Interim report, January – June 2002
During the first half-year, the Group's inflow of orders amounted to SEK 5,591 million (5,704), which is 7 percent lower than the previous year for the current structure of the Group after adjustment for the effects of exchange rate movements. The decrease is almost exclusively attributable to Rail.
Invoiced sales amounted to SEK 5,385 million (4,990), a rise of 6 percent after adjustment for the effects of exchange rate movements. Company acquisitions account for 4 percentage points of this figure.
Operating earnings amounted to SEK 242 million (258), providing an operating margin of 4.5 percent (5.2). Pump's and Rail's earnings increased during the second quarter. For Door, the continued weak market conditions have resulted in lower volumes and reduced margins in industrial doors and dock loading systems, which together with a somewhat lower-than-expected growth rate in service had an adverse effect on earnings.
Earnings after financial items were SEK 191 million (208), providing a profit margin of 3.6 percent (4.2). Earnings per share after full tax were SEK 4.11 (4.51). The impact of exchange rate movements on Group earnings is estimated to have been only marginal.
Sale of the Rail business area
In late July, Cardo entered into an agreement on the sale of the Cardo Rail business area to Vestar Capital Partners, a leading private equity firm. Through the sale, Cardo is gaining a strong balance sheet and capital is being freed up for an expansion in Door and Pump, which both operate in sectors with considerable aftermarket potential and good growth opportunities via acquisitions.
As a result of the agreement, Vestar will take over Rail's business through a company newly established for the purpose. The deal, which is expected to close during the month of September, is subject to the approval of the competition authority and to Vestar receiving final financing.
The selling price is approximately SEK 2 billion for the company free from debt, generating a tax-free capital gain of approximately SEK 345 million, which is equivalent to earnings per share of approximately SEK 11.50. The selling price will be paid by the purchaser taking over existing loans within Rail, paying approximately SEK 1.2 billion cash for the shares on the day of taking possession and issuing a warrant that gives Cardo the right at any time prior to December 31 2020 to acquire 5 percent of the shares in the acquiring company at their nominal value. The present value of the warrant has been estimated at SEK 10 million.
Basing calculations on the previous year's earnings, and computing interest on proceeds of the sale, the whole-year effect of the sale of Rail would have resulted in a reduction of group earnings per share by slightly more than SEK 1. After the sale, the group will have net liquid funds of approximately SEK 500 million and an equity ratio of slightly more than 60 percent.
As of January 2002, Cardo Pump includes the acquired companies Swedmeter AB and Nopon Oy with an aggregate annual turnover of approximately SEK 150 million. As of the same date, Cardo Door includes the acquired company Amber Doors Holding Limited with its subsidiary Amber Doors Limited. Amber Doors has an annual turnover of approximately SEK 240 million.
Cardo Pump is one of Europe's largest manufacturers of pumps, mixers and aerators and a global leader in the production of sophisticated measuring instruments for the pulp and paper industry.
The inflow of orders rose by 3 percent for the current structure after adjustment for the effects of exchange rate movements.
In water and wastewater, which is Cardo Pump's biggest segment, demand increased compared with the corresponding period the previous year. In the building services segment, demand has stabilized after the downward trend during most of 2001. Demand from the process industry was on a par with the previous year.
Cardo Pump continues to expand in Asia; and orders received during the second quarter included one worth SEK 6.5 million for process pumps and mixers for a paper mill in Indonesia and one for 7 big water and wastewater pumps and 48 mixers for a new treatment plant in Nanjing in China.
In Chile, 300 process pumps were sold to one of the world's biggest forest companies; and a major paper mill in South Africa placed an order worth SEK 5.5 million for systems for the automatic measurement of paper quality. In Holland, two major contracts were signed, worth a total of SEK 9.5 million, relating to the delivery of pumping stations for wastewater systems. Nopon, which was acquired in January, secured orders that included ones worth SEK 8.6 million and SEK 4.9 million respectively for fine-bubble aeration systems for a Spanish wastewater treatment plant and for a mechanical aeration system for an industrial wastewater treatment plant in South Africa.
Invoiced sales amounted to SEK 1,511 million (1,306), which adjusted for the effects of exchange rate movements is a rise of 14 percent. Company acquisitions account for 8 percentage points of this figure. Operating earnings rose to SEK 83 million (73).
Liquidity and financing
At June 30, the Group's liquid assets stood at SEK 201 million (210) compared with SEK 264 million at the beginning of the year. In addition, there are unutilized credit facilities of approximately SEK 2.8 billion (3.3).
Cash flow from operations was SEK 518 million (128) after tax, which is equivalent to SEK 17.27 (4.27) per share. Adjusted for the effects of exchange rate movements on the change in working capital, cash flow was SEK 13.57 (8.00) per share after tax. The Group's gross investments, excluding company acquisitions, stood at SEK 151 million (147).
Net interest bearing debt at June 30 amounted to SEK 1,495 million (1,495) compared with SEK 1,242 million at the beginning of the year. The increase is mainly attributable to company acquisitions.
The number of employees in the Group at June 30 was 8,076 (7,940).