CEO Leif Bergvall Hansen comments on the fourth quarter and year-end report
We saw a substantial increase in net sales in the fourth quarter driven by strong growth in both Sweden and Norway. Adjusted operating income and margin declined, however, due to the consolidation of the newly acquired Finnish operation.
The growth in net sales in Sweden was achieved on the basis of continued strong market growth and successful product launches. Adjusted operating income for the Swedish operation increased substantially as a result of a higher volumes. The adjusted operating margin was in line with last year.
Net sales in Norway have increased gradually since deliveries to Coop under the new supply agreement started in August. It was also gratifying to see a recovery of the Norwegian market after several quarters of decline. Adjusted operating income and operating margin for the Norwegian operation declined, however, due to a less favourable product mix and stock clearance.
The price pressure in Denmark continued in the quarter both in the local market and on exports, and net sales for the Danish operation were lower than last year. We managed to improve both adjusted operating income and margin through continued efficiency gains in the supply chain.
Sales volumes in Finland were still small in the quarter. Finland is an attractive market and we expect to be able to increase volumes during 2016. We are also focusing on improving efficiency in the facility.
CEO Leif Bergvall Hansen