Sweden’s Dometic Group posted a positive start to the year with net sales of SEK 4.442bn (€420m) for the first quarter ended March 31, 2018, representing an overall increase of 29% over the same period last year. Ten percent of the gain was due to organic growth while 21% was attributed to acquisitions made last year, including Oceanair Marine, IVP and SeaStar Solutions which was purchased in the final quarter of 2017.

The company saw organic growth across all three of its primary sales regions: +12% in the Americas, +6% in EMEA, and +16% in APAC. More than half of Dometic’s sales (52%) are generated in the Americas, and 38% in EMEA. First-quarter results also included a negative currency impact of -2%, primarily arising from US-based sales. Profit for the period was up 27% to SEK 375m (€36m).

Dometic’s equipment portfolio includes products in the Climate, Hygiene & Sanitation, Food & Beverage, Power & Control and Safety & Security categories – targeted for use in recreational vehicles, pleasure boats, work boats, trucks and premium cars.

With the Oceanair and SeaStar acquisitions, the company’s marine business now has a much higher profile in the group – jumping to 24% of group sales or approximately SEK 1.066bn (€100m) in the first quarter, up from 11% in 2017. Over the past year, marine sales have soared 82% (12-month rolling basis).

Presenting the results last week, Dometic’s president and CEO Juan Vargues said the integration of SeaStar was progressing according to plan, with performance meeting expectations. “Our short-term priorities are to improve margins through further efficiency gains, compensate commodity cost increases through pricing, and focus on cash flow and deleveraging,” he added.

Dometic added SEK 6.243bn (€600m) in total debt, with current net debt leverage of 3.4x (compared to 1.3x in the third quarter of 2017). The company’s aim is to bring leverage down to 2.5x by the end of 2018.

Vargues said Dometic’s outlook for 2018 remained positive in line with other targets for the business this year, which include 5% organic growth and EBIT of 15% (operating earnings before interest and tax). Specific growth efforts will be focused on the marine and aftermarket segments of the business. Aftermarket channels accounted for 35% of total sales in the first quarter, and 39% in 2017.