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Elevator maker Kone sees parts shortages and rising costs

Elevator maker Kone sees parts shortages and rising costs

Logo is displayed in an elevator at the KONE Academy of Finish elevators and escalators manufacturer KONE in Hanover, Germany, on Feb 6, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer)

HELSINKI: Elevator maker Kone on Thursday (Oct 28) reported below-forecast operating profit and mounting supply chain difficulties, offsetting its forecast of higher sales this year and driving its shares down more than 5 per cent.

It still expects annual sales to be between 4 per cent and 6 per cent higher but also warned of a squeeze on profitability in the third quarter, and said it expected this to continue through year end as logistics deteriorate, component costs rise and demand in China decreases.

Chief Executive Henrik Ehrnrooth told Reuters semiconductor shortage had got worse after the first half year and said there are now supply difficulties at all points of the logistics chain.

"Seems like there is not enough harbour capacity in many countries, nor truck drivers to drive away the containers," he said.

Ehrnrooth said Kone had been able to rise prices in the European and North American market, but not in highly competitive China, where prices have remained stable.

Investors have been on the lookout for any signs of fallout in China's property development sector after the world's most indebted developer China Evergrande Group's difficulties in repaying debts spread to other companies there.

Chief Financial Officer Ilkka Hara told analysts on a webcast that currently companies breaking the Chinese government's debt regulation rules account for between 4 per cent and 4.5 per cent of Kone's sales in China.

Kone's operating profit in July-September fell to €326.5 million (US$378 million) from 333 million a year earlier, missing the 348 million estimate of 13 analysts polled by Refinitiv.

Its operating income margin in the quarter fell to 12.5 per cent from 12.9 per cent and Kone trimmed its adjusted margin outlook for the year as a whole to between 12.4 per cent and 12.8 per cent, from 12.4 per cent-13 per cent.

Year-on-year sales remained stable at €2.6 billion, while order intake, an indication of future revenue, grew 14.5 per cent to €2.21 billion.

Kone shares down were 3 per cent at €57 in afternoon trade, having fallen as low as €55.48.

Source: Reuters

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