Alfa Laval hails recovering demand, India becomes third largest market

By Rory Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cent, Bric

Increasing demand for food processing and sanitary equipment in emerging markets was a strong growth driver in fourth quarter 2010, said Alfa Laval.

The Sweden-based company said Q4 orders jumped by 23 per cent to SEK6.4bn (€730.5m) and rose by 16 per cent year-on-year to SEK23.8bn.

“Food and Sanitary did especially well, benefiting from a good activity level for the food and pharmaceutical industries in the world’s emerging regions,”​ CEO and president Lars Renstrom.

He added that geographically, Central and Eastern Europe and North America reported the strongest development. But perhaps the most important shift was India’s growth to become the company’s third largest market behind the US and China.

Operating profit for the three-month period reached a two-year high of SEK1.3bn – a year-on-year jump of 16 per cent. Full year 2010 operating profits rose only two per cent compared to 2009 at SEK4.6bn.

The company said it expected the increase in demand to continue into Q1 2011.

Food equipment demand leads growth

Alfa Laval said its equipment division had posted strong growth in the quarter – with its Sanitary segment standing out thanks to strong demand for dairy, beverage and food applications across most regions. Demand from the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) outstripped “more established markets in relative terms”,​ said the company.

In its process technology division, the food sector once again generated strongest demand, said Alfa. Demand was driven particularly by the vegetable oil business, while edible oil segments in China and India also “benefited from a high activity level”.​ There was also strong growth in brewery equipment.

Regional demand

The company experienced good growth globally with Central and Eastern Europe said to be “very strong”​ compared to 12 months earlier. – posting a 62 per cent increase for Q4 and a 14 per cent jump for the year.

North America also experience substantial growth in orders of around 36 per cent for both the quarter and full year. All segments, with the exception of processing, saw increased activity.

All countries in Western Europe, which includes Scandinavia, posted a rise in orders with the exception of France. The region saw a 12 per cent increase in Q4 and a 7 per cent climb full year.

Orders from Asia also climbed (26 per cent for Q4 and18 per cent full year) with “particularly strong growth in India, Korea and China”,​ said the firm.

Latin American development was flat in Q4 with zero growth, although the region posted a 14 per cent rise in orders for 2010 as a whole.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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