Steel, stainless steel and aluminium producer and distributor BE Group’s net sales fell 5% in the first quarter of 2012, year on year, the company said in its financial report on Wednesday April 25.
Net sales were SEK1.436 billion ($212 million) in the first quarter of the year, down from SEK1.519 million in the first quarter of 2011.
“We did not manage to reach the same figures we achieved a year ago. But compared with the end of 2011, we saw a positive development in the first quarter of 2012. The start of 2012 was still pervaded by caution, although demand gradually improved over the quarter,” BE Group president, Roger Johansson, stated.
The company added that margins have strengthened in Sweden and Finland, despite operations in the Czech Republic and Poland continuing to “burden the results.”
Despite a loss in sales, the company affirmed its investments in advanced production services are now starting to generate positive effects.
In the first quarter of 2012, the company reported its largest production service order to date with an order from Volvo
securing the Swedish steelmaker as principal partner for plate processing for its Arvika facility.
“The order from Volvo Construction Equipment [...] is an important step on the path towards an increased proportion of service sales,” Johansson added.
“Based on dialogues with customers, we expect an improved demand in the second quarter. At the same time, we see sales prices rising during the start of the quarter,” he added.