Sales volumes were 11% higher than the same period in 2010, and demand conditions were better than in the corresponding period of the previous year in all regions, Höganäs reports. The sequential volume increase (compared to the preceding quarter) in Europe and America was very positive.

The market is expected to remain strong in Asia and South America, while a gradual recovery is expected in North America. The European market conditions remain hard to assess, Höganäs said. In some countries, such as Germany, the industry stands to make short-term gains from good economic growth and exports, while austerity measures are expected to hold back consumption in heavily indebted European nations.
“After a record 2010, Höganäs began 2011 with robust growth despite strong comparables from the first quarter of 2010. 2010 came to a very strong conclusion on growth markets, while more mature markets were less robust,” said CEO Alrik Danielson. “The start to 2011 is also characterised by Höganäs’ sustained high investments in research and development, mainly in component solutions for new electromagnetic applications and in powder-based gear-wheels for gear boxes.”
In Q1 2011, the company’s operating income was MSEK 282 (282) and income after tax was MSEK 208 (207). In the components segment, net sales for the period were MSEK 1,330 (1,164) up 14% year on year. The net sales increase was mainly caused by higher sales volumes, at +8%. In the consumables segment, net sales for the period were MSEK 440 (384), a 15% increase on 2010.
The metal price increases also favourably impacted sales, while product mix and exchange rate fluctuations had a negative effect.