BT Industries: Orders Up, Income Down


MJOLBY, Sweden, Feb. 28, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- BT Industries:

- Global market for lift trucks largely unchanged

- Orders received rose by 3% to SEK 12,556 m.

- Net sales declined by 7% to SEK 12,329 m.

- Income after net financial items down 10% to SEK 796 m.

The major decline in demand for industrial trucks that began in North America in late 2000 continued throughout 2001 and spread to the rest of the world. In 2002 the market as a whole was more stable and showed initial signs of a recovery, although great uncertainty remains.

The total global market for industrial trucks is expected to remain unchanged during the year. A slight increase in the market segment for combustion-powered counterbalanced trucks has been noted.

"Although our markets have decreased slightly, we have been able to compensate in volume terms through higher market shares," said CEO Per Zaunders. "BT's market share in warehouse trucks is expected to increase by a couple of percentage points to 22 percent in 2002. We are the world leader in this segment."

Orders received up and net sales down The Group's orders received amounted to SEK 12,556 m., up 3 percent compared with 2001. At comparable exchange rates, the increase was 7 percent.

Net sales fell by 7 percent to SEK 12,329 m. At comparable exchange rates, the decrease was 3 percent. The order backlog rose slightly during the year.

Of the Group's net sales, Western Europe accounts for 53 percent, North America for 38 percent and other markets for 9 percent. The North American share has fallen in recent years due to the major economic slowdown in North America. The decline in the value of the dollar relative to the Swedish krona has also reduced the North American share when measured in SEK.

Income after net financial items declined by 10 percent to SEK 796 m. The profit margin was maintained at largely the same level - 6.5 percent versus 6.7 percent in 2001.

Future outlook

The short-term outlook for the global industrial truck market is still very difficult to predict.

"There are signs that the economy has leveled off and that we may soon see a beginning rebound. There are still a number of uncertain factors, however, including the Iraqi crisis," said Per Zaunders. "In the long term perspective, industrial trucks are a growth industry. Despite weak development in recent years, we expect long-term continued good growth. This is why we are investing major resources in, among other things, production and product development. Efficient production and innovative product renewal are both essential in order to further consolidate BT's world-leading position in the market for warehouse trucks."

For further information, please contact
CEO Per Zaunders at +46 142 860 32

CFO Hakan Dahllof at +46 142 863 38

General information:
Group Information & PR Coordinator Ingrid Gyhagen
+46 142 865 58 or +46 70 658 34 27.

The complete annual accounts and other press material are available on BT Industries' home page,

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The full year-end report