Net sales were SEK15,486 milion in Q3 2012, compared to SEK16,545 million in 2011. Operating profit was SEK1,913 million compared to SEK2,479 million.

In Europe sales decreased by 7% and in Asia by 11%. In North America they increased by 5% and in Latin America by 8%. In Middle East and Africa they were relatively unchanged.

“The macro economic development and increasing uncertainty which was evident during the last few months has clearly influenced our business,” said Tom Johnstone, SKF president and CEO. “Our sales weakened as we went through the quarter, and this was mainly seen in many of our industrial markets as well as in the European and particularly in the Asian region. We took additional steps to reduce our production to both meet this lower demand and to reduce our inventories. With the background of the challenging market environment the Group delivered a very good performance and particularly a very strong cash flow.

For the Group overall Johnstone expects the weaker demand trend to continue in the fourth quarter and demand to be lower year over year. In anticipation, SKF will run its production below sales to enable the company to reduce its inventories and support cash flow.

In Q4, demand for SKF’s products and services is expected to be lower for the Group and for Europe. For Asia it is expected to be slightly lower and for North America and Latin America relatively unchanged. The demand is expected to be lower for industrial strategic industries and industrial regional sales and service and relatively unchanged for automotive.