Record sales and profitability for a first quarter

In the first quarter of 2012, net sales increased by 17% to SEK 17,999 M (15,422). Adjusted for currency movements, net sales increased by 11%. The higher sales were driven by favorable demand for equipment in most markets outside China. In China net sales were on the same level as last year thanks to higher market shares and a favorable product mix with more heavy equipment, which combined offset the weaker industry demand.

Operating income increased by 21% to SEK 2,131 M (1,755) and operating margin was 11.8% (11.4). Operating income and operating margin were the highest so far for a first quarter. The higher earnings is primarily an effect of higher sales price realization and cost reductions. Changes in the currency exchange rates had a positive impact on operating income of SEK 161 M in the quarter.

The value of the order book at March 31 was 35% higher than a year earlier.