Turnover has increased by 14% since 2018 and reached MSEK 974. The growth was enabled by a higher order stock already at the beginning of the year, followed by a steady order intake during winter and spring. In stand-alone automation our growth was significant. We reached an all-time high turnover with both brands AP&T and Norda. In press hardening, turnover grew thanks to an increasing number of lines, but also due to higher technology content.
The EBITDA margin reached 7% — a strong come-back from a weak 2018. The main reasons for the improvement were higher turnover, cost savings from the streamlining projects in 2018 and good control of customer projects.
Order intake has grown by 2% since 2018. Press hardening, stand-alone automation and aftermarket services remained stable whereas tooling grew significantly.
The automotive industry continued to invest in environmentally friendly technologies. The next platforms contain an even higher amount of press-hardened steel. And with the ongoing launch of electric cars, the need for partially hardened parts in the body-in-white will increase. Here our press hardening technology in combination with the TemperBox. system is fit for the purpose.
Our servo hydraulic press has continued to find new applications in the market. Its unique forming performance and low energy consumption have attracted positive attention. By the new year we had sold five presses and are well ahead of the launch plan. An interesting product novelty in 2019 was our press equipment for producing eco-friendly clothes hangers out of wood fiber.
/ Magnus Baarman, CEO and Managing Director.
IMPORTANT EVENTS IN 2019
The new generation of press hardening technology — including the servo hydraulic press and the TemperBox. technology — continued to sell well. Our customer from 2018 ordered two additional lines in 2019. These lines will be placed in Spain and the USA.
We received our first order for production equipment for eco-friendly clothes hangers out of wood fiber from the Swedish company Ekoligens.
A North American manufacturer of fully electric cars ordered tooling — based on our technology for high-strength aluminum — for its battery box.
We ran a project aimed at identifying purposeful pricing strategies based on differentiation and added value.
One of the fundamental motives for acquiring AP&T was an expected technical shift towards press hardening and we can now see that this is fully ongoing within the automotive industry worldwide. AP&T’s customer offering enables lighter and less fuel consuming vehicles as well as improves safety which we believe to be two fundamental cornerstones motivating our long term engagement in the company.
AP&T’s strong position within the metal forming industry has strengthened since the acquisition and in addition to metal forming we now see forming of other materials (such as wood fiber) following which makes AP&T’s future even more interesting given global challenges in terms of sustainability.