Fourth-quarter pre-tax profits reported yesterday by Assa Abloy were below expectations despite the world's largest lock maker's outlook for good organic sales growth.
The group which operates sites in Wolverhampton and Willenhall, where it has its UK headquarters, said pre-tax profit rose to £930 million from £569 million a year earlier, which included one-off costs of £517 million.
All divisions improved quarterly profits and sales and the group's operating margin was 16.5 per cent in the quarter, within the firm's 16 to 17 per cent goal, in line with expectations.
Chief executive Johan Molin said the firm may present a new margin target at the firm's next investor conference.
The firm usually hosts one every autumn.
"It is valid throughout 2008, so today the plan is we may discuss new targets at the next capital markets day," he said.
Assa Abloy stood by its outlook that organic sales would continue to grow at a good rate and group operating margin and operating cash flow would develop well.
"Measures to increase market coverage and the development and launch of new products give us a very strong base for good long-term advancement, even though the pace of growth on markets in Europe and North America slowed to some extent towards the end of the year," the firm said.