STOCKHOLM — Husqvarna AB reported a strong start of the year in its first quarter earnings release. 

First quarter 2021

  • Net sales increased by 15% to SEK 14,030m (12,208). The organic growth was 24%, changes in exchange rates impacted with -10% and acquisitions with 1%
  • Operating income increased by 61% to SEK 2,293m (1,424). The operating margin was 16.3% (11.7). For the rolling 12-month period the operating margin amounted to 12.2% (8.9), excluding items affecting comparability.
  • Earnings per share after dilution amounted to SEK 2.89 (1.73).
  • Cash flow from operations and investments was SEK 1,548m (416). Direct operating cash flow was SEK 143m (-132). 
  • Operating working capital / net sales amounted to 22.5% (29.4).
  • The Group's absolute CO2 emissions across the value chain has been reduced by 31% compared with the 2015 base line and measured on a rolling 12-month basis.

Significant events after the quarter 

  • The AGM was held on April 14 and the dividend was set at SEK 2.40 (2.25) per share.
  • Sascha Menges, President Husqvarna Division, has decided to take a position outside of the Husqvarna Group.                 

Strong start of the year; Record first quarter

Heric Andersson, Husqvarna AB president and CEO, provided the following commentary. 

"After a successful 2020, we have delivered a strong first quarter, driven by new innovations and expanded product listings. Organic sales growth was 24% with solid performance in all divisions and main regions, compared with the corresponding quarter last year, which was partly affected by Covid-19 related restrictions. The first quarter is by enlarge a sell in quarter whereby our trade partners are preparing for the season and this year starting from low inventory levels. The growth was particularly strong for robotic lawn mowers, in both the consumer and professional segments, battery-powered products, watering solutions and professional products. This drove the organic sales growth for the Husqvarna (HSQVY) and Gardena Divisions to 21% and 37% respectively. The Construction Division has continued to strengthen its positions and achieved an organic sales growth of 14% supported by an improved market situation during the quarter.

Our strong growth, a continued favorable product mix, combined with good cost control drove an increase in operating income of 61% to SEK 2,293m (1,424). This was despite higher costs for raw materials and logistics. Operating margin increased to 16.3% (11.7) for the quarter.

Successful execution during uncertain times

The uncertainties due to the Covid-19 pandemic continue to characterize the world and the Group's efforts to manage the situation have so far been successful. Our focus is the safety of our employees while working intensively to ensure business continuity. The dedicated work to protect our supply chain continues and we have successfully mitigated challenges such as component supply. However, strong demand coupled with global supply shortages continue to put pressure on our supply chain and we carefully monitor the situation and act accordingly.

Commitment for sustainable growth

Sustainability is a key pillar for successful performance. We are working purposefully to reduce our environmental impact and lead the industry in the shift to a low-carbon and resource-smart economy. We have reduced our absolute CO2 emissions along the value chain by 31% compared to the base year 2015 and measured on a 12-month rolling period. As we enter the next phase, Sustainovate 2025, we are increasing transparency and will report progress towards our Group-wide sustainability targets on a quarterly basis. We aim to launch 50 circular innovations by 2025 and have already announced a project in the watering segment where the innovation is based on recycled materials.

Strong results and increased investments in strategy execution

In summary, we have during the past years built a stronger Husqvarna Group and for the rolling 12-month period achieved an organic sales growth of 13% and an operating margin of 12.2%, excluding items affecting comparability. Our operational flexibility is an essential asset in managing the global uncertainties around the Covid-19 situation and with our financial strength we continue to invest in our strategy execution."