Metso Continues Profitable Growth Trend

Metso Corp. President and CEO Jorma Eloranta
said the company’s Metso Minerals business
group was its growth leader in 3Q07, and expects
continued strong results well into 2008.
Overall, Metso Corp. recorded improved third quarter results in 2007, as compared with July–September 2006. Net sales increased by 24% and totaled €1,452 million (€1,169 million in Q3/06). Organic growth was good in all business areas but strongest in Metso Minerals, which contributed 42% of net sales. Total earnings before interest, tax and amortization (EBITA) were €157.3 million or 10.8% of net sales. However, Metso Minerals’ EBITA margin decreased. Metso Minerals’ third-quarter profitability was hit by exceptionally high, one-off warranty repair costs and the weakening of the U.S. dollar, explained Jorma Eloranta, president and CEO of Metso Corp. The January- September operating profit of Metso Minerals increased to €248.7 million, or 13.5% of net sales.

Eloranta confirmed that Metso expects markets to continue to be favorable well into 2008. “Our strong order backlog provides solid bases for next year. We aim to deliver profitable growth for the last quarter of 2007 and in 2008.” Metso’s overall research and development expenditure totaled €79 million (€80 million) during January- September, or 1.8% of net sales.

New orders worth €1,440 million were received in July–September, 9% more than in the corresponding period of last year. Metso Minerals’ order intake grew by 17% and accounted for 44% of all orders. Orders increased strongly in the Mining and Recycling business lines, while growth in the Construction business line leveled off. Geographically, new orders came from all market areas, but especially from Europe. The largest orders received by Metso Minerals included minerals processing equipment for ArcelorMittal Steel’s concentrator plants in Ukraine, grinding equipment for Platmin Ltd.’s platinum mine in South Africa and crushing and screening equipment for Construtora Norberto Odebrecht S.A.’s projects in Angola and Venezuela. Metso Minerals also entered into a five-year service contract with Codelco in Chile.

As mentioned in our Scandinavian Report (E&MJ, October 2007, p. 68), Metso is expanding in India, building more assembly capacity for mobile crushing and vibrating equipment in Bawal and a foundry in Ahmedabad, as well as office facilities, primarily for new engineering resources in New Delhi. Capacity at the Brazilian crusher manufacturing plant is also being extended and in Finland a new assembly line for track-mounted crushing plants was introduced in Tampere early in the year, and a research center including a pilot plant and rock laboratory will be completed by the end of the year.

Metso is also investing in an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution covering the entire supply chain within Metso Automation. The investment is due to be completed by the turn of 2009-2010. A similar investment is under way in Metso Minerals. In March 2007, Metso acquired the North American metals recycling technology provider, Bulk Equipment Systems and Technologies Inc. (B.E.S.T. Inc.), located in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. The acquisition price was approximately €9 million. The company’s net sales for 2006 were €8 million and it employs approximately 40 people.

Metso Automation will deliver a centralized automation and information system for the whole processing operation at the Talvivaara nickel project (E&MJ, October 2007, pp. 38, 40). Deliveries will take place in four phases, starting in January 2008.

The Talvivaara production plant will include metals recovery lines, side processes, crushing and conveying operations, as well as pumping units. The monitoring and controls of all these processes will be centralized in Metso Automation’s system, in one main control room. The automation system, the plant’s intelligent MCC motor control centers and frequency converters will be linked with Profibus DP, while field instrumentation will be largely based on Profibus PA technology.

Metso has an approximately 4% holding in Talvivaara Mining Co. Ltd., which was valued at approximately €36 million at the end of September and is classified in the balance sheet as an available-for-sale investment. In connection with Talvivaara’s listing in May, Metso undertook to retain its Talvivaara shares for at least six months. Metso’s holding relates to a joint R&D project with Talvivaara Mining to develop rock processing and bulk materials handling processes.

As featured in Womp 07 Vol 9 -