Net Sales increased by 32 per cent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year and amounted to SEK 3,434 million (2,605). Organic growth was 8%.
The operating profit for the quarter amounted to SEK 244 million (172), an increase of 42% compared with the same period last year. The operating margin was 7.1% (6.6%), of which 0.2% is a positive IFRS 16 effect.
Profit for the period totalled SEK 170 million (121). Profit per share totalled SEK 1.33 (0.92).
With effect from 1 January 2019, the company applies IFRS 16 with regard to the group's leasing agreements and all figures for 2019 include this change. The conversion affected operating profit positively by SEK 7 million and net profit by SEK 1 million. The equity ratio has decreased by 4 percentage points due to the increased balance sheet total.
As of 2 January 2019, the Beijer Ref share is being traded on Nasdaq Stockholm's Large Cap.
Comments by the CEO
The acquisitions deliver
The first quarter of 2019 lived up to the targets we had set. In total, net sales amounted to SEK 3.4 billion (2.6 billion), an increase of 32%, of which 20 per cent is from acquisitions and 8 per cent is an organic increase in sales. Operating margin, including the effect of IFRS 16, amounted to 7.1% (6.6%), which is higher than the corresponding period last year, in spite of falling prices for refrigerants.
All regions show growth. It is particularly positive to see that the major acquisitions in the southern hemisphere that were conducted in 2018, TecsaReco in South Africa and Heatcraft in Australia, both contribute to our profits and also equalise seasonal variations. We are following developments in South Africa, which has been in recession for some years. Certain signs suggest that the country is moving towards GDP growth again, although other factors such as the forthcoming national elections may have effects.
All of the group's market segments is growing and in the first quarter the area of commercial refrigeration represents 54% of Beijer Ref’s sales. Air conditioning, HVAC, is growing by two-digit numbers and now accounts for about 36% of the group's sales. Prices of refrigerants continue to decline but they still remain at high levels. One effect of this is that the refrigerants' share of our total sales is more and more returning to normal. We are well prepared for the progressively changing market conditions, for which we have compensated with increasing sales of our sustainable product range. The significance for the group of the price trend for refrigerants has therefore gradually declined. The general market assessment is that prices may become stabilised during Q2 and then possibly rise slightly in the autumn.
Conversion to sustainable solutions continues to drive demand for our environmentally friendly technology. The permitted quantity of CO2 equivalents is restricted even more tightly for 2021. This generates increased pressure on the market to adapt to the new rules and we see a steadily arising awareness of this when we meet our customers. As a result, increased orders have been good for the company's OEM range. We continuously look at how we can expand our own production capacity, which is a requirement for being able to meet the expected future demand for sustainable refrigeration installations.
Interest in the market for environmentally friendly refrigerants is great, and we see it as our task and our responsibility to inform and educate customers and partners in how to handle such refrigerants. Our training programme "Beijer Ref Academy", which we launched last year in Italy, has been a success. We will be setting up similar programmes in more countries during 2019.
We continue to work on digitalisation and have launched an e-commerce platform in Germany, the United Kingdom and Switzerland, among others. We will launch e-commerce in a number of other markets during the year.
Beijer Ref is now a well-known market leader, not only in Europe but also on other continents. As a natural consequence, we are spreading our name to a greater extent, so that some of our subsidiaries are successively changing their names to Beijer Ref. The latest in the line is our Indian company, which from March this year is called Beijer Ref India. Also new is that we have taken a global approach to certain products and components by creating a dedicated product series, which will be launched later in the year.
One date that stands out during the quarter was 2 January, when our share moved up onto Nasdaq's Large Cap list. This was a milestone in the group's history and the list change has been an objective. This is proof that our long-term global strategy is working.
The quarter did not contain any new acquisitions, but we are continuously evaluating a number of opportunities. Liquidity is good and cash flow has been positive during the quarter.
Conditions for the second quarter are favourable and we are following our expressed strategy so as to create further profitable growth. The team spirit in the group is strong. This provides the conditions for being able to continue to deliver good returns for our shareholders.
Per Bertland, CEO
First quarter of 2019
Beijer Ref increased sales by 32 per cent to SEK 3,434 million (2,605) during the first quarter of 2019, 20% of which is explained by the acquisitions made during 2018, which have a high season during the winter months, as well as generally favourable economic conditions in the company's other markets. All regions show growth in net sales. Adjusted for exchange rate changes and acquisitions, organic growth in net sales was 8 per cent. A weakened Swedish krona resulted in positive currency effects of SEK 104 million, corresponding to 4%, since most of the company’s sales are in currencies other than Swedish kronor.
