trading update - third quarter 2009
In the third quarter, the activities of Aalberts Industries showed a limited upward trend and an increased order position. This was primarily thanks to the limited running down of stocks by its clients, the introduction of new products, additional sales efforts and organisational improvements. Due to the measures taken, efficiency has been enhanced and a structural reduction of costs achieved. Partly as a consequence of maintaining the added value margin, the results for the third quarter were in line with those of the second quarter, despite the holiday period. In addition, the focus continued to be on improving working capital.
A slight increase in volume was visible in Industrial Services? most important markets, in part this was due to an increase in the number of repeat orders. Industrial Services also profited from the trend towards sound and stable suppliers. There was an increase in the number of orders in, amongst others, the semiconductor industry and increased levels of activity at clients. The automotive industry showed a slight recovery and, in particular, benefited from no further reduction in stocks. In the precision engineering industry, the level of activity remained low, while a downward trend was visible in the aerospace industry.
Flow Control strengthened its market position through the introduction of new products and systems, and by further accelerating and intensifying cross-selling. In the main, clients in this sector also stopped running down their stocks. Renovation and maintenance activities showed growth, while the market for new-build private housing remained challenging. Although the social house building and commercial building sectors remained stable, various countries witnessed a movement from new-build to renovation. A slight improvement was visible in the utilities market, supported in part by government projects.
Despite the limited upward trend, it is not possible to give an outlook for the whole of 2009. However, when the economy improves, the extra sales efforts, organisational improvements and structural reduction of costs will enable Aalberts Industries to emerge strengthened from the current market situation.