Husqvarna AB (STO:HUSQB):
Kai Wärn, President and CEO:
“2016 has started in line with our expectations with pre-season demand slightly higher than last year. The operating income continued to be positively impacted by favorable product mix development as well as a successful execution of efficiency improvements and cost reductions. All in all, the operational improvements have more than offset the currency headwind of around SEK -215m as well as the additional costs related to profitable growth initiatives. The operating income increased with SEK 54m to SEK 1,166m (1,112) for the first quarter and the operating margin improved to 10.3% (10.2).
Sales in the Husqvarna Division increased 4% adjusted for currency, with a continued strong sales trend for robotic lawn mowers. The favorable product mix development was offset by adverse currency impact, and consequently the operating income was somewhat lower at SEK 844m (897). The Gardena Division is off to a strong start of the year with sales growing 17% adjusted for currency. Demand was driven by low retail trade inventory levels following the strong end of last year’s season and our growth ambitions in respect of geography, channel and new product introductions such as the Gardena Smart Garden. Operating income for the division rose to SEK 226m (204).
Consumer Brands continued to focus on their turn-around. Several important steps have been taken and encouraging signs were seen in the first quarter. Sales stabilized after prior year’s decline which was driven by the value before volume strategy. Operating income rose to SEK 64m (-11) with a corresponding margin of 1.9% (-0.3), despite unfavorable currency impact of almost SEK -55m.
The Construction division continued to capitalize on its market leading portfolio of products and services, as well as the recent investments in market and sales structure. Growth in the first quarter was 6% adjusted for currency, resulting in an increase of operating income to SEK 89m (74) and the corresponding margin widening to 9.2% (8.0).
The priority for the Group during the remainder of the year will be to offset both the currency headwind and to finance the profitable growth initiatives by operational improvements.”
January - March 2016
· Net sales amounted to SEK 11,361m (10,928), an increase of 5% adjusted for changes in exchange rates.
· Operating income improved to SEK 1,166m (1,112).
· Changes in exchange rates impacted operating income negatively by around SEK -215m.
· Net debt decreased to SEK 8,254m (10,172) and the net debt/equity ratio improved to 0.60 (0.79).
· Earnings per share decreased to SEK 1.32 (1.37).
A combined press and telephone conference, hosted by Kai Wärn, President and CEO, and Jan Ytterberg, CFO, will be held at Husqvarna Group’s office, Regeringsgatan 28, Stockholm at 10:00 CET on April 21, 2016. To participate, please dial +46 (0) 8 5033 6434 (Sweden) or +44 (0) 8444933800 (UK) ten minutes prior to the start of the conference. The conference call will also be audio cast live on www.husqvarnagroup.com/ir (http://www.husqvarna.com/ir). A replay will be available later the same day.
This interim report comprises information which Husqvarna is required to disclose under the Securities Markets Act and/or the Financial Instruments Trading Act. It was released for publication at 08:00 CET on April 21, 2016.
Husqvarna Group is a world leading producer of outdoor power products for garden, park and forest care. Products include chainsaws, trimmers, robotic lawn mowers and ride-on lawn mowers. The Group is also the European leader in garden watering products and a world leader in cutting equipment and diamond tools for the construction and stone industries. The Group’s products and solutions are sold under brands including Husqvarna, Gardena, McCulloch, Poulan Pro, Weed Eater, Flymo, Zenoah and Diamant Boart via dealers and retailers to consumers and professionals in more than 100 countries. Net sales in 2015 amounted to SEK 36 billion and the Group has more than 13,000 employees in 40 countries.
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