SWEDEN: Growth in its OEM and HVAC business, especially in Europe, was a major factor behind a 14% sales increase reported by Beijer Ref in the second quarter.
Following a 32% rise reported by the refrigeration wholesaler in the first quarter of 2019, sales in the second quarter reached SEK3,996m (€378m). Operating profit for the quarter was also up 8% to SEK373m (€35m).
“One of the main features of the quarter is that our OEM and HVAC segments are moving forward strongly, especially in Europe,” commented CEO Per Bertland.
In total, sales of its OEM segment grew by 32% during the period, accounting for 10% of the group’s sales. HVAC sales did even better, increasing by 37% to command 41% of the group’s sales.
“The warm summers of recent years in Europe have contributed to an increased interest in heat pumps, since these are also used for air conditioning. This, combined with a generally high demand, contributes to the strong development of the HVAC segment. Long-term partnerships with strong brands, such as Toshiba, Carrier and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, give us a good market position,” Bertland said.
All of Beijer Ref’s geographical regions showed growth apart from Eastern Europe, which is said to have been most affected by the price trend for refrigerants. While volatility in refrigerant prices has had an impact on comparisons with 2018, the importance for the group of the price trend for refrigerants is said to be declining.
“The quarter has tough comparative figures, since 2018 was a year when the price of refrigerants was at a historically high level,” said Bertland. “From autumn 2018 and during the first half of 2019, prices have gradually fallen, which affects the commercial refrigeration segment negatively, although volume sales did not decline at the same rate. The decline in sales is well offset by the growth of other segments, which means that the importance for the group of the price trend for refrigerants is declining. The assessment is that the price of refrigerants will stabilise during the autumn. The phasing-out period runs until 2030, with the next major reduction in import quotas in 2021.”