Revenues Decline 19 Percent for Atlas Copco in 4Q09; Focuses on Growth in ‘10

Atlas Copco last week announced that fourth-quarter revenues declined 19 percent to SEK 15.9 billion (about U.S. $2.17 billion ) and the operating profit was SEK 2.5 billion (U.S. $333.5 million) compared with SEK 3.3 billion (U.S. $447.6 million) for the same period last year, corresponding to a margin of 15.4 percent, down from 16.7 percent. Orders received declined 9 percent organically compared to the previous year, but increased sequentially.

“We achieved a good result in the fourth quarter and are prepared to capture the growth when it returns, as we have already seen in Asia and South America,” said Ronnie Leten, president and CEO of the Atlas Copco Group. “Throughout the crisis we have kept a strong focus on new product development and developing our market presence.

“The overall demand for the Group’s products and services is expected to improve somewhat. Many emerging markets are foreseen to have a continued favorable development and demand from the mining industry is expected to improve.”

In the fourth quarter Atlas Copco agreed to acquire Quincy Compressor, based in the United States, and made the decision to invest more than SEK 100 million (U.S. $13.6 million) in building a new facility for gas and process compressors in Shanghai, China.

“Going for growth once again, we must continue focusing on innovation, making sure that products and services are also developed suited to the needs of customers in markets such as China and India,” Leten said. “We will continue to extend and broaden our presence in emerging markets, while continuing to put efforts into the markets which are already significant for Atlas Copco.”

The board of Atlas Copco proposes an unchanged dividend to the shareholders of SEK 3.00 (U.S. $0.41), or 58 percent of net profit.

Stockholm, Sweden-based Atlas Copco is an industrial group with world-leading positions in compressors, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems.

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