SWEDEN: The effects of Covid-19 and lower prices for refrigerants are blamed for a 5.1% drop in Beijer Ref sales during 2020.
The full year results follow Q4 figures which recorded a stable operating profit and sales down just 0.8% to SEK3,408m (€336m), compared to the same quarter in 2019.
The decrease in sales for the year affected all regions but had the greatest impact in Southern and Central Europe. Refrigerant sales were down almost SEK450m on the year. EBITDA amounted to SEK 1,477m (€146m), down 10.8% on 2019.
“2020 was a year largely marked by the corona pandemic and we took swift action to mitigate the negative effects of a market that was characterised by tough restrictions and shutdowns,” commented Beijer Ref CEO Per Bertland.
“Volume, but above all the fall in the price of refrigerants, has led to a loss of sales of approximately SEK60m (€5.9m) in the quarter, and almost SEK450m (€44.5m) on an annual basis,” he said but added that there were some indications that refrigerant prices were stabilising. “My assessment is that future price changes will not affect Beijer Ref’s performance to the same degree as they have in the last two years.”
HVAC products showed growth of just over 3% in the fourth quarter, with the demand for air conditioning and heat pumps rising in general.
The acquisition of Czech HVAC company Sinclair at the end of last year was seen as a positive move to strengthen its overall air conditioning offering. Per Bertland indicated that it would further develop the Sinclair brand and launch it in other Beijer Ref markets.