Fortaco / Stock exchange releases / Fortaco Group Holdco Plc’s Business Review January–March 2024: Market demand remained soft – actions to improve efficiency progressing

This release is a summary of Fortaco Group Holdco Plc’s Business Review January–March 2024. The full release is attached and available on our website at


Unless otherwise stated, the comparison figures in brackets refer to the corresponding period of the previous year. 

Financial highlights: January–March 2024

Reported financials


Note: Comparison figures do not include MauserCABS and Buisard Cabins that were acquired
in Autumn 2023.


  • Order intake was EUR 109.7 (96.1) million.
  • Net sales were EUR 105.8  (96.1) million.
  • Recurring EBITDA was EUR 4.3 (8.2) million, i.e. 4.0 (8.5) per cent of net sales.
  • EBITDA was EUR 3.2 (7.4) million, i.e. 3.1 (7.7) per cent of net sales.

Pro forma financials


Note: Pro forma financials are based on the “New Fortaco” scope, i.e. excluding the marine, energy and heavy project business that are under strategic review. Comparison figures are not shown as MauserCABS did not report intra-year financials prior to the acquisition by Fortaco.


  • Pro forma order intake was EUR 99.4 million.
  • Pro forma net sales were EUR 96.7 million.
  • Pro forma Recurring EBITDA was EUR 5.2 million, i.e. 5.4 per cent of net sales.
  • Pro forma EBITDA was EUR 4.2 million, i.e. 4.3 per cent of net sales.



Operational highlights

  • In February, Fortaco announced it had started a strategic evaluation of its marine, energy, and heavy project businesses, while these three business sites are not considered strategic anymore.
  • After the review period in May, the first part of the strategic review was completed as Fortaco announced the sale of its heavy project business in Jászberény, Hungary to Cyclus GmbH (50%) and Ask US Management s.r.o. (50%). Fortaco’s EBIT and equity were negatively impacted by the classification of Fortaco Zrt in Hungary to consitute asset held for sale and resulting an impairment loss of EUR 9.6 million during the review period. The estimated short-term negative cash-flow impact originating directly from the transaction is EUR 6.5 million. The business has been clearly loss making. During the last 12 months ending March 2024, the recurring EBITDA and EBITA losses from this business amounted to EUR -3.9 million and EUR -5.0 million, respectively. Additionally, the incurred non-recurring costs amounted to EUR 0.6 million during the same period. The transaction is subject to the approval of Fortaco’s bondholders and some customary closing conditions, and it is expected to be closed by the end of June 2024. For further information, please see the press release about the divestment, published on 10 May 2024.
  • In March, Fortaco successfully placed a subsequent bond issue in the amount of EUR 25.0 million and by received an equity injection of EUR 10 million from the owner One Equity Partners.
  • Strategic investment programs as well as efficiency and capacity alignment programs progressing.

Key figures

Fortaco Group key financials





Last 12 months






Net sales










% of net sales

3.1 %

7.7 %

4.6 %

3.4 %






% of net sales

-9.5 %

5.0 %

1.4 %

-2.6 %

Non-recurring items – EBITDA impact





Recurring EBITDA





% of net sales

4.0 %

8.5 %

6.5 %

5.3 %

Non-recurring items – EBITA impact





Recurring EBITA





% of net sales

0.5 %

5.9 %

3.3 %

1.9 %






Balance sheet ratios





Return on Capital Employed % (ROCE)

0.9 %

15.4 %

5.7 %

2.9 %

Equity ratio %

20.7 %

24.4 %

24.8 %

20.7 %

Net debt





Net gearing

136.2 %

89.2 %

119.9 %

136.2 %

Net debt / last 12 months recurring EBITDA





Note: MauserCABS and Buisard Cabins included in the financials from the closing of the respective acquisition onwards (MauserCABS closing in September and Buisard Cabins in October 2023).


Guidance for 2024

Fortaco does not provide guidance for the financial year 2024.


Lars Hellberg, President & CEO comments


The market demand in Fortaco’s main markets remained soft in the first quarter of the year. Net sales increased by 10 per cent to EUR 105.8 (96.1) million, driven by the successful acquisitions of MauserCABS and Buisard Cabins in autumn 2023. The underlying market growth excluding the impact of the acquisitions was clearly negative. This was mainly due to the reduction of customer orders in most of Fortaco’s main market segments.


