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Cargotec is a technology leader with strong market positions in all our business areas Kalmar, Hiab and MacGregor. We have leading brands in markets with long term growth potential. Several megatrends support our businesses.
Our strategy breakthrough objectives are sustainability and profitable growth. Our vision is to become the global leader in sustainable cargo flow.
The gradual market recovery from the difficult pandemic situation began in the second half of 2020 and continued in the first quarter of 2021. Our orders received increased by 43 percent compared to the comparison period as all business areas increased their orders. Strong demand continued in Kalmar mobile equipment and Hiab solutions, and Hiab’s orders received was once again its best ever. Interest in Kalmar's automation solutions also increased. MacGregor’s orders received increased by 7 percent, driven by a pick-up merchant ship market. Our order book increased by 22 percent compared to the end of 2020, which positions us well for 2021 onwards. Services orders received increased by 11 percent from the comparison period.
Our sales decreased by 15 percent from the comparison period, reflecting the expected low order intake during last year’s second quarter and the beginning of the third quarter. The availability of product components did not have a material impact on our operations but, if prolonged, the global shortage of components could pose challenges. We monitor closely our supply chain performance and are actively cooperating with our suppliers. Service and software sales constituted 40 percent of our total sales. Despite the difficult pandemic situation and restrictions caused by it, services sales only decreased by 2 percent.
Despite the decline in sales, our comparable operating profit increased by 14 percent. Comparable operating profit increased in Hiab and MacGregor while Kalmar's profitability weakened.
In March, we announced the agreement to sell Navis software business to the US investment firm Accel-KKR for an enterprise value of EUR 380 million. The final purchase price will be determined at closing. The agreement delivers a great home for Navis and secures the best possible growth and value creation for its next development phase. Closing is expected by the end of Q3 2021.
We have refined our strategy and vision. Sustainability and profitable growth are our breakthrough objectives and our vision is to become the global leader in sustainable cargo flow. The importance of sustainability has increased in our operations. In concrete terms, we aim to reduce the CO2 emissions of our value chain by 1 million tons by 2024.
On 1 October 2020, we announced the plan to combine Cargotec and Konecranes through a merger. Extraordinary meetings held on 18 December 2020 by each of the companies resolved the resolution to approve the merger. The implementation of the merger is subject to obtaining the necessary approvals from the competition authorities. More information about the merger is available from the web address www.sustainablematerialflow.com.