Sweden’s Dometic Group reported fourth quarter and 2017 results yesterday, highlighting a strong finish to the equipment maker’s financial year.  Just five weeks into his new role as President and CEO of Dometic, Juan Vargues told analysts, “2017 was a good year for Dometic and we saw a positive development in all our main businesses."

Specialising in products and systems for mobile applications, Dometic posted net sales for the year totalling SEK 14.04 billion (€1.4b), representing 13% growth of which 12% was organic.  Profits for the year (after taxes) were up nearly 10% to SEK 1.49 billion (€150m).

Sales in the final quarter increased 17% overall to SEK 3.25 billion (€325m) and were particularly robust in America where RV sales reached an all-time high of more than 500,000 units, helping lift OEM revenues by 27%, and aftermarket sales by 14% over the period.

Geographically, Dometic’s 2017 revenues were split between the Americas (45%), EMEA (43%), and Asia-Pacific (12%).  OEM business accounted for 61% of sales, while the aftermarket accounted for 39% with a slight shift towards OEM.

Dometic’s marine business represented a larger portion of company sales in 2017 – up 11% of total sales from 9% the previous year - or approximately SEK 1.5 billion.  Notably, Vargues emphasised that the marine segment’s importance in the Dometic portfolio would expand significantly due to the SeaStar and Oceanair acquisitions made in the past year – growing to an estimated 22% of sales in 2018.

Vargues noted the company’s marine business has been previously focused on the larger boat segment, but that the SeaStar product line would open up new opportunities in America’s extensive small boat business.

Dometic acquired SeaStar, a North America based supplier of marine control systems and aftermarket products, for US$ 875 million (€745m) last November.  SeaStar's 2017 projected revenues were approximately US$320m (€273m).

Queried on whether Dometic would be making more acquistions, Vasques did not rule out future additons, “Our ambition is to be both big and profitable.”

Dometic is targeting organic growth of 5% for 2018 and a margin of 15% on earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT).  The company has proposed a dividend of SEK 2.5 per share for 2017, representing 40% of net profits.