“Strong end to the year – toward a better 2021”
“Like most companies in 2020, Trelleborg was impacted to a high degree by the ongoing pandemic. Priority was assigned to measures to protect our personnel, while we succeeded in offsetting the reduction in sales through a flexible cost base and structural improvements. Despite the circumstances, we were able to deliver a good result, with an improved operating margin and record-strong cash flow compared with 2019, for both the full year and the fourth quarter.
Our employees at all levels of the Group have made the best of a difficult situation and we have adapted our operations and way of working in line with the new reality in an exemplary fashion. Our decentralized approach enabled rapid operational action throughout the organization.
We closed 2020 with a strong quarter. Organic sales declined by 3 percent, meaning that demand continued to improve sequentially. We had a strong currency headwind, which accounted for a 7-percent fall in sales. Cost reductions and structural improvements during the year, combined with slightly better demand, led to the best fourth quarter to date for the Group, in terms of both EBIT and operating margin. This favorable result was achieved despite a negative currency impact on EBIT amounting to SEK 96 M. Cash flow was even stronger, namely the strongest ever for a single quarter.
That said, we continued to be affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. Local outbreaks…