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Press release

Press release

AB Ångpanneföreningen (publ) Interim report January - March 2002

As a whole demand for the services of the ÅF Group, which fell steeply during the second half of 2001, has remained weak during the first quarter of the year. One shining exception is the construction industry, which explains why operations within areas related to HVAC & Sanitation Engineering continue to develop in a positive direction.

Notwithstanding the current situation, thanks to cost-saving measures and restraint with regards to increasing capacity, operating profit improved by SEK 10 million compared to the last quarter of 2001, after allowing for items affecting comparability. Sales were unchanged from the corresponding period in 2001. Capacity utilisation was 66 percent, as opposed to 67 percent in the fourth quarter of 2001.

Demand has been especially sluggish for consulting services in the telecom sector and the forest industry, two of the ÅF Group's biggest areas of expertise. The situation in the market for assignments relating to installations, on the other hand, remains favourable, which explains the good results for work within areas of technical expertise such as HVAC & Sanitation Engineering and Electrical Engineering & Instrumentation.

Although capacity utilisation for the reporting period scarcely reached up to the break-even point, various cost-cutting measures and rationalisations played their part in offsetting the fall in profits to keep the result as a whole a positive one. The organisation has been able to carry out the savings without undermining our ability to react swiftly and effectively to the rise in demand that is anticipated in the second half of the year.

Group profit after net financial items and proportions of associated companies' profits amounted to SEK 6 million (corresponding period in 2001: SEK 35 million). This gives a profit margin of 1.3 (7.2) percent and an operating margin of 1.9 (8.1) percent. These profits are charged with unrealised losses in the share portfolio of SEK 1.0 million, and have also been influenced by a bonus to ÅF Group staff calculated at SEK 1 (4) million. It should also be noted that the first quarter in 2002 contained two working days less than the corresponding period in 2001. The effect of this on results is approximately SEK 4 million.

Sales amounted to SEK 479 (478) million. Parent company sales totalled SEK 24 (27) million, and the result after net financial items was SEK -1.0 (-6.0) million. The number of employees (calculated as full-time equivalents) during the first quarter was 2,579 (2,444) including those in associated companies.

The ÅF Group's net worth, after a 20 percent standard tax deduction on the estimated surplus value of property was SEK 120 (126) per share. The fall in value was attributable chiefly to the dividend of SEK 13 per share paid out in 2001. Adjusted equity ratio was 47 (47) percent. Return on equity was 4.7 (16.8) percent.

At an extraordinary general meeting in January 2002 Eva-Lotta Kraft and Carl-Erik Nyquist were elected to the Board of Directors, while Hans Dalborg, Lars Westerberg and Anders Narvinger tendered their resignations. The members of the new board subsequently elected Carl-Erik Nyquist as Chairman.

Consulting business
Overall profit from consulting operations after net financial items totalled SEK 9 (42) million, with sales amounting to SEK 508 (510) million.

Stockholm, Sweden - 29 April 2002

Gunnar Grönkvist
Managing Director

This interim Report has not been reviewed by the company´s auditors.

Forthcoming activities
The Annual General Meeting of Shareholders will be held on 29 April 2002at 17.00 (5 pm).
13 August, Interim Report for the second quarter, 2002

The report is available in Swedish and English versions.

The full report including tables can be downloaded from the enclosed link.

For further information: <br>Gunnar Grönkvist, Managing Director and CEO, Tel. +46 (0)8-657 11 15 <br> <br>Kaj Sandart, Director, Corporate Information, Tel. +46 (0)8-657 11 85 ÅF Group