Munters’ Asia sales first half 2003 hit by SARS

The Swedish dehumidification solution supplier Munters saw its Asian operations for the first six months of 2003 negatively affected by SARS and the Iraqi war.
     Customers postponed investment decisions and both orders and sales fell by 24 percent during the period.
     Order intake in Asia for the period was SEK 180 Million while sales reached SEK 168 Million, writes the company in its interim report released in August.
     The HumiCool division reported lower order intake, sales and operating earnings but operations in Thailand and Australia developed strongly, mainly through sales of evaporative cooling systems for the AgHort industry.
     This compensated partly for the continued downturn in Japan.
Profitability in Thailand was affected by the move of production into new premises. It is now completed and the production process functions according to plan.
     The Dehumidification division reported increased order intake, reduced sales but improved operating earnings. Earnings were positively affected by improved margins in both the Japanese and the Chinese operations.
     The MCS division, a small part of Munters’ Asia operations, reported lower sales and operating earnings than in the previous year.
     Worldwide corporate order intake fell two percent to SEK 2,248 Million and orders by SEK 3 Million to SEK 2,198 Million for the first six months 2003.

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