Continued strong Bulten growth 16 June 2015

Bulten reported 22.7% sales growth for the first quarter of 2015 compared with Q1 2014, but said its operating margin was negatively affected by exchange rates – although it stresses this does not mean a long-term impact on profitability or competitiveness.

Net sales reached SEK 713 million (approximately 77 million euros) compared to SEK 581 million (62 million euros) in the same quarter 2014. Sales growth was mainly driven by two extensive FSP contracts that went into production in Q1 2014 and in the middle of Q2 2014, with a supplementary order received in the autumn. A general improvement in demand for light vehicles in Europe also had a positive effect on the Group’s net sales.
Bulten says it signed several new, smaller contracts during the quarter, some of which concern the joint venture between Bulten and GAZ Group in Russia, broadening the customer base beyond the original GAZ business.
Earnings improved, says Bulten, but the operating margin of 5.1% was negatively affected by exchange rates when translating working capital at closing day rates. This does not mean, Bulten emphasised, a long-term impact on profitability or competitiveness. Excluding currency effects of around SEK 13 million the operating margin was 6.9%.
Tommy Andersson, CEO and president, noted that car sales in Europe rose by 8.6% in the quarter according to ACEA statistics and said: “We will continue to invest in logistics and existing production to meet good demand for our products and our FSP concept. We also see good potential to further increase our market shares and strengthen our market position.”

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