In Q4 2009, net sales were MSEK 1,364 (1,353) in the quarter, up 1% year on year, while sales volumes were 27% higher with the effect of changes in metal prices remaining negative. According to the company, demand conditions improved on all markets in the fourth quarter. The operating income was MSEK 213 (-32) and income after tax was MSEK 157 (-4).

In the company’s components business area, which represents some 70% of consolidated sales, net sales in the full year were MSEK 3,292 (4,465), down 26% on the previous year. However, price increases and currency effects exerted a positive effect on net sales, while sales volumes reduced by 25%. The demand situation gradually improved since March.
In the consumables business area, which represents some 30% of consolidated sales, net sales in the full year were MSEK 1,279 (1,638), down 22% on 2008. Price increases and currency effects had a positive sales effect, while a 17% volume reduction and lower pricing on alloy metals had a negative effect.
In all, the company had sales of MSEK 4,571 in 2009.
“The market performed robustly in the fourth quarter, especially in Asia,” said CEO Alrik Danielsson. “Sales volumes in China and India were the highest ever.” They were reportedly significantly higher than the fourth quarter of 2007.
While the rapid demand slowdown across the automotive industry resulted in most customers downscaling production rates in early 2009 and reduced demand in the first quarter, the same customers’ need to reinstate normal inventory levels also helped lift sales more than expected for Höganäs through the autumn, the company says.
Danielsson said that the company plans to focus on costs and cash flow due to uncertainty in demand goiing into 2010.“We are making major initiatives in research and development,” he said. In October, the company opened a  new prototyping centre, the PoP (Power of Powder) Centre. “The Centre got off to a flying start and will play a key role in Höganäs’ future progress, and in driving powder metallurgy to a new level,” said Danielsson. The PoP Centre is designed for developing new applications alongside customers and end-users.