During the first quarter of the year, market uncertainty continued and it meant decrease in our sales volumes. However, our net sales was increased by Componenta Manufacturing Oy (previously Komas Oy), which was not part of Componenta Group during the comparison period. Our profitability was burdened not only with changes in product mix and reduced volumes but also by temporary decrease in productivity caused by challenges we had with quality.
During the first quarter, we reduced our management and downsized administrative personnel. These measures will have a positive impact on our company’s fixed costs. In addition, cost savings from the acquisition and integration of Componenta Manufacturing Oy (previously Komas Oy) to Componenta Group will actualize in our results with a delay.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic did not have any significant impact on Componenta’s business operations during the first quarter. At the moment, however, the development of sales volumes involves uncertainties and the pandemic will have a slightly negative impact on net sales and profitability during the second quarter.
We have actively carried out measures to protect the safety and health of our personnel, to maintain good delivery capacity and customer service despite the current exceptional circumstances, and to minimize the impact of the pandemic on Componenta’s finances. We have also secured the availability of raw material for our own production by using alternative procurement channels and, therefore, our delivery capacity has remained on a good level, even though the restrictions due to the pandemic, international procurement channels and financial uncertainties have strained our customers’ production.
To keep costs under control and diminish the negative impact of the pandemic, we have launched additional cost saving measures. These include investment restrictions, minimization of travel and use of consultant services, and adjustments through cooperation negotiations in all our business units, including Componenta Group’s administration.
During the reporting period, we strengthened our sales function by appointing a new sales and marketing director. We also clarified the responsibilities and operating model of our sales. With these changes we seek to clarify the ownership of sales in our profit centres and to secure the fulfilment of Componenta’s growth and profitability targets in the long term.
Our liquidity remained on a good level during the reporting period and has further improved after the end of the period. At the end of March, the Group had EUR 3.3 million in undrawn committed credit facilities, in addition to which we signed a new revolving credit facility agreement of EUR 2.0 million in April.
We will continue to focus on securing new sales volumes and keeping our key operations profitable and liquidity under control. These measures will help to secure our company’s operations in the short term, recover rapidly from the current exceptional circumstances and reach our long-term strategic goals.
Uncertainty in the markets increased particularly during the last quarter of 2019, which was evidenced by a decrease in sales volumes. However, Componenta’s net sales increased due to the consolidation of Komas Oy (currently Componenta Manufacturing Oy) into Componenta Group as of 1 September 2019. In addition to decreasing volumes, the profitability was burdened by the advisory fees of EUR 0.4 million related to the acquisition of Komas Oy (currently Componenta Manufacturing Oy), recorded in profit and loss account. The Group’s administrative costs have increased in proportion to its continued operations’ net sales and operating result because of Componenta Främmestad AB’s bankruptcy. The administrative costs of Componenta Corporation, the parent company, have not changed due to Componenta Främmestad AB’s bankruptcy, but they continue to burden the result of continued operations, while Componenta Främmestad AB’s net sales and direct costs are no longer part of the continued operations’ result.
The measures for adjusting the expenses have started, and we will continue to systematically improve Componenta Group’s cost-efficiency and productivity and to increase the sales. To achieve synergy benefits and strengthen the Componenta brand, the name of Componenta Finland Oy was changed to Componenta Castings Oy and the name of Komas Oy to Componenta Manufacturing Oy as of 1 January 2020.
We worked for years to improve the profitability of the Swedish machine shop Componenta Främmestad AB. The profitability of its customer relationships was weak, and we could not significantly improve profitability through negotiations on renewing customer agreements. In addition, the products were low in added value, and most of the business consisted of refining and supplying of castings from outside the Group. Because we did not manage to make the operations permanently profitable, there was no point to continue them, and Componenta Främmestad AB filed for bankruptcy on 25 September 2019. Giving up the unprofitable customer accounts of the Swedish machine shop business released capital and allowed us to focus on the component and series sizes aligned with our core business and to diversify the range of services in Finland.
For a long time, our customers have expressed their wish that Componenta would be able to offer assembly-ready components. That is why we acquired Komas Oy (currently Componenta Manufacturing Oy), a machining company, in August 2019. The acquisition made Componenta the leading manufacturer of metal components in Finland and expanded our range of products and services. We are now capable of providing industries purchasing cast and machined components with a one-stop service, which has been received well among customers. We have already closed the first new deals on finished components.
The implementation of restructuring programmes progressed as planned in 2019, and the Group’s liquidity remained good.
We worked to improve Componenta Främmestad AB’s profitability over a long period of time. However, as we were not able to resume and retain profitability, it was not reasonable to continue the company’s operations, and the company filed for bankruptcy on 25 September 2019. The profitability of its customer relationships was weak, and even though we negotiated on renewing customer agreements, we did not manage to significantly improve profitability. Now, in the new Componenta Group, we can focus on the piece and serial sizes necessary for our core operations, and on diversifying our range of services in Finland by offering a one-stop shop of cast and machined components. This creates substantial benefits for machine and equipment manufacturers seeking quality and efficiency through ready-to-install components.
