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Turning The Corner at Last

Times have been extremely difficult for Finnish based Glaston Oy, the international manufacturer of glass and glass processing equipment but its interim report hints at better times ahead

The company has adjusted its outlook and expects that 2014 net sales and operating profit, excluding non-recurring items, will grow

“The second quarter was significantly better than the first,” stated Arto Metsanen, President and Chief Executive, Glaston Oy. “Our net sales grew compared with the corresponding period of the previous year and our operating result, excluding non-recurring items, was positive at €2 million.”

The January-June operating profit, excluding non-recurring items, improved compared with the corresponding period last year by €0.6 million, despite net sales being ‘slightly below’ the previous year’s level. Mr Metsanen argued that this “shows that our profitability is developing in the right direction”.

Glaston reported that in the second quarter, new orders received were on a higher level than the previous year and reduced the difference caused by the low level of the first quarter, ending up, in practice, at the previous year’s level for the whole first half of the year. The prediction is that full-year net sales will exceed the previous year’s level.

Although the net sales of each reporting sector for the first six months fell short of the previous year’s figures, business profitability improved. In the machines’ sector, demand was strong, particularly for furnaces of the FC product series. Demand for pre-processing machines improved but profitability was still unsatisfactory.

In the services’ sector, there was a slight improvement in demand, especially towards the end of the second quarter. “We will continue our systematic work with both growth and profitability measures during the second half of the year,” said Mr Metsanen. “In line with our strategy, we are focusing more strongly on developing the customer experience, and during the early part of the year we have received encouraging feedback on our work from our customers. Our goal is to achieve the highest customer satisfaction in our field of business.”

OUTLOOK

Glaston still expects the market overall to grow moderately in 2014. In North America, market growth is expected to continue. The European economy has shown signs of strengthening, and the positive development of the EMEA area is expected to continue.

In Asia, and particularly in China, stable development is expected, despite the short term uncertainty overshadowing the market. The largest challenges are directed at South America, where market development has slowed.

Glaston has found good prospects continue in the safety glass market which is expected to grow by nearly 7% per year up to 2017. The reasons include increasing use of safety glass, greater deployment of glass in construction, and more widespread utilisation of energy efficient glass in both renovations and new construction.

In accordance with its strategy, the company will increasingly focus on improving customer satisfaction and customer experience as well as on traditional areas of its reputation, i.e. glass processing machines and related services.

Caption             A bird’e eye view of the Glaston Oy factory in Finland – improving figures for its machines and services are being experienced after a painful period in the recession.

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