Björn Rosengren, President and CEO
“As anticipated, the year 2015 started with a slow marine market. Low oil prices are causing a wait and see attitude among offshore customers that, combined with subdued vessel contracting, resulted in fewer orders being received within the Ship Power business. In the Power Plants business, market sentiment is improving. Economic growth in the emerging markets and electricity consumption growth in the USA supported power plant investments, and our quotation activity indicates a continued good level of underlying customer demand.
Services’ development was clearly the highlight of the first quarter. The increased maintenance activity seen towards the end of last year continued into the first quarter, boosting both order intake and sales. Services’ sales grew by 11%, which compensated for the lower delivery volumes in the Ship Power and Power Plants businesses. Consequently, Group sales reached a similar level to that of the corresponding period last year and profitability improved somewhat to 10.1%. We remain committed to our guidance for 2015, and continue to see some opportunities for sales growth and improved profitability despite the prevailing market uncertainties.”