Glaston Corp.’s net sales were $58.2 million (EUR 50.3 million) for the first half of 2018, down from $64.2 million (EUR 55.5 million) from the same period in 2017. Orders received totaled $60.1 million (EUR 52 million), up from last year according to a recently released half-year financial report from the company.
The operating profit was $1.8 million (EUR 1.6 million) and the comparable operating profit was $2 million (EUR 1.8 million). The company expects the full-year comparable operating profit to improve from 2017. Last year’s comparable operating profit was $5.8 million (EUR 5 million).
“In the second quarter, the order intake of Glaston’s machines business developed positively. Orders grew by 9 percent compared with the corresponding period of the previous year,” says Glaston president and CEO Arto Metsänen. “Glaston’s order intake overall, however, was 4 percent below the previous year’s level, because services business orders in particular were weakened by the removal from orders of the USA and Canada pre-processing business, sold in spring 2017.”
“Second-quarter net sales fell 12 percent and operating profit was down on the corresponding period of the previous year. A smaller number of projects, a lower margin in the machines business and last year’s sale of the pre-processing business contributed to this,” he adds.
The machines business market was fairly lively from April to June. Demand continued to be strong, particularly in the Europe, Middle East and Africa area. The most positive development was in Central and Eastern Europe. In Turkey, the devaluation of the lira caused instability, and investment decisions were postponed. In the North American market, demand picked up significantly toward the end of the second quarter, while in the South American market demand remained subdued. Despite the good market activity in the U.S. and Canada, customers’ decision-making was still slow. In Asia, the market remained reasonably active, but the positive market mood showed slight signs of cooling.
Emerging glass technologies and value-adding glass products, such as smart glass, are making a strong entry into the market. To identify new business opportunities, Glaston established the emerging technologies unit at the beginning of 2017. The unit offers planning and consulting in the field of emerging glass technologies.
The nanotechnology company Heliotrope Technologies is developing a new smart glass technology for the market, and Glaston’s role in the project is production line developer. In the second quarter, the Heliotrope prototype line was in test production, and the line operated in accordance with expectations. In the reporting period, the tests focused particularly on the durability and ageing characteristics of the glass.
In the second quarter, the services business market continued to be relatively calm. North America was the strongest of the sales areas.
In the April to June period, demand for upgraded products was on a lower level than in the first quarter, the exception being North America, where demand for upgrades continued to be good.
Spare parts sales grew from the first quarter’s low level. Field service also grew compared with the first quarter. The tools market remained challenging, even though North America saw a change for the better in June.