From the CEO
April 27, 2018
FIRST QUARTER AS EXPECTED, ORDER INTAKE PARTICULARLY PLEASING
The start of the year was in line with our expectations. Net sales in the first quarter fell slightly short of the result of the comparison period, due to the scheduling of the order book, but operating profit improved somewhat. Even larger variations between quarters are the norm for Raute's business, and we expect to see the same this year, too.
Demand for our technology and services continues to be strong. The greatest demand in the first quarter was seen in the traditional industrialized markets, and especially in Europe the brisk demand continued. In emerging markets, demand has been more subdued and more focused on simple technology than before.
Active demand also materialized into orders. Two mill-scale orders, both LVL mill projects, raised the volume of our new orders to an excellent level. Even without these mill-scale orders, our volume of new orders was at a sustainable level. It is also pleasing to note that, for the first time in a while, one of these major orders was received from Asia. The first steps, considered to be of minor value at this stage, but important for the future, were a significant cooperation contract concluded with a Russian customer encompassing extensive maintenance services for several mills, and the first service contract based on Raute's IoT technology concluded with a European customer.
Our order book reached a new record of EUR 142 million. A significant proportion of the work is also scheduled for 2019. We have further increased our overall capacity and scheduled our deliveries in a way that allows us to serve our customers with reasonable delivery times also in the near future. A strong order book gives us the opportunity to focus on developing, within the framework of our resources, new technologies and customer relationships in emerging markets, where we have not managed to secure a position that is in line with our goals.
Our historically strong order book and continued brisk demand already secure this year's outlook and provide a glimpse into next year. We are enjoying good momentum in reaching our goals for this year. Raute's net sales and operating profit for 2018 are expected to be at the previous year's level.
President and CEO