- Net sales decreased by 3 percent compared with the preceding year and amounted to SEK 981 M (1,009).
- Shipped tonnage within the Group rose by 1 percent.
- The operating result amounted to SEK -17 M (-30).
- The underlying result amounted to SEK -12 M (-9).
- Earnings after tax were SEK -23 M (-45).
- Earnings per average number of shares amounted to SEK -0.09 (-0.61).
- The Board of Directors proposes that no dividend be paid to shareholders for the 2015 financial year.
During the final quarter of the year, we demonstrated positive development in shipped tonnage within the Group. Volumes continued to increase in Business Area Sweden, while Business Area Finland maintained its volumes despite weaker overall demand. In Other Units, demand remained weak in the Czech and Slovakian markets, although shipped tonnage was at the same level as in the preceding year. Price levels were weaker during the quarter, which affected sales and gross margin negatively.
A short summary of the 2015 full-year shows a more stable BE Group. In our principal markets, both sales and shipped tonnage were higher than in the preceding year. Sweden delivered 4 percent higher shipped tonnage and Finland shows an improvement of 3 percent, outperforming the market in general in both cases. A higher underlying operating margin helped us report somewhat improved underlying earnings compared with the preceding year, when adjusted for non-recurring items. At the same time, the new share issue that was implemented significantly strengthened the Group’s financial position and reduced our financing costs.
In summary, 2015 was a tough year for the sector, with no increase in demand and lower price levels. In the Finnish market, we expect a recovery from the current level in the future, but see no other clear signs of any significant shift in demand.
The focus of our day-to-day efforts is on strengthening margins and an increased sales activity. We are also working to review our structure and establish more decentralized responsibility for profit, which is to result in a stronger BE Group in the future.
About BE Group
BE Group, listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange, is a trading and service company in steel, stainless steel and aluminium. BE Group offers efficient distribution and value-adding production services to customers primarily in the construction and engineering sectors. In 2015, the Group reported sales of SEK 4.2 billion. BE Group has about 770 employees, with Sweden and Finland as its largest markets
Source: BE Group, Anders Martinsson, President and CEO