production lines is expected to continue to recover slowly. Metso Minerals' second quarter is expected to be clearly better than the first quarter.
Renewing Metso Paper's operating model, moving Metso Minerals' focus to utilize its strengthened position after the accomplishment of the integration and concentrating Metso Automation on its core competences are estimated to improve Metso's profitability.
The strengthened order backlog compared with the year-end and completed and ongoing actions to streamline the cost structure create a basis for profitability remaining on last year's level.
ATTACHMENT: Metso Corporation's Interim Review for January-March 2003
The full report including tables can be downloaded from the link below.