TALLINN -- Estonian supplier Norma posted a drop in second-quarter sales and profits on Wednesday, reporting growth in sales to Western customers as opposed to shrinking turnover in Russia.
Norma, which supplies safety belts and other components and is 51-percent owned by Swedish-based Autoliv, reported slightly lower net sales for the quarter of 18.14 million euros versus 18.64 million a year ago, when it had what it described as "extraordinarily high Russian sales".
Pre-tax profit was 2.53 million euros versus 3.04 million a year ago, the company said in an unaudited results statement. Net profit fell 17 percent to 2.52 million euros.
Sales to Russian customers in the first half of 2004 fell by 14 percent, while sales to Western customers rose by 13 percent, the company said. Sales to Autoliv in the first half accounted for 61 percent of total turnover, it added.
Oliver Ait, analyst at LHV investment bank, said results for the first half were slightly below expectations, but "the overall impression is positive. This year, sales to Western customers have grown faster than to Russia. We think this is the way to go, and Norma is heading in the right direction."