Habia Cable AB
Habia Cable develops and manufactures custom-designed cables and cable systems for demanding applications. The company is one of the largest players in custom-designed cables in Europe. Its products are sold in about 50 markets, the most important customer segments in which are telecom, defense, nuclear power, infrastructure and the engineering industry.
Habia Cable’s invoicing totaled MSEK 632 (668). Operating profit amounted to MSEK 62 (56) and the company’s operating margin was 9.8 percent (8.4). While the year began with relatively strong demand in the defense and industrial segments, order bookings dropped off toward the end of the year. This was largely due to the weakened industrial economy and to the slower public sectors, which impacts demand in the defense market. The telecom sector experienced the opposite trend. Although there was a weak start to the year, volumes subsequently rose substantially, primarily thanks to the expansion of the mobile network in the US. Demand was also favorable in the nuclear power market.
In 2012, Habia secured several major customer orders related to the focus on nuclear power that began in 2011. In terms of invoicing, Habia experienced a strong year-end resulting from strong telecom demand and major order deliveries in the defense and nuclear power segments.
Market and sales
The focus on custom-designed cables means that sales are largely conducted through a proprietary organization, in which sales representatives and designers collaborate to match customized needs and technical solutions with one another. Sales of standardized products are conducted by phone and through catalogs, as well as via distributors.
Habia’s most important markets are Germany, the Nordic region, other Western European countries, China and South Korea. The 200 largest customers account for about 80 percent of sales. Since 2012, the company is divided into customer and market segments, which enhances our ability to meet customer needs and offer the right expertise to each subsegment.
The cable market is fragmented. In Europe, the custom-designed cable market nische can be valued at roughly EUR 1 billion. Habia’s share of the defense, nuclear power and industrial segments is estimated at between 5 and 10 percent. However, in the telecom market – in cables for antennas for base stations – Habia commands a significantly higher market share.
Operation and organization
Habia Cable works with the development, design and manufacturing of custom-designed cables and cable harnesses. Custom-designed cables entail that the products are manufactured using high-performance materials and that they are used for demanding applications in harsh environments with rigorous performance requirements – in such sectors as telecom, defense and nuclear power, and other industrial segments. As opposed to standard cables, Habia’s products must endure extremely high or low temperatures, chemical effects, radioactivity, pressure, vibrations or extensive bending. Most custom-designed cables are adapted to specific customer requirements, in which Habia contributes innovation throughout the entire development process. Other competitive advantages include:
- Advanced technical expertise
- Cost-efficient solutions that meet its customers’ high technical demands
- Flexible production
- Local presence in Europe and Asia
Habia maintains production facilities in Sweden, China, Germany and Poland. The focus on custom-designed cables results in a large portion of manufacturing pertaining to relatively small volumes. This raises requirements on flexibility and efficiency in the internal work. At the Swedish plant in Söderfors, a new production-management system was introduced. This is an investment in productivity and internal quality that places greater emphasis on preemptive and corrective measures in the manufacturing process – measures that further improve stability and reduce scrapping. The plant in China provides Habia with access to low-cost production and a local presence in Asia, which ensures competitiveness in the telecom sector. Work on advancing capacity at this plant continued during the year.
The company’s product development is customer and market driven and tied to the business organization. It is focused on such factors as developing new and improved plastic materials, which are manufactured in partnership with plastic suppliers and customers. It is equally important to develop technical solutions and processes so that the products are manufactured cost efficiently. Part of the product development encompasses quality assurance in accordance with international norms and product standards, which focused on the qualification of nuclear power cables in 2012.