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February 14, 2000
In the last quarter of 1999, the Atlas Copco Group increased its order intake, corresponding to volume gain of 9 percentage points for comparable units. "The strong recovery in most Asian economies was positive. It was the highlight of the year," said Giulio Mazzalupi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Atlas Copco. "Also, we have seen increased activity in the mining industry and in infrastructure projects, resulting in important key orders."
Atlas Copco's order intake for 1999 was 11 percent higher than in 1998, representing a volume increase of 1 percent. “The upturn in orders received in the fourth quarter brought us up to full-year level that is slightly higher than last year's.” Revenues were up 7 percent, to SEK 36,234 m., while volumes were 2 percent lower. The profit margin was 9.4 percent for the full period, including non-recurring items.
“During the year, activity aimed at launching more important Internet and e-commerce projects accelerated. We have defined our policy and identified common standards.”
Atlas Copco operates through two divisions in the growing equipment rental business in the United States: Rental Service Corporation (RSC) and Prime Service. “The Rental Service business area achieved a real volume increase of 12 percent in the quarter on a pro forma basis, reflecting growth in line with market trends”, Mazzalupi says. “We expect this growth to continue in the year 2000.”
The overall demand for Atlas Copco's products and services is expected to improve in the near term. “We foresee the rapid recovery in Asia continuing, which is very promising for our business. However, growth in Europe is still shy, and increased production levels have not yet been matched by corresponding improvements in capital investments.”
Atlas Copco is an international group of industrial companies with its head office in Stockholm, Sweden. In 1999, the Group had revenues of SEK 36 billion, with 98 percent of revenues outside Sweden, and over 26,000 employees. Atlas Copco companies develop, manufacture, and market electric and pneumatic tools, compressed air equipment, construction and mining equipment, assembly systems, and offer related service and equipment rental. Additional information about Atlas Copco is available at the Group's web site, www.atlascopco.com, which provides access to current news about the Company.
Atlas Copco Group
Summary of January-December 1999 Results
More detailed information on financial performance for the first nine months is published in the interim report for the period.
The interim report on the Atlas Copco Group's operations for January - March 2000 will be published on April 27, 2000.
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