Metso has issued a more positive outlook for 2017 based largely on improved trading conditions in its aggregates business.

The Finnish industrial group announced its financial results for 2016 today, with profits down by more than half compared to 12 months earlier after falls in both orders and sales.

But with its mining operations remaining weak despite a stable fourth quarter, the company has upgraded its expected demand for aggregates goods and services from “satisfactory” to “good”.

Operating profit totalled €227 million (US$244 million) compared to €555 million ($597 million) in 2015. Adjusted EBITA was €274 million ($295 million), down from €356 million ($383 million).

Sales, at just under €2.6 billion ($2.8 billion) fell by €337 million ($363 million) compared to the previous year.

The company reported: “Overall trading conditions are expected to be slightly better than in 2016.

“Demand for our products and services in 2017 is expected to remain weak for mining equipment, satisfactory for mining services, improve to good for aggregates equipment and services and remain satisfactory for flow control products.”

President and CEO Matti Kähkönen said:Our market outlook for 2017 illustrates some optimism, as we expect the market situation to be slightly better compared to 2016.

“The most prominent improvement, which started last year, seems to be taking place in the aggregates business.”

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