Swedish manufacturer Atlas Copco reported sales of MSEK 19,731 (US$2.4 billion) for fourth quarter 2008, an increase of 12% over the prior year, with 3% organic growth. Profit more than doubled to MSEK 2,919 (US$349.9 million).
During the quarter, the workforce was reduced by about 1,350 people, affecting all three business areas, and other cost saving measures were introduced.
The current economic situation makes the outlook very uncertain but demand is expected to remain very weak in most industries and regions in the near term, CEO Gunnar Brock says. "The government stimulus packages recently introduced, primarily aimed at infrastructure projects, are expected to give support for construction equipment demand."
For 2008, sales increased 17% to MSEK 74,177 (US$8.9 billion) over 2007. Profit for the year increased 36% to MSEK 10,190 (US$1.2 billion).
Demand slowed in most regions, particularly in the mining sector. Geographically, all regions were impacted by global financial conditions. Organic order intake declined 19% for the fourth quarter.