“The third quarter featured a recovery in Asia after the Japanese disaster. Operating margin was consistent with the previous year and our long-term objectives, despite the negative effect of a stronger Swedish krona,” he said.

Höganäs already has a leading position in Asia, and the company plans to build a mixing plant in South Korea. The project starts up in the fourth quarter and is scheduled for completion at year-end 2012.

“This is a long-term investment that will enhance our ability to deliver differentiated customer solutions with significantly shorter lead-times,” said Danielsson.

In the third quarter of 2011, compared with the same period in 2010, net sales were MSEK 1,810 (1,728) up 5% year on year, and sales volumes were 8% higher. Demand in the US was improved but still weaker in Europe. In Asia, demand improved gradually during the quarter, as the effects of the Japanese tsunami disaster tapered off. As a result of the accident at Hoeganaes Corporation's (GKN's) plant in the US in May, deliveries of approximately 6,000 tons of finished and semi-finished products were made to them in the third quarter. Excluding these deliveries, sales volumes were up 3% on the previous year.