Earnings (EBIT, excluding items affecting comparability), rose 9% to SEK3.5 billion, again another “record” figure for the group. This corresponded to an EBIT margin of 12.9%, down from last year’s 13.0%.
Net profit for the group totalled SEK6.58 billion, up from SEK2.6 billion in 2015, positively impacted by the divestment of Vibracoustic.
“2016 was a very eventful year in Trelleborg’s history. The group was reshaped by major acquisitions as well as a significant divestment,” said president and CEO Peter Nilsson.
Stating that the company achieved record profit despite challenging market environment in some operations, Nilsson said he could see “significant potential to become even more profitable and grow faster than we have had in recent years.”
Several initiatives, he said, are ongoing and “more will be launched to address the sales and profitability trend moving forward.”
Analysing the market, Nilsson said raw material prices had started to move upward and that Trelleborg would address the trend by “further improving efficiency”.
Trelleborg investments during the year 2016 reached to SEK1.1 billion, said Nilsson, adding that investment levels would remain high over the next few years.
The company completed seven acquisitions in 2016, contributing nearly SEK7 billion to sales on an annual basis – including the takeover of the Czech CGS Holding in May 2016, Trelleborg’s largest acquisition in decades
“Although we will now temporarily reduce our pace of acquisition slightly, we will continue to acquire companies that complement our organic growth initiatives,” Nilsson added.
Trelleborg’s boss went on to note some signs that markets in certain geographies and segments were starting to improve.
“In general industry in Europe, for example, we reported organic growth in the fourth quarter, which is the first time this has occurred for some period of time. Our sales to the aerospace and automotive industries are continuing to develop at a satisfactory level,” he explained.
Signals from the agricultural markets, however, remain uncertain. According to Nilsson, while recovery in South America had begun, a downward trend in the OE market, particularly in North America, was continuing. In Europe’s agricultural market, meanwhile, he noted signs of improvement in the aftermarket.
In the oil & gas sector, Trelleborg expects fewer project deliveries and lower profitability at least for the first six months of 2017. The group is adapting to lower levels of activity further measures are ongoing, said Nilsson.
The Trelleborg boss concluded: “2017 will be characterised by intensive efforts to integrate all recently acquired operations, at the same time as we will ensure that synergies are realised.”