February 2, 2005
Stockholm, Sweden, February 2, 2005: Today, Atlas Copco reported its fourth quarter results. Gunnar Brock, President and CEO comments, “The Group achieved a double-digit growth rate in all geographical regions. We have improved our market presence; both product sales and the aftermarket business have developed very favorably.”
In the fourth quarter, orders received increased 18% to MSEK 13 124 (11 141) corresponding to a volume growth of 12%. Revenues increased 13%, 8% in volume to MSEK 12 957 (11 473). The operating margin increased to 14.0% (12.8). Profit after financial items improved 31% to MSEK 1 804 (1 377), a margin of 13.9% (12.0). “All three industrial business areas reported strong results, and Rental Service had yet another quarter with a striking performance; it had the highest fleet utilization ever and continued rental rate increases.” In line with the strategy, Atlas Copco has in 2004 continued to acquire companies which are close to the core business: Guimerá, Spain; Ingersoll-Rand Drilling Solutions, USA; QQPMC, China; Baker Hughes Mining Tools, USA; Rotex, Finland; and Kolfor Plant, Great Britain. “The acquired units performed well and they contributed strongly to the results in the quarter. This is a result of the solid integration process and the prevailing good demand.” Thanks to the Group’s strong financial position, the Board of Atlas Copco AB proposes to the AGM a distribution of MSEK 6 078 to the shareholders. “Our ambitions and capabilities to grow and improve the Group’s performance will remain strong.” 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.” 2004 summary: In full-year 2004, revenue volume increased 8% to MSEK 48 654 (44 619). The operating profit margin was 13.8% (11.9). Profit after financial items was up 30% to MSEK 6 380 (4 913). Earnings per share reached SEK 20.30 (15.62). For further information please contact: Mattias Olsson, Investor Relations Manager +46 (0)8 743 8291 or +46 (0)70 518 8291 Annika Berglund, Senior Vice President Communications +46 (0)8 743 8070 or +46 (0)70 322 8070 Atlas Copco is an international industrial Group with its head office in Stockholm, Sweden. In 2004, the Group had revenues of approximately BSEK 49, with 98% of revenues outside Sweden, and about 27 000 employees. The Group produces and markets compressed air equipment and generators, construction and mining equipment, industrial tools, and assembly systems and offers related service and equipment rental. The Atlas Copco Group includes famous brands such as Atlas Copco, RSC, and CP. More information can be found on www.atlascopco-group.com.