In the first quarter, recurring EBITDA was EUR 4.3 million, i.e. 4.0  per cent of net sales. Excluding the marine, energy, and heavy project businesses that are under strategic review, recurring EBITDA was EUR 5.2  million. The profitability was burdened by declining market conditions, losses incurred in the businesses that are under strategic review and negative currency impact due to strengthening Polish Zloty. We are continuing our actions to further increase the efficiency of operations, adjust capacity and improve profitability. We are also carrying out price increases to compensate for the inflationary pressures on our cost base.


OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) and their distributors are still digesting their abnormally high inventories and the continuing geopolitical uncertainty, combined with the postponement of interest rate cuts by the central banks, are keeping our customers cautious and prolonging sales processes. However, our customer pipeline looks strong and we are confident that when the market situation improves, we will be in a good position to benefit from the ensuing growth.


Investing for growth

Fortaco continues to execute investments e.g. in a steel fabrication capacity in our new factory in Gliwice, expanding a vehicle cabin capacity in the Holic factory, Slovakia, and expanding operations in Narva, Estonia. These investments will support our strategy to expand technology offerings and to ensure we can serve our customers’ ever-expanding needs. At the same time, we are making our contribution to ensuring Europe has a competitive and future-proof manufacturing industry so we can grow and win together. These investments ensure that we can maintain our excellent delivery accuracy and have the needed capacity to fulfil our customers’ needs when the markets eventually pick up. 


In March, we further strengthened our financial position by successfully placing a subsequent bond issue in the amount of EUR 25.0 million and by receiving an equity injection of EUR 10 million from the owner. The bond issue was met with a strong demand from primarily new and existing institutional investors based in the Nordics and continental Europe. Following the bond issue, the outstanding amount under the bonds is EUR 127.5 million.


A solid financial position enables us to carry out our expansion strategy, including the target of expanding our geographical footprint beyond Europe and extending our offering to cover new customer segments.


Strategic review progressing as planned

In February, we announced that Fortaco had started a strategic evaluation of its marine, energy, and heavy project businesses, while these businesses are not considered strategic anymore. In May, the first part of  the review was completed as we announced the sale of our heavy project business in Jászberény, Hungary to Cyclus GmbH (50%) and Ask US Management s.r.o. (50 %). I’m happy that we have found a good new home for this business. The review regarding also the remaining business is proceeding as planned and the evaluation is still expected to be completed during the first half of 2024.


Getting ready for the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD)

We are making good progress with our Sustainability Agenda that was launched in 2023. In the first quarter, the focus was on preparing the Group’s Climate Program and getting ready for the CSRD reporting by conducting a double materiality assessment. Fortaco’s Top 100 leaders have also been intensively trained in sustainability. Going forward, we are continuing to raise awareness of sustainability internally and externally, as well as creating a structure for sustainability-related processes.

Committed to deliver a solid financial performance in 2024

I’m happy to see the professionalism of the Fortaco team with our never-ending Make Tomorrow Safer and Better enthusiasm. Fortaco’s decentralised governance model enables business sites to run their daily operations independently and effectively. I’m confident that Fortaco is in a good position to take advantage of the emerging opportunities when the markets eventually pick up.  And we are fully committed to delivering a solid financial performance also in 2024.


Events after the reporting period

On 10 May 2024, Fortaco announced the sale of the heavy project business in Jaszbereny, Hungary. The transaction is part of the strategic evaluation of Fortaco’s marine, energy and heavy project business announced on 28 February 2024.


On 10 May 2024 and connected to the above mentioned announcement, Fortaco called for a written procedure to request certain consents from its bondholders to execute needed actions as part of the strategic evaluation. The last day for voting in the written procedure is 27 May 2024.


Financial reporting in 2024

Fortaco publishes the Half-Year Review for January-June 2024 on Monday 26 August 2024.


Fortaco Group Holdco Plc
Board of Directors


Further information


Lars Hellberg

President & CEO
+358 40 572 9488 


Kimmo Raunio

Senior Executive Vice President & CFO

+358 40 593 6854