Towards the end of the review period, there was increased market uncertainty about future volumes. This was reflected in sales volumes, which decreased slightly. However, Componenta’s net sales increased due to the consolidation of Komas Oy into Componenta Group as of 1 September 2019. During the review period, Componenta’s profitability was burdened by EUR 0.4 million advisory fees related to the acquisition of Komas and recorded in profit and loss. Furthermore, there were EUR 0.1 million advisory fees recognized in equity. The Group’s administrative costs have increased in proportion to its continuing operations’ net sales and operating result because of Componenta Främmestad AB’s bankruptcy. The administrative costs of Componenta Corporation, the parent company, have not changed due to Componenta Främmestad AB’s bankruptcy, but they continue to burden the result of continuing operations, while Componenta Främmestad AB’s net sales and direct costs are no longer part of the continuing operations’ result. Componenta Främmestad AB’s bankruptcy is causing uncertainty about future production volumes at the Karkkila foundry and probably even more clearly at the Pori foundry. However, the final impact depends on the degree to which end customers purchase products directly from the foundries or through their other subcontractors. We will continue to systematically improve Componenta Group’s cost-efficiency and productivity. The Group’s liquidity remained at a good level.
With the acquisition of Komas Oy at the end of August, Componenta is able to offer its customers a more extensive range of products and services, which improves customer service. Our one-stop service has been received well among customers, and we have already closed the first new deals on finished components. To achieve synergy benefits and strengthen the Componenta brand, the company intends to change Componenta Finland Oy’s name to Componenta Castings Oy and Komas Oy’s name to Componenta Manufacturing Oy as of 1 January 2020.
The profitability of the first half-year weakened compared to the comparison period. The weakening can almost solely be explained with reduction of operations in Sweden. Part of the weakening is explained with the advisory fees related to Komas acquisition. The underlying factors of the reduction of operations in Sweden is related to the termination of one customer agreement in 2018. Componenta’s possibilities for profitable operation with the customer in question, became impossible after the divestment of Turkish operations in 2017. In terms of Componenta’s business scope and profitability, the first half-year in Finland proceeded better than in the comparison period.
Componenta aims to improve profitability and reduce capital employed in business operations in Sweden. The downscaling activities are in progress and their impacts will be visible with a delay. Due to the procedures of termination of employment, the manufacturing costs are decreasing more slowly than the volumes of business. The costs of downscaling will burden the business of Componenta Främmestad AB also for the rest of the year. Componenta Främmestad AB is negotiating for agreements with customers. If these downscaling activities and negotiations for agreements do not result in required profitability, the ability for Componenta Främmestad AB to continue as a going concern is jeopardized.
The net cash flow from operations were EUR 7.3 million. The improved net cash flow from operations is mainly a result from decreased working capital.
The company signed an agreement, during the reporting period, on purchasing Komas Oy. This arrangement strengthens Componenta’s competitiveness in the long run by improving the level of expertise in the company and the ability to offer more integrated services to customers. The acquisition of Komas was not closed yet during July 2019 because of absent of one approval from authorities. We expect to receive this approval during August.
In the first quarter, business at Finnish foundries proceeded better than before in terms of its scope and profitability. On the other hand, the volumes and profitability of machining, painting and castings sold as agency products and profitability in Sweden declined. Componenta is implementing a strategy in Sweden whereby it aims to improve profitability and reduce capital employed in business operations. This will be carried out by reducing some of the weakest customer relationships. Manufacturing costs are decreasing more slowly than net sales. For this reason, profitability in Sweden is currently poor, and will continue to be so for the rest of the year.
The Group’s liquidity continued to develop very positively. The reduction in working capital in Sweden will continue to support this trend for the rest of the year.
Componenta’s restructuring programs have progressed as planned. We continued to take measures to improve the profitability during the financial year that ended: we reduced costs, improved the productivity of our factories and increased prices as planned.
We also assessed our customer relationships during the financial year and terminated one significant unprofitable customer contract. The main reasons which justified the termination of the contract were the insufficient profit margin, high level of invested capital and low refining level of products. The impact of the measures will be visible during the financial year 2019, especially as reductions of our operations in Sweden. The measures will also have an impact on Pori foundry operations, since these deliveries represent 40% of the Pori unit’s volume. As part of the adjustment measures, we are planning to close the other line of the Pori foundry, the so-called Disa line, by the end of 2019.
The synergy significance of Componenta Främmestad AB, which conducts machining and painting operations, for the Group decreased when we sold the foundry operations in Turkey in 2017. Most of Componenta Främmestad AB’s operations consists of the refining and supplying of castings from outside the Group. The reactions of our main customers towards the operational model change has not delivered expected results. While the synergy benefits have decreased, we are considering giving up the operations. Divesting ourselves from the low-profitability machine shop customer relationships in Sweden frees up capital for our core business.
