While net sales increased by 6.6%, the Swedish-based international wholesaling group saw operating profit drop to SEK89m (€9.7m) from SEK94m (€10.2m) in the first quarter of 2015. This was said to be largely due to currency effects in Africa and Norway, a slightly calmer first quarter in the Nordic countries and one-off expenses for legal advice in connection with CMA’s examination of the acquisition of HRP in the UK.
Net profit was unchanged at SEK61m (€6.64m).
Net sales amounted to SEK1,967m (€214m), up from SEK1,846 (€201m) in 2015. The increase is largely due to the previous year’s acquisitions and organic growth in the Southern Europe, mainly due to increased air conditioning sales.
Beijer Ref’s largest region, Southern Europe, reported organic growth of 6% compared with the first quarter of 2015. Germany also recorded better than expected sales, but the Nordic markets are said to have started the year slightly weaker than the previous year. The results were also negatively affected by Easter falling in the first quarter this year.
Air conditioning sales in Southern Europe increased by 19% on last year, with Toshiba and Beijer Ref’s other brands said to be developing well.