Stockholm, Sweden, February 14, 2002 - "2001 was a good year for Atlas Copco, especially considering the business conditions, and we generated record cash flow and earnings per share," says Giulio Mazzalupi, President and CEO of the Atlas Copco Group. "We saw a volume drop in the latter part of the year and foresee this trend continuing in the first quarter of 2002."
In the fourth quarter, revenues increased to MSEK 13,117 (12,842), and profit after financial items totaled MSEK 1,054, including restructuring costs of MSEK 200. Excluding items affecting comparability, the operating margin was 11.8% (14.4). All business areas except Rental Service performed well.
In the Rental Service business area, total revenues for the quarter decreased 10% by volume year-on-year. Rental revenues were down 15% by volume, affected by a slowdown in demand as the non-residential building sector declined sharply and the level of industrial activity was low. “Another reason for weaker rental revenues was that we lost some presence in the market and were underrepresented in high potential areas,” Mazzalupi comments. “We have recognized these problems and implemented actions. The whole organization is 100% focused on increasing rental revenues and market shares.”
Atlas Copco achieved a full-year result in line with the preceding year’s, despite worsening business conditions in the latter part of 2001. “We have strengthened our competitive position for key product ranges. Also, after-market activities are still developing positively for Compressor Technique, Construction and Mining Technique, and Industrial Technique.”
The Group has a target of 8% average annual revenue growth over a business cycle. This growth should be achieved through a combination of organic growth and complementary acquisitions. “In the fourth quarter, we acquired the Dutch compressor manufacturer Grassair, and we have other acquisitions under way. Among those are the acquisition of a manufacturer of hydraulic demolition tools, a compressor manufacturer, and a rock reinforcement company.”
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Atlas Copco is an international industrial Group with its head office in Stockholm, Sweden. In 2001, the Group had revenues of SEK 51 billion (EUR 5.4 billion), with 98% of revenues outside Sweden, and close to 26,000 employees. The Group produces and markets compressed air equipment and generators, construction and mining equipment, electric and pneumatic tools, and assembly systems and offers related service and equipment rental. The Atlas Copco Group includes famous brands such as Atlas Copco, RSC, Milwaukee Electric Tool, Chicago Pneumatic, and AEG Power Tools. More information can be found on the web site: www.atlascopco-group.com.