MOSCOW (MRC) -- Swiss industrial group OC Oerlikon said its orders fell nearly 14% in the first quarter, as weak filament demand in China led to postponements at its polymer business, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.
Oerlikon shares were up more than 2% in early trading, however as despite the drop in order intake, the company still managed to beat market forecasts on sales and operating income.
Its first quarter revenue rose 5.4% to 735 MM, driven by a 12.5% increase in its surface solutions division, while its operational core earnings (EBITDA) fell 3.8% to ?116 MM.
Analysts had forecast revenue of ?694 MM and an operational EBITDA of 111 MM, according to a company provided poll. "Sales comfortably beat market expectations and EBITDA too, but to a lesser extent," Baader Helvea analyst Michael Roost said in a note.
The margin development was "a touch underwhelming" and polymer processing orders well below expectations, Roost added.
Oerlikon said in February it planned to cut 800 jobs from the polymer processing division after the unit's earnings dropped by more than a fourth in the final quarter of 2022.
Finance chief Philipp Mueller told reporters the layoffs would start in September, but whether they would reach 800 depended on order intake. Mueller added he was confident the situation in China would improve soon.
The polymer processing business, which supplies the textile, automotive and chemicals industries, saw a 28% drop in first-quarter orders to ?298 MM. This took Oerlikon's total order intake to ?681 MM in the quarter, down from ?790 MM last year.
We remind, Oerlikon Nonwoven has commissioned a two-beam meltblown plant featuring ecuTEC+ electro charging system at Wolf PVG GmbH & Co KG in Spenge, Germany. The plant enables Wolf PVG to manufacture meltblown nonwovens for use in FFP2 and surgical masks.