Sweden's Hexagon overcomes parts shortages to deliver record profit
By Anna Ringstrom
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -Swedish industrial technology group Hexagon beat market expectations with record quarterly earnings on Wednesday, as it delivered higher sales despite global component shortages.
The news sent shares in the maker of measurement and positioning systems and software up by 3% in early trade.
Hexagon reported a 24% year-on-year jump in fourth-quarter operating profit before items affecting comparability to 373 million euros ($421 million), helped by currency translation effects, bigger sales volumes and a more profitable product mix.
Analysts polled by Refinitiv had on average forecast a profit of 344 million euros.
Sales were up 7% on a like-for-like basis.
"The strained component supply reduced sales and organic growth by 6% resulting in a further increase in order backlog and additional cost pressures," CEO Ola Rollen said in a statement.
"But as evident in the strong operating results, we successfully mitigated this constraint across the business."
JP Morgan analysts said in a note to clients the fact Hexagon saw recovering demand from most areas of the construction, automotive and manufacturing sectors should broadly bode well for peers such as Aveva, Dassault, Siemens Digital and Autodesk.
Hexagon proposed raising its annual dividend by 22% but noted the overall outlook was unpredictable.
The group's sensors and software are used for measurement and quality inspection in manufacturing processes and engineering plant design, as well as in infrastructure planning, construction, mining, agriculture and energy.
($1 = 0.8861 euros)
(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom Editing by Niklas Pollard and Mark Potter)