Reporting a strong final 2017 quarter, healthy prospects from signed contracts, investment in additional production capacity, and a strong financial position, Bulten is preparing for a new phase of growth, with continued good prospects for winning new business.
Bulten reported final quarter 2017 net sales increased by 9.8% over the same period 2016. Net sales for the full year were SEK2,856 million (approximately €288 million), a year on year increase of 6.7%. Operating earnings (EBIT) for the full year were SEK210 million (2016: SEK200 million), corresponding to an operating margin of 7.4% (2016: 7.5%). Order books increase to SEK3,015 million, up 11% year on year.
President and CEO Tommy Andersson commented: “Bulten has entered a new phase of growth, with increases during the quarter in net sales of 9.8% and in continued strong order bookings of 12.8%, both compared with the same period last year. The growth stems from successive increases in volumes following model changes as well as from the start of deliveries that are part of the previously announced contract worth €20 million annually. Generally good demand for cars in Europe also had a positive effect."
He noted that Bulten’s operating margin for of 7.5% for Quarter 4, was “helped partly by currency effects but also negatively influenced by higher global market prices for steel and other metals”. Consequently, Bulten exceeded its operating margin target and strengthened its profitability on both quarterly and annual basis.
Bulten also confirmed the commitment made during 2017 to invest in new capacity to meet increased demand and the rise in volumes connected to signed contracts. The planned supplementary plant in Poland, for production and distribution of fasteners, is expected to be completed in 2019 and, says Andersson, “will become one of Europe’s leading fastener facilities”.
Having held senior management roles in leading automotive and fastener businesses, Phil joined Fastener + Fixing Magazine as editor in 2002. Convinced there is no substitute for ‘being there’, over 15 years of visits and interviews around the world mean he has accumulated an extraordinary knowledge and perspective of the global fastener industry, reflected in his incisive and thought provoking reporting.