Metso Seeks Service Business Growth as Large Orders Disappear

Metso Oyj, a Finnish maker of rock crushers and paper machines, will seek to grow its service business through acquisitions, Chief Executive Officer Matti Kaehkoenen said.

“We’re undoubtedly looking at service shops,” Kaehkoenen told reporters today in Helsinki, where the company is based. “Our balance sheet is in a good shape, which gives us flexibility to make moves if needed.”

Fourth-quarter profit fell 40 percent to 73 million euros ($98 million), Metso said in a statement. This was 33 percent lower than the average estimate of 13 analysts in a Bloomberg survey. Metso pared earlier gains and fell 1.6 percent to 32.95 euros at 3:59 p.m., with almost twice the three-month daily average of volume traded.

Mining orders for Caterpillar Inc., the world’s largest maker of construction and mining equipment, were very low during the second half of last year, said Mike DeWalt, director of investor relations last week. The sentiment was echoed by Olof Faxander, CEO of Sweden’s Sandvik AB a day later.

There was “no collapse” in mining orders, which stayed at a “decent” level, Kaehkoenen said. “Only the massive individual projects were missing.”

Metso seeks to increase its annual sales from services to

4.5 billion euros by the end of 2016, it said on Dec. 11. Service-unit sales were about 3.2 billion euros in 2012, according to the company.

Sales in India and China are are showing “positive signs” even as full-year revenue fell 13 percent and 15 percent respectively, Kaehkoenen said. The return of large projects there “may yet take a while,” he said.

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