Group sales grow by 18 % to break EUR 1 billion barrier − Profitability improves by all indicators − Outlook for 2012 remains positive.
“2011 was another year of great progress for Eltel. The Group made important market entries and, thanks to our employees, we won new customer contracts, and improved our operational efficiency and cash position”, says Axel Hjärne, President and CEO of Eltel Group Corporation.
The markets in which Eltel operates continued to recover strongly throughout 2011. Eltel’s net sales increased by 18 % compared to the previous year, and totalled EUR 1011,4 million (856,4). The growth in net sales was achieved organically with positive contributions from most areas and geographies of the Group. In 2011, the operative EBITA was EUR 46,2 million (43,1).
Cash flow generated from operations (before financial items and taxes) increased strongly to EUR 54,0 million (20,0) on the back of the higher operating profit as well as a reduction in net working capital. The Group-wide program to improve capital efficiency, launched in 2010, successfully contributed to a EUR 8,8 million (23 %) reduction of net working capital at year-end despite the strong growth in net sales. The total amount of available liquidity reserves at year-end was EUR 72,4 million (59,5).
Systematic development continues
“Eltel has made important structural improvements in recent years and this has helped us to perform practically in all demand conditions. One of the most recent changes is to organize the whole Group in six specialised Business Units. These include our offerings both in the electricity as well as telecommunications sectors. Our employees work in a specialised organization where empowerment plays an important role. The ability to make right decisions in the field is one of Eltel’s competitive advantages,” says Axel Hjärne, President and CEO of Eltel Group Corporation.
The number of employees at the end of 2011 was 8064 – a 4 % increase on the previous year (7751). As a result of improvements in operational efficiency, and well-planned use of subcontractors, the increase in headcount was well balanced in comparison to the growth in sales.
“The strategic goal of Eltel is to be the leading Infranet company in Europe, and continue to improve the financial performance of the Group. Our services and competitiveness are at a good level, which provides a sound platform for systematic organic growth.” Infranet means an innovative integration of electricity, telecommunications and IT technologies into one offering and service delivery.
Outlook for 2012 remains positive
“Good demand, booking of new contracts, and network maintenance works after the winter storms in the Nordic countries, are some of the factors behind the growth of sales during the first quarter of 2012. Power Transmission signed the execution contract at the end of March to start to build overhead lines for National Grid in UK. This contract is expected to continue for the next five years. Underground cabling is another area where the investments are growing. In telecommunications upgrading of networks to 4G and optical fiber are the dominating drivers.
However we should not forget that we operate in a competitive market. The performance of our peer group varies a lot in Europe. Eltel has to continue to develop the way we run the company, the “Eltel Way”. The focus and primary target is to ensure that employees are motivated, have the right skills and tools to serve our customers. Our new specialised organization with excellent knowledge about the customer needs will secure fruitful collaboration with customers. Eltel will always be as good as all our employees together”, concludes Axel Hjärne.
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Group key figures
|Personnel at the year end
*Including one-off exceptional items.
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