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Middle East market drives first quarter growth at Glaston

Post Time:Nov 12,2013Classify:Industry NewsView:41

First quarter orders increased 25 percent for Finland’s glass machinery company Glaston Corp., with the Middle East leading growth and Asia developing positively, according to Glaston’s April 23 interim report. Net sales grew 8 percent in the quarter, while operating profits slipped 5 percent due to losses in the company’s Tamglass Glass Processing unit, said Mika Seitovirta, president and CEO, in the report. The market developed positively during the quarter, except for North America, where investments have declined due to a rapid slowdown of residential construction and financial market instability, according to the release. “From orders received during January-March 2008, we can clearly see that there still is a market in the U.S. with new orders for all parts of our business,” says Kimmo Lautanen, chief financial officer. “We are though operating at a lower level than during previous years. The situation in the U.S. has primarily affected our heat treatment business, while the market situation for pre-processing machinery and software has been good.” First quarter net sales for heat treatment totaled $51.9 million down from $57.7 million. At the end of the quarter, the order book was $102.6 million down from $114.1 million, according to the release. Orders received in the heat treatment area developed according to expectations. In the period under review, safety glass machine orders grew nearly 27 percent compared with corresponding period the previous year. Orders received totaled $62.8 million on March 31, 2008. Most of this growth came from the EMEA or Europe, Middle-East and Africa area, according to the release. “During January-March 2008, we saw strong growth in the EMEA area, up 64 percent compared to last year,” Lautanen says. “The Middle East is in a key position when looking at growth figures.” There is a growing demand for “comprehensive solutions and investments in the solar energy sector” in the Middle-East, adds Petri Mölsä, vice president, EMEA Sales and Service. The economic downturn in North America and signs of lower economic conditions in certain Western European countries did not affect demand in the pre-processing business area, according to the release. The South American and Chinese markets were particularly active and the positive development is expected to continue. Net sales grew slightly compared with the corresponding period the previous year and totaled $36.1 million from $34.2 million. China and north Asia is Glaston’s focus, Lautanen says. “During the first quarter Glaston’s order intake in Asia was up 16 percent compared to last year,” he says. “We can see growth in all parts of the market led by North Asia.” Looking forward, the architectural glass market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 6 percent to 8 percent until 2010, Seitovirta says. “The architectural glass segment is expanding through growth of commercial and residential construction, particularly in the Middle East, China and South America as well as Russia and Eastern Europe,” he says. “In construction, the share of safety glass and energy glass is growing, which is boosting demand for Glaston’s machines. “Of the customer segments, the architectural glass industry is supported by the developing solar energy market as well as the appliance and automotive industries,” Seitovirta says. —By Sahely Mukerji Share this article:

Source: http://www.glassmagazine.com/news-item/commercial/middle-east-market-drives-first-quarter-growth-glastonAuthor:

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