Glaston’s orders received grew from $24.5 million (EUR 21.7 million) in the third quarter to $38.3 million (EUR 33.9 million) in the fourth quarter of 2018. The company’s total orders received for the year was $121.5 million (EUR 107.6 million), which is up from its 2017 total of $117.1 million (EUR 103.7 million).

Its net sales totaled $31.4 million (EUR 27.8 million) for the fourth quarter, an increase from its third quarter results of $26 million (EUR 23 million). Glaston’s net sales for 2018 were $114.2 million (EUR 101.1 million), which was actually down from 2017’s total net sales of $124.7 million (EUR 110.4 million). The company’s fourth quarter operating profit was $1.2 million (EUR 1.1 million), which was nearly double its third quarter operating profit of $678.928 (EUR 0.6 million). Glaston’s operating profit in 2018 was $3.8 million (EUR 3.4 million), down from $5.6 million (EUR 5 million) in 2017.

“Glaston’s development in the final quarter of 2018 was good. The glasstec fair was strongly reflected in the development of the fourth quarter, and indeed of the whole autumn. The fair was a success for Glaston, and our fourth quarter order intake grew 18 percent from the comparison period,” says president and CEO Arto Metsänen. “We received a number of large orders from different parts of the world, and the pick-up in the North American market was particularly positive. Net sales for the quarter fell slightly compared to the corresponding period last year.

I am particularly satisfied with our profitability development in the final quarter. Our comparable operating profit improved significantly, and the comparable operating profit margin was a record 8.8 percent.”

At the end of November, Glaston divested of its tools business in accordance with the company’s strategy, according to Metsänen. The sale of the business had a slightly positive impact on the group’s comparable operating profit.

“In our strategy, updated in autumn 2018, we announced our goal to be at the forefront of market development while creating added value for our customers through new technologies and business models. An indication of this was our announcement on January 25, 2019 of the acquisition of the Swiss-German company Bystronic glass. Bystronic glass is a globally operating high-end machinery, systems, software and services provider, whose product offering and services is highly complementary to Glaston’s offering,” says Metsänen. “The acquisition, the largest in the sector for two decades, is our response to the market’s growing efficiency requirements, changes in glass demand and growing maintenance service needs. It supports our goal of further strengthening our position in the glass processing value chain and diversifying our offering to the architectural market as well as complementing offering to the automotive market. The combination of the companies creates for us a unique opportunity to develop for our customers’ benefit a comprehensive range of products and services that in the future will cover the entire value chain. I am looking forward to our cooperation and believe strongly in our success.”

Glaston’s 2019 Outlook

The company’s business is seasonal and, historically, the first quarter of the year is generally the weakest and the fourth quarter the strongest, according to the company. Net sales and comparable operating profit are expected to be low for the first quarter of 2019, due to the low number of new orders received in the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth quarter of last year.

Deviating from Glaston’s disclosure policy and due to the timetable of the Bystronic glass acquisition, Glaston will disclose information on its outlook for the whole of 2019 at a later stage.