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Beijer Ref reports sales down 2.9% in Q3

Per Bertland: “Organic growth down 8.5%, mainly due to lower refrigerant prices”

SWEDEN: Lower refrigerant prices and the effects of Covid-19 continued to impact sales for refrigeration and air conditioning wholesaler Beijer Ref in Q3, according to its latest report.

Net sales decreased by 2.9% to SEK3,837m (€370m) in the third quarter compared to the same period last year. The 4.5% decrease in operating profit to SEK342m (€33m) was attributed mainly to lower refrigerant prices.

Figures for the year to date record net sales down by 6.4% on 2019 at SEK10,654m (€1,025m), with operating profit down 20% to SEK780m (€75m).

Beijer Ref CEO Per Bertland explained that the second quarter of the year was largely marked by closed markets with gradual recovery. “A trend that has continued in the third quarter,” he said in today’ financial statement.

He described the negative 1.7% organic growth in the quarter as an “acceptable figure” in view of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the continued fall in the price of refrigerants. 

“It must also be taken into account that we have a challenging comparison with the previous year’s heat wave in July. We regard August and September as normal months in terms of organic growth,” he added.

The refrigeration segment showed organic growth down 8.5%, mainly due to lower refrigerant prices. 

“Towards the end of the period, we have seen signs of some stabilisation in prices and a cautious assessment is that refrigerant prices will not have as great an impact on future quarters,” Bertland stated. “The next reduction in the permitted amount of f-gases will take place in January 2021 when the permissible volume is reduced by a further 29% in Europe, which can affect the market.”

One cause for celebration was Beijer Ref’s HVAC business, which saw organic sales growth of 8.5%.

“In general, the OEM business is in a positive phase, even though organic growth was negative by 5% in the third quarter,” said Bertland. This was attributed to the effect of temporarily deferred investment decisions by end customers due to the Covid-19 crisis. But there is cause for optimism. “During the third quarter, orders received have gradually increased and are now at a relatively high level,” he added.

Related stories:

Beijer Ref reports €96m hit on sales due to Covid-1915 July 2020
SWEDEN: The full effects of Covid-19 saw refrigeration wholesaler Beijer Ref’s net sales drop by 16.5% in the second quarter of this year. Read more…

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