Continued improved result, order intake stable but lower than last year's record quarter
Comments from CEO, Andreas Renulf
Net sales increased and both gross margin and operating margin strengthened in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period of last year. Our order intake of SEK 189 M shows a stable trend compared to earlier quarters but fell short of the previous year's record high level for a single quarter. The comparative figures include a large order from the French grocery retail giant Carrefour that has not been compensated by any major new order in the first quarter of this year.
France, Belgium and Norway stood out as strong markets in the first quarter but with several smaller markets outside Europe also exhibiting robust growth, albeit from low levels. The share of graphic labels continues to increase and several markets, such as Belgium and Norway, show a clear preference for graphic labels. Following a technical evaluation process, Pricer now actively promotes black, white and red graphic labels where the red color among other things can be used to display promotions. We see a lot of interest in the market for these labels and expect many retailers to choose this solution.
An area where Pricer has a unique advantage is that we can offer automatic product positioning in a store. We are now involved with a number of different customers who want to integrate product positioning in their customer app or in a stationary quick search kiosk. This is part of the digitalization strategy for several retailers and it allows the customer to find the product they are looking for in the store by looking where the product is on a store map. Enabling customers to quickly find the product they are looking for has been a prioritized request from retailers for a long time.
In the first quarter Pricer took part in the two major retail trade shows NRF in New York and Euroshop in Dusseldorf. At Euroshop, Pricer's customer Leroy Merlin won the prestigious RETA Award for "Best Customer Experience". The award was presented to Leroy Merlin for its innovative solution that helps shoppers find what they are looking for in the store and check the product's availability, using a mobile app or a stationary quick search kiosk. The solution is based on Pricer's technology for automated product positioning.
As previously announced, I will unfortunately leave my employment with Pricer for personal reasons. I regret the loss in pace it always means to secure a strong CEO function, not least when it comes to the growth strategy. I will work with the Chairman of the board and the strong management team, who has been in the same situation before, to actively support the design of the growth strategy. This strategy includes development projects to strengthen our competitiveness and active work to identify and execute complementary acquisitions.
Pricer's strength is a market-leading installed base and a customer base that we serve well. The existing customer base offers great opportunities to grow, not least through digital services such as product positioning and the embedded flash functionality in the label that attracts strong interest from the market. In addition there are several opportunities to open new market segments through own development and acquisitions. Although we see many new competitors, some of whom have gained ground in some markets, Pricer is still a leading global player through its strong established customer base.
For further information, please contact:
Andreas Renulf, CEO, or Helena Holmgren, CFO Pricer AB +46 8 505 582 00
This information is information that Pricer AB is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation and the Securities Markets Act. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency by the contact persons set out above, at 8:30 CET on April 27, 2017.
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