From the CEO
July 31, 2019
UNCERTAINTY IN THE MARKETS
In the first six months of the year, we kept pace with last year in terms of net sales. We fell short of our targets, however, which was caused by the scheduling of orders and the postponement of a few expected new orders.
Uncertainty in our customers' markets has increased, causing delays in the start-up of some projects that are in the negotiating phase. Many of our traditional customers are still paying off the investments they made in previous years. Demand right now is focused on major new capacity projects, but also on services and minor improvements. Mid-sized projects account for an exceptionally low share of offers and orders. The low number of these projects is causing fluctuations in our order intake. I consider the volume of our new orders in the second quarter, EUR 26 million, to be a reasonable achievement considering the market situation, and I am pleased with the stable growth in the number of technology service orders and net sales.
In terms of our operating profit, we are roughly a million euros behind last year's corresponding figure. Some of this development has been a planned effort in order to enable our future success. Some of the poor development of the result in relation to net sales is explained by the extra costs of a few delayed projects.
Our order book at the end of June, EUR 72 million, was still at a historically strong level, despite having decreased consistently for over a year now. The scheduling of our order book now spans an exceptionally long period, giving us the opportunity to plan our operations well into the future. At the same time, we will also be able to respond to the needs of our customers who demand quick deliveries and help them to seize the opportunities offered by their own markets.
Uncertainty in the markets caused delays in order intake and in the delivery of a few of our projects, as a result of which we had to downgrade the projections of our net sales and result for this year. We are nevertheless moving forward with determination and seeking new opportunities to help our customers in their business in order to get as close as we can to last year's record performance.
President and CEO