In 2017, Oras Invest Ltd focused on supporting the long-term strategic development of its four industrial companies, Oras Group, Uponor, Kemira and Tikkurila. There were no changes to the holdings during the year. The combined net sales of the owned companies totaled EUR 4.5 billion and they employed over 13,000 people in 40 countries.
According to CEO Jari Paasikivi, most of Oras Invest’s companies’ main markets developed favourably in 2017. “The construction market was vibrant across most of Europe and North America, and the same applies to stock market development. Instead, our companies’ performances varied in 2017.”
Oras Invest’s net asset value declined by 6%, to EUR 892 million (EUR 945 million), and its total shareholder return was –5% (19%).
Oras Group had a difficult year. Net sales grew by 1.7% to EUR 249.5 million, while the comparable operating profit declined to EUR 17.4 million. In 2018, the company’s focus will be on fixing its internal efficiency to ensure a return to normalised profitability levels. Dr Markus Lengauer was appointed CEO and President of Oras Group as of 1 November 2017.
Uponor reported net sales growth of 6.5%, at EUR 1,170.4 million. The comparable operating profit improved to EUR 97.2 million. All three business segments contributed to the growth and were able to improve their profitability. The rate of forward-looking strategic investment in Uponor was high for the second year running.
Kemira’s net sales increased by 5% compared to the previous year, totalling EUR 2,486.0 million. Comparable operating profit remained at the previous year’s level at EUR 170.3 million in absolute terms. The growth was mainly driven by the recovery in the North American oil and gas markets. In 2017, Kemira consolidated its organisation from three into two segments: Pulp & Paper and Industry & Water.
Tikkurila had another challenging year. Net sales grew by 1.8% to EUR 582.4 million but the comparable operating profit declined to EUR 28.8 million. Sales price increases could only partially offset the increased cost burden of raw materials and the ramping up of a new ERP system. During the second half of the year, Tikkurila launched a programme to boost profitability to achieve savings of at least EUR 30 million. In February 2018, the company announced the appointment of Elisa Markula as the new CEO. She will assume her new responsibilities in April 2018.
As part of the generation shift in the operative leadership of Oras Invest, Annika Paasikivi was appointed as the new CEO of Oras Invest as of 16 April 2018. At the same time, Jari Paasikivi was nominated as the Chairman of the Board as of 16 April 2018.
According to Annika Paasikivi, Oras Invest’s owners have been very clear about their long-term vision of being a family company and an industrial owner with a focus on building and water industries.
“In the medium term, Oras Invest will be looking for opportunities to facilitate the growth of our portfolio companies, as well as opportunities to expand our ownership. Our strategy work, which was completed in 2017, confirms our confidence in the fact that our current portfolio can deliver most of the long-term value creation we are seeking. Going forward, our first priority will therefore be on further developing Oras Group, Uponor, Kemira and Tikkurila as high-quality companies”, Annika Paasikivi says.
Jari Paasikivi, [email protected], tel. +358 10 28 68 112
Annika Paasikivi, [email protected], tel. +358 10 28 68 100
Oras Invest’s Annual Review and Financial Statements 2017 are available at www.orasinvest.fi.
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