The Group’s operating profit totalled SEK 244 million (172) during the first quarter, which is an increase of 42 per cent. The operating margin was 7.1% (6.6%), in spite of falling refrigerant prices.
The profit before tax was SEK 228 million (167). Profit for the period was SEK 170 million (121). Profit per share totalled SEK 1.33 (0.92).
Cash flow from operating activities before change in working capital was SEK 278 million in 2019 compared with SEK 153 million for 2018. The increase is due to improved profit during the quarter and a positive effect of SEK 71 million related to depreciation of rights of use assets arising from the transition to the IFRS 16 (lease). The corresponding amount of SEK 71 million is reported as a decrease in the financing operations.
Working capital increased by SEK 42 million during the quarter compared with SEK 112 million the previous year. This gives cash flow from operating activities of SEK 236 million, compared with SEK 41 million the previous year. The change in working capital between the years is mainly due to a smaller build-up of stocks during the quarter.
At the end of the period, the company had unutilised credit facilities totalling SEK 1,588 million (205).
The Group’s investments in fixed assets including business combinations totalled SEK 27 million (349) during the first quarter and relate primarily to investments in fixed assets. In the previous year, TecsaReco was acquired during the quarter.
No acquisitions were made during the quarter, but the company is continuously evaluating new opportunities for growth and complementary acquisitions.
In the first quarter of 2018, the acquisition of the wholesale company TecsaReco in South Africa was completed. The company has annual sales of SEK 450 million with 300 employees across 23 branches. The company is included in the consolidated accounts with effect from 1 March 2018.
SIGNIFICANT EVENTS DURING THE QUARTER
As of 2 January 2019, the Beijer Ref share is being traded on Nasdaq Stockholm's Large Cap.
The Beijer Ref Group’s operations are subject to a number of business environment factors, the effects of which on the Group’s operating profit can be controlled to varying degrees. The Group’s operations depend on general economic trends, primarily in Europe, which determine demand for Beijer Ref’s products and services. Acquisitions are normally associated with risks, for example loss of key employees. Other operating risks, such as agency and supplier agreements, product liability and delivery commitments, technical development, warranties, dependence on key individuals, etc., are analysed continually. Where necessary, measures are taken to reduce the Group’s risk exposure. In its operations, Beijer Ref is subject to financial risks such as currency risk, interest rate risk and liquidity risk. The Parent’s risk profile is the same as that of the Group. For further information, see the Group’s Annual Report.
This interim report was prepared in accordance with IAS 34, the Swedish Annual Accounts Act and RFR 2. Beijer Ref continues to apply the same accounting policies and valuation methods as described in the most recent annual report.
IFRS 16 Leases
IFRS 16 Leases, is applied from 1 January 2019. Beijer Ref has chosen to report the transition to the new standard using the simplified method. The relief rule not to create a comparative year has been applied. A discount rate has been defined per each country and are decided quarterly. Right of use agreements of less than 12 months are reported as short-term agreements and are therefore not included in the reported liabilities or rights of use. Right of use agreements with an acquisition value below USD 5,000 have been classified as low-value agreements and are not included in the reported liabilities or rights of use.
The lease portfolio contains approximately 1,500 contracts and comprises primarily operational leases for offices, warehouses, company cars, forklift trucks and office equipment. Beijer Ref has identified many agreements, primarily relating to properties, with the right to extend. As a result of these considerations, many leases have been deemed to be longer. All leases relating to properties that fall due in 2019 have been extended by three years.
Comparative information is not recalculated and is still reported in accordance with IAS 17 Leases and IFRIC 4 Determining whether an Agreement contains a Lease.
WEB MEETING Q1 2019
The company invites investors, analysts and the media to attend a web meeting at which CEO Per Bertland and CFO Maria Rydén present the interim report for the first quarter of 2019. The presentation will be held in English and lasts for about 20 minutes. The meeting is on 16 April at 10.00 CET.
Email your wish to participate at firstname.lastname@example.org and a link will be distributed before the meeting. Internet connection is required. The presentation will be available on the company's website www.beijerref.com.
This interim report for Beijer Ref AB (publ) has been submitted following approval by the Board of Directors.
Malmö, 16 April 2019
Beijer Ref AB (publ)
Per Bertland, CEO & President
For more information:
Per Bertland, CEO – switchboard, +46 (0)40-35 89 00
Maria Rydén, CFO – switchboard, +46 (0)40-35 89 00
This interim report has not been the subject of examination by the Company’s Auditors.
This information is information that Beijer Ref AB is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation and the Securities Markets Act. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact person set out above, at 08.30 CET on 16 April 2019.