In 2019, Oras Invest focused on supporting the long-term strategic development of its four industrial companies, Oras Group, Uponor, Kemira, and Tikkurila. During the year, Oras Invest increased its ownership in Kemira by 2%-points to over 20%. In 2019, the combined net sales of the owned companies totalled EUR 4.6 billion and they employed approximately 13,000 people in 40 countries.
According to CEO Annika Paasikivi, 2019 was stable, yet full of activity. “The economic performance of our companies varied, however on the whole we are happy with the direction of development”, concludes Annika Paasikivi.
Oras Invest’s net asset value increased by 39%, to EUR 882 million (634), and its total shareholder return was 40% (–29). The net asset value growth was due to the increased market values of the listed companies owned by Oras Invest. Also the intrinsic value of the 100%-owned Oras Group developed in a positive direction as the company managed to improve its comparative profitability.
The net sales of Oras Group almost matched its previous year’s sales, and were EUR 225 million. The company’s comparable operating profit grew to EUR 16 million (7% of net sales) thanks to diligent fixed cost management. Kari Lehtinen started as the CEO of Oras Group on 1 January 2019.
Uponor’s net sales declined by 8% to EUR 1 103 million, largely due to divestments made in 2018. The comparable operating profit was EUR 93 million, which is in line with the previous year’s level (8% of net sales). Particularly the Building Solutions – North America segment both grew and improved its profitability, whilst in Europe the company faced growing challenges.
Kemira achieved a growth of 3% in net sales, reaching EUR 2,659 million. Comparable operating profit came to EUR 224 million, totalling 8% of net sales, a significant improvement from last year. The company’s improved profitability is proof of the success of the consistent investment programme implemented during the past five years.
Tikkurila’s net sales remained close to the previous year’s level, reaching EUR 564 million. Comparable operating profit improved significantly to EUR 46 million, which amounted to 8% of net sales. The company’s performance continued strong in its growth markets, Poland and Russia, however sales decreased in Finland and Sweden.
Sustainable value creation has always been at the core of Oras Invest and its companies’ operations. In 2019, Oras Invest began the process of building a specific framework to define its vision on sustainability as an owner. The company’s approach is pragmatic and focuses on measurable long-term impact. Oras Invest’s aim is to report on the impact of its companies in 2021.
Start of the year 2020
In May 2020, two new members will be appointed to the Board of Directors of Oras Invest: Timo Ihamuotila and Michael Rauterkus. Timo (CFO of ABB Group) brings with him truly global competence of the industrial sector. Michael (former CEO of Grohe) has extensive experience in leading consumer brand companies in a number of industries.
“Our external environment is increasingly complex and unpredictable. We have experienced this first-hand during the past months; as we have watched the coronavirus spread across the globe and how the measures taken to combat the situation have disrupted economic operating conditions. All of our companies improved their performance last year and have strong balance sheets. We therefore face the first effects of this global pandemic from a strong starting point. As a responsible, long-term owner, we support the operations of our companies and their survival through these exceptional circumstances. Our first priority as owners is to safeguard the health and safety of the 12 955 people working with our companies.” says Annika Paasikivi.