A strong end to a successful year
The fourth quarter was a strong end to a year of profit growth in all four of our business areas. The business situation has improved and we have strengthened our positions in the majority of our markets. Our strong profit growth and improved operating margin come from increased sales of our products and solutions combined with successful efficiency work. In addition, the acquisitions we have completed contributed as expected.
Exceeds Financial targets
Thanks to both our strong organic growth of 10 percent and favourable contributions from acquisitions, our sales grew by 19 percent in the fourth quarter. EBITA increased by 35 percent, and we achieved an EBITA margin of 10 percent.
If we look at the development during the year, we are pleased to note that we have reached our financial targets of growth combined with profitability. We increased sales by 17 percent, EBITA by 34 percent, and achieved an EBITA margin of 10 percent. Return on working capital was 53 percent, and return on equity was 28 percent.
Addtech's market development
Half of Addtech’s sales consist of sales of production components to manufacturing companies and half consist of sales of products and solutions to end-customers. The latter part has grown more rapidly during the year, driven by the increase in infrastructure investments among Nordic electricity network companies. The pace of investment is high, and it is difficult to assess whether it will continue to rise. The energy customer segment also includes the wind power industry, which has had rising demand during the year and the quarter. Investments in oil and gas remain at a low level, but we believe that the lowest point has passed.
Dynamisk graf: Sales by customer segment
Dynamisk graf: Sales by geographic market
Demand for production components increased overall during the quarter, and the business situation was good in most customer segments, such as mechanical industry, electronics and medical technology. The largest growth in demand comes from manufacturers of special vehicles in segments such as forklift trucks, mining, the forest industry and construction. Business from telecom customers remained weak. Sales of products to the industrial aftermarket, such as the mechanical industry and the forest and process industries showed positive development in the Nordics and the rest of Europe. Demand from the shipping market was very good during the quarter. The business situation stayed positive for electricity-related products in building and installation.
Our pace of acquisitions remains high, and we completed a total of ten acquisitions during the financial year – adding annual sales of about SEK 500 million. We have discussions about acquisitions of both independent technology companies with market-leading niche positions and smaller bolt-on acquisitions that can reinforce our market positions and profitability in our existing companies. Many privately owned companies want to sell their businesses to Addtech to retain their decentralised responsibility while receiving support to develop through an active, long-term owner.
President and CEO