During February, Metso’s operations in China were largely impacted by the coronavirus situation. The Chinese factories were nevertheless restarted successfully during the month and are now running at the normal capacity. The order intake from China in the first quarter is estimated to be on the planned level, while sales in China will be lower than planned, having a minor impact on Metso's financial performance.
The quickly enforced measures to contain the spreading of the virus in various countries around the world are limiting the mobility of workforce and have started to have an impact on our field service operations recently. Currently, Metso’s operations especially in India, Peru and South Africa are affected by the restrictions imposed by governments. If prolonged for several weeks, the restrictions might also affect supply chain activities.
Under these circumstances, Metso will continue to focus on the safety of its personnel and customers, as well as leveraging its global operations in order to provide a maximum flexibility to ensure continuation of its own and its customers’ operations. Simultaneously, the company continues to prepare actions to adapt to short-term challenges in various locations and focus on cost control and cash flow.
The company has already earlier implemented a strong cost control, due to the upcoming demerger and its liquidity position is solid. The planned short-term activities could include reduction of worktime and reduced overall spend. Reduced worktime is likely to have a temporary negative impact on the compensation for many employees, and therefore the Metso Executive Team has decided to participate in this undertaking by lowering its own compensation during this period as well.