February 3, 2003
Stockholm, Sweden, February 3, 2003 - Today, the Atlas Copco Group reported fourth quarter order intake of MSEK 11,414 (12,343), affected by a 10% negative currency translation effect and corresponding to a volume increase of 2%. "We are pleased to end 2002 with a quarter of volume growth," says Gunnar Brock, President and CEO. "Generally, we have been growing in markets where there is still a high potential for us, like in China and Russia."
In the fourth quarter, revenues were MSEK 11,949 (13,117). Profit after financial items reached MSEK 1,254 (1,054), corresponding to a margin of 10.5% (8.0). The operating margin was 10.9% (11.8), excluding items affecting comparability. “Despite the major negative currency effect, caused by the weakening U.S. dollar, we succeeded in achieving a good operating margin.”
Full-year 2002 revenues reached MSEK 47,562 (51,139), a drop of 7%, corresponding to a 3% decline in volume. Profit after financial items was MSEK 4,481 (4,700), a margin of 9.4% (9.2), before a goodwill impairment charge of MSEK 6,950 recorded in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Compressor Technique business area continued to grow with repeatedly high operating margins.
There was no improvement in market demand for the Rental Service business area. Overall there was a slight rental volume decrease but on the positive side, a same store growth was achieved.
The Industrial Technique business area completed the first phase of the launch of the Milwaukee electric tool brand in Europe. An operating margin of 11% was achieved in the quarter.
The Construction and Mining Technique business area reported a volume growth in order intake also in this quarter.
Overall, the demand for Atlas Copco’s products and services is expected to remain unchanged during the coming quarter, but the political situation in the Middle East has increased the uncertainty.
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Atlas Copco is an international industrial Group with its head office in Stockholm, Sweden. In 2002, the Group had revenues of SEK 48 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.