2002 a Strong Year for ABS Pumps
ABS has seen a solid 2002. This was not only due to an in-crease in demand for products but also due to ABS remaining proactive in areas such as staff development, acquisitions and cost reduction.
The inflow of orders rose by 1 percent at the current structure after adjustment for the effects of exchange rate movements.
Demand rose somewhat in all ABS's segments - Water & Wastewater, Industry, and Building Services. However, slightly lower demand was noted in the USA at the end of the year.
Invoiced sales amounted to SEK 3,057 million (2,825), which adjusted for the effects of exchange rate movements is a rise of 10 percent. Company acquisitions account for 8 percentage points of this figure. Operating earnings amounted to SEK 214 million (previous year: SEK 176 million excluding restructuring costs).
The action program that was initiated during the fall of 2001 with a view to reducing costs ran according to plan during the year, and the objective is to achieve an annual 10-11 percent operating margin at ABS at the end of 2003.
With the new AQUALEVEL ® products (within control engineering for water treatment processes etc.), and the Finnish company Nopon Oy (one of the leading manufacturers of products for oxygenation in connection with biological wastewater treatment), ABS has enhanced its process know-how and become a more complete system supplier in the water and wastewater segment.
The newly acquired companies won a number of interesting orders during the year. These include remote monitoring systems of 21 pumping stations in Italy, where ABS Nopon also received a big order for fine-bubble aeration systems as well as for a Spanish wastewater treatment plant, a mechanical aeration system for an industrial wastewater plant in South Africa, and compressors for a water treatment plant in South Korea.
In Portugal and Malaysia, the operations of the former ABS distributors were taken over and subsidiaries started in order to strengthen ABS' presence in these markets, in which there are extensive expansion plans in the area of water and wastewater. ABS' s expansion in Asia has resulted in a staff expansion in China. This presence has resulted in a number of major orders, including a deal consisting of pumps, mixers and compressors to five different treatment plants.
In Europe, ABS has received varying types of orders including rental of dewatering pumps to the Madrid Airport, where ABS pumps were used in connection with the construction of new terminal buildings and runways, as well as the rental of 43 dewatering pumps to Venezuela.
In Chile, 300 process pumps were sold to the world's biggest forest company as a well as pumps and mixers for a new water and wastewater plant. ABS received another large complete order in Finland, which included pumps, mixers and aerators for the wastewater treatment plant located in Helsinki.
Last year's efforts and acquisitions in the service area contributed to a strengthened position in the aftermarket. Service staff where given further training; and activities were initiated to refine the aftermarket concept and make it even more efficient. ABS has also launched a series of service kits with original parts for process pumps with a view to ensuring reliable and trouble-free operation.
Source: Sulzer Ltd.