Viking Prospers Despite Tough Conditions
Viking Life-Saving Equipment A/S achieved all-time-high sales of $208m, up just over six percent on 2008. The group's profit also improved slightly compared with 2008. The company’s management attributes the record performance to increased focus on cost reduction and working capital. Despite pressure on margins and the establishment of new subsidiaries and servicing stations, the tightened cost controls enabled Viking to maintain its momentum. At the same time, a decrease in capital tied up in inventory and debtors resulted in a significant reduction in the group's interest bill.
The most significant effect of the increased control over working capital can be seen in the company's liquidity, which improved by approximately $26.9m for 2009. A decrease in balance sheet totals combined with an increase in equity thus resulted in the group's equity ratio increasing from 36.9 to 45.8 percent in 2009.
Viking has boosted its international position in several aspects and, with the recent opening of a sales office in India, secured its presence in all parts of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries.
“We foresee a great future in the BRIC countries,” says Henrik Uhd Christensen. “At the same time, with the acquisition of Colorado-based fire suit producer Quest Enterprises, Inc., we’re well on the way to building a strong bastion in the US market.”