Mats Rahmström, President and CEO of the Atlas Copco Group, comments on the report for Q4.
“Demand was mixed during the quarter and order volumes decreased, primarily due to lower order intake for vacuum equipment,” said Mats Rahmström. “Despite remaining supply chain challenges, revenues reached a new record level last year, as well as in the quarter. I would like to thank our employees for all their hard work, and our customers for successful cooperation during the year.”
Order volumes for industrial compressors remained essentially unchanged, orders for portable compressors decreased and orders for vacuum equipment decreased significantly, driven by lower demand from the semiconductor industry. On the other hand, order volumes increased for industrial assembly and vision solutions, as well as for gas and process compressors. Solid order growth was achieved for the service business in all business areas.
The order intake in the fourth quarter reached MSEK 36 148 (33 525), an organic decline of 7%. Revenues increased 16% to MSEK 40 054 (29 533). Operating profit was MSEK 7 810 (6 248), corresponding to a margin of 19.5% (21.2). Adjusted operating profit, excluding items affecting comparability, reached MSEK 8 029 (6 462), corresponding to a margin of 20.0% (21.9). The margin was negatively affected by higher costs related to continued supply chain constraints, higher costs for purchased material, and dilutions from recent acquisitions. Currency had a small positive effect on the margin for the Group. Return on capital employed was 29% (27).
Looking ahead, in the near term, Atlas Copco expects that the customers’ activity level will remain at the current level.
The Board of Directors proposes an ordinary dividend of SEK 2.30 (1.90, adjusted for share split) per share, to be paid in two instalments, the first with record date May 2, 2023, and the second with record date October 20, 2023.