Due to our stabilised financial situation, we have started to receive new significant orders for our Finnish foundries.
We have negotiated with our key foundry customers on possibilities to offer them machining of their castings in Finland. We perceive this to be the most significant synergic growth direction of Componenta in the future.
The demand for Componenta products continued as viable in the first nine months. Profitability increased due to cost-reducing activities. Liquidity increased due to positive operating cash flow and sold real estate companies.
As told in the half-year financial report 2018 we aim to change the operations in Componenta Främmestad AB in order to engage less working capital and additional financial requirements in the operations. The objective of these actions is to decrease invested capital and improve profitability. The possible changes are not expected to have effect on net sales or the result of the current year. Instead in 2019 these changes are expected to decrease net sales but to improve profitability.
By changing the operations in Componenta Främmestad AB and offering subcontracting services without Tier1-position for large volume series we can significantly reduce committed capital and reduce the need for additional financial requirements. The risk in changing the operation model is that these customers may move their large volume products to competitors. The realisation of this risk will not significantly reduce the profitability of the Group after the deduction of corresponding expenses. By releasing the committed capital in these functions Componenta is able to focus on those customers where Componenta has better opportunities to make adequate profit.
Componenta foundries have updated their customer prices to meet the expenses after the reporting period. The price increases for some products have been significant, that they may cause some customer losses. We do not expect these losses to have a negative impact on the Group’s result.
The restructuring program is proceeding according to plan for each of the Group companies and liquidity has remained on a good level. There are no restructuring debts left, which fall due in 2018.
The demand for Componenta products continued as viable in the first half of the year. Profitability increased due to cost reducing activities.
We aim to change operations in Componenta, particularly in Componenta Främmestad AB in order to engage less working capital and financial requirements in the operations. The changes in operation models are being negotiated with customers. The objective of these actions is to decrease invested capital and increase profitability. The possible changes are not anticipated to have effect on net sales or the result on the current year. The progress of this subject will be reported in the future business reviews and financial statement.
The restructuring program is proceeding according to plan and liquidity has remained on a good level. There are no restructuring debts left, which fall due in 2018.
The strong demand for Componenta products continued in the first quarter of the year. Due to cost reducing activities the profitability increased from previous year. In the beginning of the year, Componenta has already paid its restructuring debt that fall due in July 2018. There are no restructuring debts left, which fall due in 2018.
“The year 2017 was the Group’s first profitable financial year since 2009. We continued to systematically implement restructuring measures and focused on improving Componenta’s profitability. The restructuring programmes of the parent company and its operational subsidiaries were confirmed in Finland and Sweden. Following the confirmation of the restructuring programmes, the Group companies’ debt burden in foundry operations was reduced to a level that can, to the best of my understanding, be managed with cash flow from operations.
The Group is no longer engaged in the forge business after Componenta Wirsbo AB and Componenta Arvika AB, which had been under corporate restructuring, filed for bankruptcy in July. The forge companies were unable to pay their restructuring debts within the specified time. I have no regrets about the loss of the forge business, as its profitability was low and it would have required a very significant injection of working capital. As the forge business has had no synergies with the foundry business, its loss has no negative impact on the remaining business operations.
As planned, we divested the highly indebted Turkish foundry business by agreeing on the sale of our shares in Componenta Dökümcülük Ticaret ve Sanayi A.Ş. Componenta’s guarantee liabilities were reduced by EUR 80 million in connection with the transaction.
The restructuring measures taken by the Group have been essential for securing Componenta’s future. The measures have led to a downsizing of the Group’s business, but also a substantial reduction in the Group’s debt. At the balance sheet date, the Group’s equity ratio stood at 34.8% (-165.3%).
Componenta Främmestad AB paid off all of its short-term restructuring debt after the end of the financial year. As of the time of writing, the Group has approximately EUR 15.3 million in long-term external interest-free restructuring debt, of which EUR 2.5 million is in Sweden and the rest is in the Group companies in Finland, as well as EUR 0.8 million in interest-bearing long-term restructuring debt.
The Finnish Group companies must pay external restructuring debts amounting to approximately EUR 1.7 million per year from 2019 to 2022. The remaining amount, approximately EUR 7.2 million, must be paid in 2023. The Swedish Group company must pay an external restructuring debt of EUR 2.5 million within the next six years if the company’s result makes payment possible.
The improved profitability was primarily due to lower fixed costs. The Group also implemented operational efficiency improvement measures in 2017 to not only achieve cost savings, but also to ensure the quality of our products. Close cooperation with customers is at the heart of our day-to-day operations. Our goal has been to ensure that the renewal measures and changes in our operations correspond to customer needs. Having stabilised our operations, we will focus even more on the growth of our operations, particularly with respect to our existing customers. We adopted a flat line organization structure in 2016 and transferred the customer service function to our production facilities. This has substantially improved our service capacity and will enable improved profitability going forward.”