Increased sales and strong profit growth during the third quarter
Addtech enjoyed good demand during the third quarter, and the economic situation in the markets where we operate has stabilised. We continued to grow in all our four business areas, through both good organic growth and contribution from implemented acquisitions. Increased sales of our products and solutions combined with successful efficiency improvements enabled continued strong growth in profits and an improved operating margin compared to the previous year. In the third quarter, sales increased by 16 percent and EBITA increased by 39 percent.
Demand for production components from Nordic manufacturing companies increased on the whole during the quarter, but the business situation continues to differ between customer segments. Demand from machinery manufacturers, the engineering industry and medical technology was relatively stable, while it grew in customer segments such as special vehicles, electronics and transport. The market situation remained weak in oil and gas and weakened somewhat in telecom and wind power. From an overall perspective, the business climate for production components in our markets outside the Nordics was positive. Sales of products to industrial aftermarket customers in the Nordics have generally been stable. Demand from customers within infrastructure such as electricity transmission and electricity distribution remained at the same level as in the previous year. Business remained positive for electricity-related products in building and installation.
We continually evaluate acquisitions of both independent profitable technology companies with market-leading niche positions and smaller bolt-on acquisitions that can strengthen market positions and profitability in our existing companies. Since the start of the financial year we have completed nine acquisitions, two of which after the end of the quarter. Of these, six were independent companies and three were bolt-on acquisitions. In all, the acquisitions contribute with annual sales of about SEK 480 million and add 126 employees to the Group. Two of the acquisitions were made in Sweden, two in Finland and one each in Norway, Denmark, the UK, China and the US. With a good cash flow and strong balance sheet, we have favourable opportunities to carry out additional interesting acquisitions.
President and CEO