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A business consultancy, based in London, England, John Sacks' JSA Consultancy Services provides expert, in-depth, information advice and guidance as to how to exploit successfully the office furniture and interiors markets in Europe, North America, Australasia and Japan.


Friday 26 April 2013

First quarter revenue at same level as Q1/2012, operating result down

The Martela Group anticipates that its full-year revenue in 2013 will be at
about the 2012 level, and that its operating result will show a year-on-year improvement.

In the first quarter the demand for office furniture remained more or less at the level of the second half of 2012. Demand was steady in Finland but was significantly lower than in the peak years. In other market areas, demand showed some mildly positive development in Poland even it didn't yet realize in revenue. In addition especially Sweden experienced a high number of project enquiries.

Statistics on office construction for 2012 have become available, and according
to these, 47 per cent more office space in terms of square metres was built in
Finland in 2012 than in the previous year. At the same time, however, fewer
building permits (-5%) were granted than a year earlier, and there were also 3
per cent fewer new office building starts. It is important to note, however,
that starts were significantly up in the final quarter of 2012 (+67%) compared
with the same period in 2011. In terms of floor area, the level is still
nevertheless rather low.

Consolidated revenue and result

Consolidated revenue for January--March was EUR 31.9 million (32.0). In Finland,
net sales remained at the previous year's level. There were no significant
large customer projects in the first quarter in Finland, and the revenue was
largely from a steady flow of small and medium-sized deliveries. Revenue
declined in Poland, and in Sweden it began to grow. In the other markets, the
transfer of the Danish business at the end of 2012 from the Martela subsidiary
to a dealer slightly reduced (2.0%) consolidated revenue for the period. While
revenue is still rather small in Russia, it grew markedly on the previous year.

The operating result for the first quarter was EUR -1.4 million (-0.9). The
Group's fixed costs declined somewhat on the previous year due to adjustment
measures taken already in 2012, including the discontinuation of the subsidiary
in Denmark. At the same time, the sales margin of the Group's products was
slightly lower than a year earlier, due to a different product mix. In
addition, the cost effect of the personnel reductions and lay-offs agreed in
the codetermination negotiations concluded in January 2013 was not yet apparent
in the first quarter. The savings in costs, coming to an estimated EUR 0.7
million, will materialise later in the year.

The result before taxes was EUR -1.6 million (-1.1), and the result after taxes
was EUR -1.7 million (-1.1).

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+44 (0) 20 7688 1928