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Metso president and chief executive officer Pekka Vauramo said the year has started “in line” with the company’s expectations.

Metso’s minerals services and aggregates equipment orders saw an improvement in the March quarter.

While the company saw an eight per cent lowering in orders, the improved copper prices saw customers run production at high rates, supporting Metso’s mineral services business.

Profitability was supported by an improvement in gross margin, which Vauramo attributed to successful cost management and overall operational performance.

“I am proud to see that we can maintain very healthy margin levels in a softer demand environment,” Vauramo said. “We also showed positive cash generation performance during the quarter, with cash flow from operations increasing to EUR 158 million.

“The first-quarter results confirm that actions to improve our financial performance have been successful, and we are on track to meet our profitability target.”

In the sustainability space, Metso made progress on its Planet Positive offering and innovations, its people and culture, and its environmental efficiency its operations and a responsible supply chain.

“In all these we have made considerable progress, and I anticipate ongoing achievements throughout 2024,” Vauramo said. “We expect the market activity to remain at the current level in both segments.

“There is general anticipation that higher metal prices and potential interest rate cuts could accelerate overall economic activity and demand in our industries later in the year.

“Under all market conditions, we will continue to control our costs, implement other actions to improve our profitability and cash flow and make sure that we are offering our customers the best service possible.”