From the CEO
April 28, 2017
A PROMISING START TO THE YEAR
We have every reason to be happy with our early-year performance both in terms of improving net sales and operating profit. Both were in line with our expectations. Our order intake, EUR 24 million, was relatively good, bearing in mind that it did not include any major individual projects. Our order book is still at a high level.
During the first quarter, demand for mid-sized investment projects was brisker than before. In addition to the high work load in Production, our Sales personnel have also been kept busy. Several new mill-scale projects are at the negotiation phase. The continued active demand for spare parts and maintenance bolsters our belief that our customers are in a good position. Modernizations is our only production area where demand has been slow. I suspect that this results in part from our customers' interest in new equipment acquisitions, emboldened by the market outlook. The strongest areas geographically speaking are currently the traditional developed markets. Demand has also continued to pick up in Russia.
At the end of March, we concluded negotiations on an acquisition and purchased the business of a company called Metriguard in the United States. The business transferred to us at the beginning of April. The acquired technology complements our offering in veneer and plywood industry raw material optimization, and combined with our machine vision technology, generates new opportunities for product development. We have become familiar with Metriguard's products over the years through the processes of several of our customers and we know that they are high-quality and are close to industry standard status. Moreover, we will be able to expand our offering to the sawmill industry and assist our new client base to optimize the value of their processes' raw materials. Metriguard precisely represents one of our strategy's growth areas and we are, as a result, thrilled to have gained this new opportunity. We are convinced that the acquisition is a positive arrangement for both Raute and Metriguard.
Thanks to a good start to the year, a strong order book and continued active demand, I am in no doubt that our net sales will grow and our operating profit will improve from the previous year.
President and CEO