Polyurethanes are used in a variety of products across the company's continuing divisions.
Sales in the company's industrial solutions business rose 12.0% between 2018 and 2019. They reached SEK 10.9bn in 2019. In 2018, the number was SEK 9.72 bn. EBIT across the division rose 22.2%, reaching SEK 994m in 2019.
There was significant sales growth in Asia in 2019, said the company, although there was no change in sales in Europe or North America. Demand for products used in ports and offshore increased in the second half of the year. The company increased its EBIT margin in the business because it was more efficient than previously.
The company's Sealing Solutions business sales rose 9.9% between 2018 and 2019, to SEK 12,142m. In 2018, this division achieved sales of SEK 11 bn. EBIT rose 6.6% to SEK 2.7bn in 2019.
Sales to the Asian and European markets were down in 2019, but this decline was offset by a rise in sales in the Americas. General industrial and automotive sales fell. Earnings rose because of acquisitions, but these were less profitable than the existing business. Overall, the EBIT margin in the business fell.
Sales in the company's wheel systems business rose 1.4% between 2018 and 2019, to SEK 9.6bn in 2019. The 2018 financial year recorded sales of SEK 9.4bn. EBIT across the division fell 27.3% to SEK 913m in 2019.
Sales of tyres for agricultural machinery, material handling vehicles and construction machinery were all negative in 2019. The second half of the year was slower than the first. This is because of the effect of trade disputes.
Looking ahead to the first quarter of 2020, Nilsson said: 'In the short term, we can see a more challenging demand scenario, partly as a result of recent developments in China. Our overall assessment of demand in the first quarter of 2020 is that it will be somewhat lower than in the fourth quarter.'
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