Oceania – a new market
Quarter 1 2015
Net sales amounted to SEK 1,845.7M (1,581.0).
Operating profit amounted to SEK 94.2M (71.3).
Net profit amounted to SEK 60.5M (45.6).
Profit per share amounted to SEK 1.39 (1.03).
Sales growth of 16.7 per cent and an operating profit improvement of 32.1 per cent compared with the corresponding quarter in the previous year. Organic increase in sales of 2.5 per cent and an organic increase in operating profit of 10.0 per cent.
Acquisition of the refrigeration wholesaler, RNA Engineering & Trading, in Malaysia.
Acquisition of the refrigeration wholesaler, Patton, in New Zealand, Australia, Thailand and India.
Exclusive distribution agreement with the American refrigeration group, Carrier International Corporation, for comfort cooling products in Europe.
Comments by the CEO
Southern Europe thaws out?
Beijer Ref started 2015 with a strong first quarter where, maybe, the biggest cause for rejoicing is that Southern Europe – which accounts for approximately 40 per cent of the Group’s total sales – shows signs of recovery from the recession that began with the financial crisis in 2008. This, combined with the fact that the acquisitions made during 2014 and in the first quarter of 2015, contributes positively to the result. The market again shows underlying strength and prices for refrigerants are increasing. These are the contributing factors that enabled Beijer Ref to increase its sales for the first quarter by 16.7 per cent and to achieve an operating profit of SEK 94.2M – an increase of 32.1 per cent compared with the corresponding period in 2014.
The Nordic markets also enjoyed a strong opening of the year, not least because eco-friendly refrigeration systems of Beijer Ref’s own development continue to gain ground. The Group’s strategy, with an increased focus on own manufacturing of eco-friendly
refrigeration systems, has had a promising start. The Scandinavian countries are at the forefront in the changeover to the new
In Central Europe, operations also remain stable and Beijer Ref can now be said to have gained a foothold in the important
German market. In Germany, we established an operation as late as in 2012. Since then Beijer Ref in Germany has reported growth. Holland and Belgium also report growth whereas the United Kingdom has stagnated slightly. Eastern Europe is developing positively, albeit at a slower rate.
As I have already stated, the biggest cause for rejoicing in Europe is Southern Europe where France and Italy especially are again enjoying growth after a relatively long period of stagnation. In addition to stronger markets, implemented market investments are beginning to generate results.
In A&A (Africa and Asia), South Africa continues its positive development and there appears to be good prospects for further strengthening its positions in the neighbouring countries of Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique and Zambia.
The expansion continues
All companies acquired during 2014 are integrated into the Beijer Ref organisation and the Group is looking forward towards new opportunities to expand, both inside and outside Europe.
In the European markets, the year started well with the important news that Beijer Ref and the world-leading American
refrigeration group, Carrier International Corporation, have signed an exclusive distribution agreement which gives Beijer Ref the distribution rights in most European countries for Carrier’s competitive DX production series, including spare parts, within the comfort cooling segment.
Soon thereafter, the Group strengthened its position in Asia. At the same time, Oceania became a new part of the global
operation following the acquisition of Patton, the leading refrigeration wholesaler in New Zealand. The acquisition also comprises Patton’s companies in Australia, Thailand and India, which is fully in line with Beijer Ref’s strategy to grow outside Europe.
The refrigeration wholesaler, RNA Engineering & Trading in Malaysia, was also acquired during the first quarter. This
complements both Beijer Ref’s existing operation in Thailand and the acquisition of Patton’s four companies in Asia and Oceania.
Continued aggressive investment
The European logistics project, which was initiated during the second half of 2014, continues according to plan. A comprehensive software system is being implemented in some of the largest markets in Southern and Central Europe, with the aim of reducing
capital tied up through more efficient logistics. The signals from the countries which have made most progress are promising.
The positive market development, the opportunities for new interesting acquisitions and the effects of the favourable currency effects as a result of the weak SEK all indicate that, at this moment in time, we can look forward to the next quarter with cautious optimism.
CEO, Beijer Ref AB
About Beijer Ref
Beijer Ref is one of the largest refrigeration wholesalers in the world and the leading company in Europe. The Group offers competitive and innovative solutions within refrigeration and air conditioning providing customer-adapted products, environment-friendly and energy-efficient chillers developed by the company itself and an efficient service.
