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Interim report 2024, January - March

16/04/2024

First quarter

Net sales for the first quarter reached SEK 616 m (773), corresponding to a decrease of 20%. Currency translations had a negative effect of SEK 3 m on net sales

Order intake was SEK 473 m (682), corresponding to a decrease of 31%

Operating profit reached SEK 130 m (211), equal to a 21.1% (27.4) operating margin. Adjusted operating profit reached SEK 133 m, equal to a 21.6 % adjusted operating margin

Profit after tax totaled SEK 107 m (172) and basic earnings per share was SEK 2.28 (3.70). Adjusted profit after tax totaled SEK 110 m and adjusted basic earnings per share was SEK 2.35

Cash flow from operating activities amounted to SEK 58 m (155)

Last twelve months

Net sales for the last twelve months reached SEK 2,868 m (2,762), corresponding to a 4% increase. Currency translations had a positive effect of SEK 91 m on net sales

Order intake was SEK 2,094 m (2,889), corresponding to a decrease of 28%

Operating profit reached SEK 672 m (725), equal to a 23.4% (26.2) operating margin. Adjusted operating profit reached SEK 698 m, equal to a 24.3% adjusted operating margin

Profit after tax totaled SEK 505 m (568) and basic earnings per share was SEK 10.82 (12.17). Adjusted profit after tax totaled SEK 531 m and adjusted basic earnings per share was SEK 11.38

Cash flow from operating activities amounted to SEK 422 m (506)

Subsequent events

Completed acquisition of 100% of the shares in Red Lion Controls Inc. and Red Lion Europe GmbH as well as certain assets in other jurisdictions ( Red Lion Controls )

Launch of cost saving program to reduce cost and streamline organization

CEO commentsA CHALLENGING QUARTER BRIGHTER FUTURE AHEAD

As expected, the first quarter of the year was weak for HMS. With an order book now back to normal levels, the low order intake also affects invoicing. As we have reported in recent quarters, our customers continue to adjust inventories to normal levels and shorter lead times, which means that our reported order intake does not reflect the underlying demand. We can see some improvements in order intake during the start of April, which is also in line with our expectations.

The quarter's order intake amounts to SEK 473 million (682), corresponding to an organic decrease of 36%. We can see that the quarter's order intake was negatively affected by our customers' inventory adjustments by approximately SEK 180 million. The underlying order intake is estimated at SEK 635 million, which indicates a continued wait-and-see market.

The quarter's net sales amounted to SEK 616 million (773), which corresponds to an organic decrease of 20% compared to the corresponding period last year.

The order book decreased by SEK 137 million and amounts to SEK 641 million at the end of the quarter, which we consider to be a normal level going forward.

Although we see a slight improvement in demand, we are now taking measures to be able to handle a short-term decline in turnover, to protect our operating profit and enable growth investments going forward. We also take advantage of early cost synergies from the acquisition of Red Lion Controls. We are therefore now starting a restructuring program that aims to lower our cost level by SEK 30 million in 2024, with an expected full-year effect of SEK 55 million. The program is expected to affect 45 positions in total, of which 25 are in Sweden. The second quarter is expected to be burdened by restructuring costs of SEK 35 million related to the program.

Our gross margin, burdened mainly by lower volumes and product mix, lands at 62.6% (64.8). During the quarter, we have also cut back on staff in our production to handle the lower demand.

We have already taken certain measures during the quarter to keep our operating costs down primarily by postponing a number of activities. Operating costs amount to SEK 256 million (290) and includes integration and transaction costs of SEK 3 million, related to the acquisition of Red Lion Controls. Organically, operating costs excluding integration and transaction costs decreased by 13%. During the latter part of the year, we will carry out previously postponed activities and will therefore see a slightly higher cost level, despite the above-mentioned cost savings.

The adjusted operating profit in the quarter amounted to SEK 133 million (211), which corresponds to an operating margin of 21.6% (27.4). The quarter's cash flow from current operations amounts to SEK 58 million (155), which is affected by continued increased working capital, mainly related to our relatively large inventory.

STILL WEAK DEVELOPMENT IN EUROPE, BUT TENDENCIES FOR IMPROVEMENT

Although still week, In Europe we see some improvement in order intake compared to the second half of 2024 and we have indications from our customers that the trend should continue in the right direction in the second quarter, and that during the second half of the year expect to see a more clear improvement.

In Asia, primarily driven by Japan, where we have had the biggest impact from pre-purchase orders, we still see weak demand and continued high inventory levels at our largest customers. Here, we expect to receive new order only towards the end of the year.

What is somewhat surprising is the development in North America, which is taking a small step back after a good development at the end of 2023. The slightly weaker order intake in the US is related to the Anybus embedded products, where we still have a couple of our biggest customers holding inventory. Overall, we still see that North America has the prerequisites for a good development over the year.

THE ACQUISITION OF RED LION CONTROLS HAS BEEN COMPLETED

On April 2nd, we gained access to our largest acquisition to date, Red Lion Controls. The acquisition is consolidated from the first of April. Several activities are now underway to realize the sa
LINK: http://www.hms-networks.com/news-and-insights/news-from-hms/2024/04/16...
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