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Metso Not Surprised By Downturn


At Metso Corp.'s Annual General Meeting, President and CEO Jorma Eloranta reports that Metso's operating environment and business at the beginning of the year have been as anticipated.

At Metso Corp.'s Annual General Meeting, President and CEO Jorma Eloranta reports that Metso's operating environment and business at the beginning of the year have been as anticipated.

"Our January-February net sales and profit development support this year's financial performance estimate we gave in conjunction with the publication of our financial statements," Eloranta said.

In its financial statements, Metso estimated that its 2009 total net sales will exceed EUR 5 billion, and profitability is expected to be satisfactory in 2009. Free cash flow is expected to improve considerably on 2008.

"Metso's order intake in October-December 2008 dropped to a clearly lower level than before,î Eloranta said. ìThere haven't been significant changes in the markets during the first few months of this year. It is positive to note that during the beginning of the year there were only minor cancellations or postponements of projects in the order backlog.

"The market for new equipment is slow. January-February net sales in the services business have remained nearly at the previous year's level. It is still too early to say when and how the stimulus packages of different countries will affect the demand for our construction products and energy solutions." In response to the changes in the market situation, Metso has initiated measures to adjust capacity in several countries. "We have reduced the use of temporary labor and subcontractors in all of our units. We have also conducted reorganizations of our operations. Unfortunately, we have not been able to avoid permanent and temporary employee reductions. With these actions and strict cost control, we have aimed to swiftly bring our costs in line with the drop in demand," Eloranta says.