STOCKHOLM--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Regulatory News:
Husqvarna AB (STO:HUSQB):
Kai Wärn, President and CEO:
“The year ended with a continuation of the positive sales development from the third quarter. Sales for the seasonally weak fourth quarter were up 8%, adjusted for changes in exchange rates, with higher sales in all business areas. The operating loss for the quarter decreased to SEK -308m (-348), excluding items affecting comparability, where the Americas contributed with the largest improvement. In line with the development earlier in the year, the fourth quarter showed an improved cash flow development.
To conclude 2013, the year was off to a slow start, but a stronger second half resulted in a 2% net sales growth for the full year, adjusted for currencies. From a market demand point of view, North America recovered in line with the relatively positive macro economy, while Europe had a more mixed picture.
Efforts to improve working capital were successful. Inventories were reduced, mainly by reduced production levels, resulting in a cash release of SEK 820m and an operating cash flow for the year of SEK 1,813m (1,144). The strong cash flow also supported an improvement of the net debt/equity ratio, which declined to 0.58 (0.75).
Group operating income for 2013 declined to SEK 1,608m (1,931) excluding items affecting comparability, and earnings per share amounted to SEK 1.60 (1.78). The decline in operating income refers to Europe & Asia/Pacific where earnings were impacted by unfavorable changes in exchange rates and the lower factory utilization levels due to the planned inventory reductions. For the Group, changes in exchange rates and under-absorption had a total negative impact on operating income of almost SEK 0.5bn compared to 2012.
For Americas, prior year's large operating loss was turned into a slightly positive result. Growth in the higher-margin dealer channel was double digit and productivity improved. We are now moving into the next phase of the U.S. turnaround and as an important step we have also implemented a new organization for retail and dealer operations.
In Construction, currency adjusted sales increased 6% and the margin rose to above 9%. Higher demand, investments in sales capacity and a strong product portfolio contributed to the positive development.
In 2014-2015, our main priority is to execute and build momentum in our accelerated improvement programs to support margin improvement. In terms of demand, I am cautiously optimistic given the continued improvements in the U.S. economy and by the European indications of stabilization."
· Net sales amounted to SEK 4,707m (4,476). Adjusted for exchange rate effects, net sales increased 8%.
· Operating income improved to SEK -308m (-348), excluding items affecting comparability.
· Earnings per share amounted to SEK -0.53 (-0.87).
· Net sales amounted to SEK 30,307m (30,834). Adjusted for exchange rate effects, net sales increased 2%.
· Operating income amounted to SEK 1,608m (1,931), excluding items affecting comparability.
· Earnings per share amounted to SEK 1.60 (1.78).
· Operating cash flow improved to SEK 1,813m (1,144).
· Net debt/equity ratio improved to 0.58 (0.75).
· The Board proposes a dividend of SEK 1.50 (1.50) per share for 2013.
A combined press and telephone conference, hosted by Kai Wärn, President and CEO, and Ulf Liljedahl, CFO, will be held at Husqvarna’s office on Regeringsgatan 28 in Stockholm at 10:00 CET on February 6, 2014. To participate by phone, please Dial +46 (0) 8 5052 0110 (Sweden) or +44 (0)20 7162 0077 (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 at www.husqvarnagroup.com/ir (http://www.husqvarna.com/ir) 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 February 6, 2014.
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