February 2, 2005
Strong order growth in Q4 - proposed split and distribution to shareholders of MSEK 6 078
· Order received up 18%, corresponding to volume growth of 12%. · Revenues reached MSEK 12 957 (11 473), up 8% in volume. · Operating profit margin increased to 14.0% (12.8). · Profit after financial items increased 31% to MSEK 1 804 (1 377) · Net profit increased to MSEK 1 192 (937) and earnings per share to SEK 5.69 (4.47). · Operating cash flow totaled MSEK 1 198 (1 292). · Proposed 4:1 split and distribution to shareholders of SEK 29.00 per share through - annual dividend for 2004, SEK 9.00 (7.50) per share and - extra distribution of SEK 20.00 per share through mandatory redemption. · The electric tools business divested on January 3, 2005 for a total price of MSEK 4 705. Note: All comparative figures are for the fourth quarter of 2003, unless otherwise stated.Near-term demand outlook The demand for Atlas Copco's products and services is expected to remain at current high level during the beginning of 2005. Demand from manufacturing and process industries is expected to be stable at the current favorable level in North America and Europe. Demand from those customer segments in Asia is expected to grow. Activity in the construction industry is expected to increase modestly in North America and in most developing countries, while the demand in Europe remains relatively weak. Demand from the mining industry is expected to remain strong.