Interim report – Thirdquarter and first nine months 2017

Third quarter 2017

  • Net sales increased by 10 percent to SEK 6,492 (5,880) million. Organic growth was 10 (7) percent and acquisitions contributed 2 percentage points. Fewer trading days in the quarter had a negative effect of -2 percentage points on sales.
  • Operating profit (EBIT) increased by 13 percent to SEK 510 (451) million. Fewer trading days in the quarter had a negative effect of approximately SEK 30 million on operating profit.
  • Profit (EBITA) increased by 11 percent to SEK 597 (538) million, with an EBITA margin of 9.2 (9.2) percent. Adjusted EBITA increased by 10 percent to SEK 597 (545) million, with an adjusted EBITA margin of 9.2 (9.3) percent.
  • Profit after tax was SEK 323 (152) million.
  • Basic and diluted earnings per share were SEK 0.74 (0.54).
  • During the quarter, an agreement was signed on the acquisition of Lenson Elektro AS, with an estimated annual turnover of approximately SEK 23 million.
  • The Swedish Competition Authority has approved the acquisition of ViaCon VA, with an estimated annual turnover of approximately SEK 320 million. Closing is expected in early November.

Interim period January – September

  • Net sales increased by 12 percent to SEK 19,879 (17,704) million. Organic growth was 9 (7) percent.
  • Operating profit (EBIT) increased by 15 percent to SEK 1,423 (1,241) million.
  • Profit (EBITA) increased by 13 percent to SEK 1,685 (1,496) million, with an EBITA margin of 8.5 (8.4) percent. Adjusted EBITA increased by 13 percent to SEK 1,697 (1,503) million, with an adjusted EBITA margin of 8.5 (8.5) percent.
  • Profit after tax was SEK 966 (280) million.
  • Basic and diluted earnings per share were SEK 2.21 (1.00).
  • Three acquisitions were made, with a combined annual turnover of approximately SEK 220 million.

Statement from the CEO - Strong third quarter with high activity level
It was a strong third quarter for the Ahlsell Group, with sales increasing by 10 percent compared with the previous year. All main markets contributed to the growth and the future outlook remains favourable.

The good market development that characterised 2017 so far continued during the quarter, with particularly good growth in September. Organic growth was 10%, which not only indicates good market development, but also shows that our investments have been successful. Our wide product range, availability and delivery capacity create value for customers, which is clear in periods of high customer activity and when requirements for product availability and delivery are critical. We grow in all our sales channels and note a continuously strong development within online sales. We managed to achieve an EBITA margin of 9.2 (9.2) percent during the quarter, while the level of activity and project volumes, particularly in construction and infrastructure, continued to be strong.  

Ahlsell Sweden remains the Group’s driving force, with organic growth of 13%. The growth reflects strong demand and all product segments increased their sales. Our ongoing initiatives, focusing on both new customer segments and new and converted stores, have been well received by customers. The central warehouse Hallsberg reported a high level of activity during the quarter, confirming our previously announced investment decision. The capacity expansion is proceeding according to plan, and the 12,500 square metre pipe warehouse was opened in early October, which means that we now have a central warehouse covering 80,000 square metres under roof. We look forward to increased automation and further streamlining on completion of the expansion in late 2018/early 2019.

Ahlsell Norway had organic growth of 8% in the quarter, with the Oslo region accounting for the largest part of growth. There is a high level of activity at the central warehouse in Gardemoen, and it is worth mentioning that the number of housing starts is expected to be the highest in almost 40 years in Norway. We also see that the reorganisation we have worked on during 2017 is starting to produce results. The customer presence has been expanded, with new and more full-range stores, while initiatives aimed at aquaculture and facility management customers have been successful.

Ahlsell Finland continues to develop positively, but with a slightly weaker growth rate than other markets. The particularly important Helsinki region remains an important part of our strategy and we will be establishing branches in two new attractive locations in the city during the fourth quarter. The measures we have communicated during 2017 are continuing according to plan. These include the reorganisation which, like the one previously conducted in Norway, is expected to have a positive effect as a result of increased sales and marketing.

Acquisitions are an important part of Ahlsell’s strategy for profitable growth and during the year we have strengthened our organisation for acquisitions. We see good opportunities to grow – within all product areas and regions. Lenson Elektro AS was acquired during the quarter, giving us access to expertise in temporary electrical installations in Norway. In addition, the Swedish Competition Authority has approved the acquisition of ViaCon VA in Sweden, which not only gives us access to attractive customer segments, but also brings increased distribution in the area of advanced geotechnical products. After closing of the above two transactions, Ahlsell will have acquired a total annual turnover of approximately SEK 565 million in 2017.

Outlook – It is pleasing to see that we are appreciated by our customers and have a high level of activity in our business. We have a well-diversified customer base and exposure to several market segments with different economic patterns, which means that we see long-term good demand for our products and services. We are positively affected by the current good growth in new construction and a bulk of our deliveries normally continue for about 6-18 months after the start of construction. I would also emphasise that over time the largest part of our construction revenue is related to renovation projects, for which we see pent-up demand in the period ahead. In addition, the infrastructure market in Sweden and Norway is developing strongly.

In the next coming quarters, everything points to continuing strong demand for our products.

Johan Nilsson

President and CEO

This report will be commented upon as follows:

Through a webcast today at 11:00 CEST (Europe/Stockholm) under the following link: www.financialhearings.com/event/10306

You can also participate by calling:

  • SE: +468 5664 2690
  • UK: +4420 3008 9801
  • US: +1855 753 2235

For further information, please contact:

Johan Nilsson, President and CEO
08 685 70 00,
Johan.Nilsson@ahlsell.se 

Kennet Göransson, CFO
070 6211 294,
Kennet.Goransson@ahlsell.se

Karin Larsson, Head of IR and external communications
08 685 59 24,
Karin.Larsson@ahlsell.se 

Ahlsell is the Nordic region’s leading distributor of installation products, tools and supplies for installers, construction companies, facility managers, industrial and power companies and the public sector. The unique customer offer covers more than one million individual products and solutions. The Group has a turnover of approximately SEK 27 billion and is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm. About 97 percent of the revenue is generated in the three main markets of Sweden, Norway and Finland. With over 5,000 employees, more than 200 branches and three central warehouses, we constantly fulfil our customer promise: Ahlsell makes it easier to be professional.

This information is information that Ahlsell AB (publ) is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation and the Securities Markets Act. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the Johan Nilsson, at 07.30 am (Stockholm/Europe) on October 20, 2017.

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About Us

Ahlsell is the Nordic region’s leading distributor of installation products, tools and supplies for installers, construction companies, facility managers, industrial and power companies and the public sector. The unique customer offer covers more than one million individual products and solutions. The Group has a turnover of about SEK 28 billion and about 97 percent of revenue is generated in the three main markets of Sweden, Norway and Finland. With about 5,600 employees, more than 220 branches and three central warehouses, we constantly fulfil our customer promise: Ahlsell makes it easier to be professional!

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