Uponor: Improved Profits

Strong growth in North America helped pipe maker Uponor to improve profits last year.
The Finnish company reported operating profits of E97.9 million for 2004, a threefold increase on the E30.7m achieved in 2003. However, 2003 profits were affected by restructuring costs. Uponor says that the underlying profit improvement in 2004 is 22%.
Improved sales also contributed to the positive performance: they rose by 5% to reach almost E1,073m. Growth in North America was 27%, while central Europe grew by 12% and the rest of Europe by 9%.
Despite the positive result, the final quarter of last year saw a downturn: sales in central Europe were “weak” and operating profit declined by 10% compared with the same period in 2003.
The company said it expected 2005 profits and margins to improve on 2004 results.

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