Alrik Danielson, SKF President and CEO:
“Demand was in line with our expectations for the quarter with growth, in volume terms, just under 2%. Our industrial business gained some momentum while, as expected, the automotive business slowed somewhat. Geographically, Asia once again had the strongest growth and North and Latin America developed well, while Europe remained relatively unchanged. Especially pleasing was our cash flow performance during the quarter, which after investments and before financing was very strong, at SEK 2 billion with both accounts receivables and inventories going down. The focus remained on the marketplace, with a high activity level, a lot of new business gained and several customer awards received. Attention was also given to finalizing the new simplified, efficient and more customer-focused industrial market structure. This was done by merging our two industrial businesses and was launched on 1 January 2015. Combined with a rationalization of corporate staff functions, we estimate that this set-up will result in a reduction of approxi-mately 1 500 employees worldwide, giving a sizeable white collar productivity improvement. With our simplified structure, I am convinced that we will be even better and quicker at creating competitive products and services with customer applications in focus.
Looking forward, we continue to experience volatility in the market place. Sequentially, we expect the demand to be relatively unchanged for the Group. However, the short-term demand effects of the very low mineral and oil prices as well as the recent currency movements, with a stronger dollar, are difficult to predict. Finally I would like to thank Tom Johnstone, for his help and support during my transitional period.”
In the picture: Alrik Danielson, SKF President and CEO.