Beijer Ref increased its sales by 16.7 per cent to SEK 1,845.7M (1,581.0) for the first quarter of 2015. Adjusted for exchange rate fluctuations and acquisitions, the organic change in sales was 2.5 per cent. The acquired growth was 4.1 per cent.
Beijer Ref operates in three market areas: commercial refrigeration, industrial refrigeration and HVAC (comfort cooling). The Group splits its operation in the global market into six geographic segments: The Nordic countries, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Southern Europe, A&A (Africa and Asia) and Oceania.
Behind the quarter’s sales increase lies a positive development in Southern and Central Europe, the Nordic countries and A&A, acquisitions and the weaker SEK.
The Group’s operating profit amounted to SEK 94.2M (71.3) for the first quarter. The result increase can mainly be explained by increased sales in the Nordic countries, Southern and Central Europe and South Africa. When adjusted for exchange rate fluctuations and acquisitions, the organic increase in operating profit was 10.0 per cent.
The Group’s financial income/expense amounted to SEK -9.3M (-7.5) for the first quarter. Increased debt because of acquisitions explains the difference. Profit before tax was SEK 84.9M (63.8). Profit after tax was SEK 60.5M (45.6). Profit per share amounted to SEK 1.39 (1.03).
Other financial information
Consolidated capital expenditure, including acquisitions, amounted to SEK 153.6M (28.4) for the first three months of 2015. Of this, the major portion refers to the acquisition of Patton. Liquid funds, including unutilised bank overdraft facilities, were SEK 618.6M (420.4) on 31 March 2015. Shareholders’ equity amounted to SEK 2,733.6M (2,467.2). The net debt was SEK 1,550.0M (1,234.8). The equity ratio amounted to 44.0 per cent (46.6). The average number of employees during the period was 2,243 (2,158).
Significant events during the year
In January, Beijer Ref signed an agreement with the world-leading American refrigeration group, Carrier International Corporation. The agreement gives the Swedish refrigeration wholesaler the exclusive right to distribute Carrier’s DX product series within the comfort cooling segment, and all pertaining service of these products in Europe.
In February, Beijer Ref acquired all the shares in the refrigeration wholesale company, RNA Engineering & Trading, which has its head office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The company reports sales of approximately SEK 45M. It is the leading refrigeration wholesaler in the Malaysian market for commercial refrigeration, which is estimated to be worth nearly SEK 480M with a stable growth of around ten per cent per annum.
In March, Beijer Ref acquired all the shares in the refrigeration wholesale company, Patton, which has its head office in Auckland, New Zealand, and operations in New Zealand, Australia, India and Thailand. Patton was founded in 1923 and reports sales of approximately SEK 400M. It is the leading refrigeration wholesaler in New Zealand with some sales of products manufactured by the company itself. The acquisition gives Beijer Ref a foothold in the important New Zealand, Australian and Indian markets and, at the same time, strengthens the existing operation in Thailand.
The operation of the Beijer Ref Group is affected by a number of external factors, the effects of which on the Group’s operating profit can be controlled to a varying degree. The Group’s operation is dependent on the general economic trend, especially in Europe, which controls the demand for Beijer Ref’s products and services. Acquisitions are normally linked with risks such as, for example, staff defection. Other operating risks, such as agency and supplier agreements, product responsibility and delivery undertaking, technical development, warranties, dependence on individuals, etc., are continually being analysed and, when necessary, action is taken to reduce the Group’s risk exposure. In its operation, Beijer Ref is exposed to financial risks such as currency risk, interest risk and liquidity risk. The parent company’s risk picture is the same as that of the Group. For further information see the Group’s Annual Report.
- The Six-Month Report for 2015 will be published on 17 July 2015.
- The Nine-Month Report for 2015 will be published on 22 October 2015.
- The Year-end Report for 2015 will be published in February 2016.
- The Annual Report for 2015 will be published in March 2016.
Malmö, 23 April 2015
Beijer Ref AB (publ)
Per Bertland, CEO
For further information, please contact:
switchboard +46 40-35 89 00, mobile +46 705-98 13 73
Jonas Lindqvist, CFO
switchboard +46 40-35 89 00, mobile +46 705-90 89 04
This interim report has not been the subject of examination by the company’s auditors.