Hans Linnarson, President and CEO:
"Growth in the North American market continued, but the demand for forestry and garden products slowed down towards the end of the quarter. In the European markets, demand was hampered by unfavorable weather as well as weaker market conditions.
Group net sales for the second quarter were on the same level as the corresponding quarter in the previous year, adjusted for currency effects. Sales for Americas grew double digit, supported by improved factory delivery performance and a more favorable business environment, while sales for Europe & Asia/Pacific decreased.
Sales of professional products in the dealer channel in Europe & Asia/Pacific increased in spite of the weak market conditions. In the retail channel, sales of watering products declined. Robotic mowers continued to perform well in both channels.
For Construction, the trend from the first quarter with growth in the North American market continued and the European markets remained challenging.
Group operating income for the second quarter increased by 12%. Operating income was affected positively by the volume growth in the dealer channel and lower production costs. The operating margin for Europe & Asia/Pacific remained on a high level, in spite of the negative impact from unfavorable weather. Additionally, our ongoing focus on working capital has resulted in a positive development of cash flow.
Customer service, delivery reliability and cash flow are some of the Group's top priorities for 2012, and I am pleased to note the significant improvement achieved in the first half year.
Looking ahead, the immediate market development in Europe as well as in North America is difficult to assess."
- Net sales amounted to SEK 10,706m (10,179). Adjusted for exchange rate effects, net sales were unchanged.
- Operating cash flow improved to SEK 2,535m (1,587).
- Positive sales development and market share gains for Americas and Construction, weather related downturn for Europe & Asia/Pacific.
- Operating income increased 12% to SEK 1,136m (1,012). Higher operating income for Americas and Construction, lower for Europe & Asia/Pacific.
- Earnings per share increased to SEK 1.36 (1.18).
A combined press and telephone conference, hosted by Hans Linnarson, President and CEO, and Ulf Liljedahl, CFO, will be held at the Anglais Hotel in Stockholm at 11:00 CET on July 19, 2012. To participate, please Dial +46 (0) 8 5052 0110 (Sweden) or +44 (0)20 7162 0077 (UK) ten minutes prior to the start of the conference. The conference call will also be audio cast live on www.husqvarnagroup.com/ir (http://wwwhusqvarna.com/ir) A replay will be available at www.husqvarnagroup.com/ir (http://wwwhusqvarna.com/ir)later the same day.
The Husqvarna Group is the world's largest producer of outdoor power products including chainsaws, trimmers, lawn mowers and garden tractors. The Group is also the European leader in consumer watering products and one of the world leaders in cutting equipment and diamond tools for the construction and stone industries. The product offering includes products for both consumers and professional users. The Group's products are sold via dealers and retailers in more than 100 countries. Net sales in 2011 amounted to SEK 30 billion, and the average number of employees was approximately 15,700.
Ulf Liljedahl, CFO, +46 8 738 94 42
Tobias Norrby, Investor Relations Manager, +46 8 738 93 35
Husqvarna Press Hotline, +46 8 738 90 80
This interim report comprises information which Husqvarna is required to disclose under the Securities Markets Act and/or the Financial Instruments Trading Act. It was released for publication at 08:00 CET on July 19, 2012.