MALMO, Sweden—Hexpol A.B. has reported a 32 percent quarter-on-quarter improvement in sales, as demand starts to recover from the COVID-19 downturn.
Third quarter sales came in at $380 million, down 22 percent compared to the same period last year, but considerably higher than $288 million reported in the second quarter, the Swedish compounder announced Oct. 23.
Operating profit (excluding non-recurring items) increased 1.7 percent to $68 million, compared to $67 million reported in 2019.
Third quarter operating margin increased to 17.8 percent, up from 13.7 percent last year, while profit after tax increased 20 percent to $49 million.
Over the nine-month period, sales were down 14.5 percent at $1.15 billion, while operating profit, dipped 19 percent to $161 million.
Hexpol linked the lower sales to COVID-19, which it said impacted the countries where it operates and the customers it supplies to.
In addition, lower sales prices contributed to the decline, according to acting CEO Peter Rosen, who was replaced by Georg Brunstam on Oct. 23.
Despite the pandemic effect, Rosen said Hexpol saw "a clear improvement" in sales, in the three months to end of September, specifically to automotive customers as well as the building and construction industry.
While uncertainty remains high due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rosen said geographical proximity to customers and significant cost-cutting had strengthened Hexpol's financial position, providing it with "good conditions for continued growth and additional acquisitions."