From the CEO
May 3, 2019
STRONG DEMAND CONTINUED
We started the year with a strong order book. It helped us to achieve high net sales that reflected growth of roughly 17 percent compared to the same period last year. The number of new orders was at a reasonable level, especially considering that the new orders did not include major mill-scale orders. Despite the growth in net sales, our operating profit fell slightly short of last year's level. This was due to some exceptional cost items during the period under review that are highlighted further by the positive items that we recorded during the comparison period.
Demand for Raute's technology and services continued to be strong. Demand remained the strongest in the traditional industrialized markets of Europe, Russia and North America. I am particularly confident with respect to Russia where the progress in negotiations on a few projects is quite promising now. The bulk of demand is shifting to the emerging markets, to South America and Asia. Within the industrialized markets, the focal point is shifting to a new customer base, to smaller customers and some that are new to the industry.
The volume of new orders, EUR 32 million, can be considered reasonable, since the orders during the period under review mainly consisted of smaller contracts. In terms of technology services, the volume of orders for basic services, spare parts and maintenance, in particular, grew strongly. Modernization project orders, however, remained at a low level.
Our order book is still historically strong, even though the order book's decline from the record level of last year has continued steadily for a year now. Some of the order book is already scheduled for 2020, which means our future outlook is exceptionally clear. Our current level of orders and capacity allows us to serve our customers according to normal delivery times and thus help them implement their plans.
Thanks to a strong order book and continued active demand, Raute is in a good position to continue the good development that has continued for four years now and reach its targets for this year. We estimate that both Raute's net sales and result will be at last year's level.
President and CEO