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Glaston aims to be its industry’s leading pioneer, whose identifying characteristics are technology leadership and high quality. Glaston’s core expertise is in flat tempering technology. Through its continuous product development and regularly renewed product offering, Glaston will further strengthen its position and competitiveness in the market as well as in new machine sales and services. To support its core business, Glaston will seek growth opportunities not only in flat tempering technology but also in other safety glass groups, such as bending, tempering-bending and laminating. Innovative glass technologies and digitalisation will bring significant new business opportunities to Glaston.
New glass technology solutions enables Glaston to expand business opportunities into new segments and areas. Glaston has made a strategic investment in a California company specialising in the development of smart glass. An extensive and increasing installed machine base creates the foundation for growth in services. After a quiet first quarter, Glaston’s markets continued to pick up.
The positive note was maintained throughout the year and order intake grew steadily. Despite the good market activity, customers’ decision-making remained slow in certain areas and some deals were also delayed. A particular bright spot was the strongly increased operating profit. Compared with the previous year, the comparable operating profit nearly doubled to EUR 5. In accordance with our strategy, we have invested heavily during the year in both digitalisation and emerging technologies. In addition to flat tempering, lamination technology has been taken forward utilising customer experience.
Development projects in bending-tempering and in bent glass technology have continued. To accelerate development in our industry, in the summer we organised a startup event, aimed at bringing together the sector’s innovators, investors and operators. In the field of digitalisation, we launched a number of development projects related, for example, to cloud services, utilisation of analytics, raising the degree of automation, and preventative maintenance. Within the framework of Glaston’s Emerging Technologies unit, we held active discussions with a number of companies on the development of new glass technologies, and development cooperation offers were made to several partners. Our starting position for 2018 is good. The company is stronger and we expect the good market situation to continue. We look to the future with confidence and, in line with our strategy, we will continue on the path of profitable growth.
Although the order book at the end of 2017 was lower than the previous year, the good order intake of the second half of the year and positive market development create good conditions for profitable growth in 2018. We expect the full-year comparable operating profit to improve from 2017. Full-year 2017 comparable operating profit was EUR 5. September comparable operating result was EUR 2. Previously, the full-year 2017 comparable operating result was expected to improve from 2016. Glaston revises its outlook and now expects the full-year 2017 comparable operating result to be EUR 4. Previous outlook: We expect the full-year comparable operating result to improve from 2016.