Atlas Copco reported on Friday 3Q18 organic growth of 6 percent, with revenues increasing 13 percent to SEK$23.67 billion (US$2.63 billion) from SEK$21.03 billion (US$2.34 billion) in 3Q17. Operating profit also rose, showing a 5 percent increase compared to the same period last year, rising to SEK$5.26 billion (US$584.5 million) from SEK$5 billion (US$560 million). “From a revenue perspective, this is the second-best quarter that we have had,” President and CEO, Mats Rahmström said in the conference call statement accompanying the earnings update. “The currency exchange has been helping,” he added. The Swedish krona has strengthened 10.5 percent against the US dollar and 7.5 percent versus the euro in the year to date.
Despite the Sweden-based company’s solid quarter, it experienced weaker demand in several customer segments, mainly in the semiconductor and automotive industries. Also, some clients were more cautious with their investments given the perceived uncertainty in the global economic outlook, according to the earnings statement. “We can see that customers are hesitant to invest in capacity but they are continuing to invest in technology,” Rahmström said.
Australia and Asia were the company’s biggest markets, taking 34 percent of the total orders received, although that was a 9 percent drop from the previous year. Conversely, all its other markets experienced some growth, with Europe following with 31 percent share and a 5 percent hikes, respectively. North America was the group’s third-strongest region, accounting for a 25 percent share and growing 6 percent compared with 3Q17. At the bottom, Africa and the Middle East represented 6 percent of orders and South America, 4 percent.
Rahmström said the company would continue to disrupt the industry with new products. “We continue to bring new products to the market. Innovation is very important for us to bring new features to our customers,” he said.