BT INDUSTRIES: DEMAND UP, SALES DOWN

News Story
- 11 Mar 2004 ( #148 ) - MJÖLBY, Sweden
1 min read
BT Industries says global demand for forklifts rose almost 7% in 2003, with the largest increase in combustion-powered, counterbalanced forklifts.

In a financial report for 2003, BT said the most substantial increases were outside the mature markets of Europe and the USA. The world market was estimated at 633,000 units. The warehouse segment, BT's core market, accounted for 250,000 units, and grew 3%.

BT's global warehouse market share declined slightly, and sat at slightly more than 20% for the year.

"One reason is that we have had an unfavourable market mix," CEO Per Zaunders said. "The markets where [we have] strong positions have experienced weaker development than markets where [we] traditionally have a low market share.

"The most important example of this is the USA, where BT Industries has a relatively high share. Because of the trend in recent years, this region now represents a smaller share of the global market than before."

The group's total 2003 orders amounted to SEK12 billion (USD1.6 billion), a decrease of 4% from 2002. Net sales totalled SEK11.88 billion (USD1.58 billion), also a 4% decrease.

"The predominant reason for the decrease in orders received and net sales was the translation of the weaker US dollar," Mr Zaunders said.

Of the group's net sales, 54% were in Western Europe, 36% in North America and 10% in the rest of the world. Income after net financial items decreased 8% to SEK736 million (USD98.2 million).

"Economic conditions going forward in priority segments are looking better. We are well prepared for a likely upswing, and we anticipate maintaining a high rate of product renewal to capitalise on increasingly positive market conditions," Mr Zaunders said.
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