CEO:s comment on Interim report January-June 2017:
As previously communicated, the second quarter is weak in terms of earnings due to the relatively few number of working days in the quarter. Moreover, there were three fewer working days this year compared with last year, thereby negatively impacting both growth and profitability. We noted an improved operating profit for the first six months of this year compared with the corresponding period in 2016, although the shortage of product development competence mainly in the Swedish market impeded growth during the period. However, our international operations enable us to deliver cost-efficient product development to our customers from more than 30 offices around the world. We are therefore well positioned for growth and improved profitability moving forward.
Recruiting, developing and retaining employees will remain a high priority moving forward. The appointment of a new HR Director, responsible for leading the Group’s strategic HR and sustainability, is thus an important step. We are also continuing our efforts to further strengthen the brand through a range of activities. In mid-June, we launched a new global communication campaign centred on smart and connected products. The campaign has gained significant traction in social media and several sales and recruitment-related activities based on the campaign will be launched in the third quarter.
Technology shifts are occurring more rapidly in the industries in which we operate and demand is considered favourable moving forward. However, the third quarter will be impacted by the vacation period and fewer working days compared with the corresponding period in 2016. The calendar effect in the third quarter is estimated to negatively impact earnings by about SEK 6 million.
Our financial position is favourable and we had net cash of SEK 118 million at the end of the quarter. We continue to see good prospects for organic growth, but are also evaluating potential acquisition candidates that can complement our offering.