SWEDEN: Refrigeration wholesaler Beijer Ref reports record sales and profits in the first quarter of this year.
The group’s impressive 18% net sales increase for the first quarter of 2018 was dwarfed by a rise in operating profit of 61%.
Particularly strong growth in demand was recorded in the group’s key European markets, due to the favourable economic situation and price rises, especially in refrigerants.
Sales in the first quarter were SEK2,605m (€251m) compared with SEK2,218m (€214m) in the corresponding period last year. Operating profit was SEK 172m (€16.6m), an increase of 61% compared with the same period last year.
Beijer Ref CEO Per Bertland described the figures as the company’s “best ever” quarter with all regions reporting a double-digit increase in net sales. Organic growth reached almost 13%. At the same time, the profit increased by 69% to SEK121m (€11.7m), a record in the company’s history.
“All of our regions except Africa report a double-digit increase in profits compared with the same quarter last year,” Bertland said. “Africa is still feeling the effects of the weak economic situation, although there are some signs that the market is recovering. Northern, Central and Eastern Europe report profit increases of more than 100%.”
The strong economy is identified as one reason for the increase, another is the European F-gas regulation and the phase out of existing refrigerants.
“Beijer Ref is in a good position to provide customers with sustainable solutions, which puts the group in a favourable position in the market,” Bertland commented. “Only a small part of the market has converted to the new technology. It is therefore our assessment that we have only seen the beginning of the transition.”
The European market now accounts for 70% of Beijer Ref’s net sales, while Asia Pacific will account for 20% and Africa 10%.