Atlas Copco expects demand to weaken

By Helen Wright03 February 2012

Swedish equipment manufacturer Atlas Copco reported solid results for 2011, with revenues up 16% year-on-year at SEK81.2 billion (€9.2 billion) and net profit up 31% year-on-year at SEK12.9 billion (€1.5 billion).

Nevertheless, the company said it expected overall demand for its products and services to weaken this year, compared to the current high level.

President and CEO Ronnie Leten said, "We have a good starting point but a challenging task ahead - the global outlook is difficult to predict and we will continue seeking long- and short-term growth opportunities."

The company - which last year split its construction and mining technique division into two separate groups - said sales of construction equipment rose in 2011, compared to 2010.

Revenues in the construction technique division grew 12% in 2011 to SEK12.9 billion (€1.5 billion), while the division's operating profit jumped 20% year-on-year to SEK1.5 billion (€165 million).

Despite the positive headline figures, Atlas Copco said overall demand for most types of construction equipment had weakened.

"A negative development was seen for road construction equipment and construction tools, but not for portable compressors and generators. Order intake was weak in Asia and South America, but was relatively strong in North America, which was positively impacted by orders from equipment rental companies," it said.

Nevertheless, demand for aftermarket services developed favourably and strong sales growth was recorded in all major regions, with North America performing particularly well, according to the company.

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