2021 turned out to be just as exciting as we had expected. Despite having lived with the Covid-19 Pandemic now for more than two years it is not over yet. The consequences of new outbreaks have decreased considerably however, and we have all learned to live with, and manage through the pandemic.
The KWH Group is also managing the corona pandemic and we can once again say that we emerge stronger from a time of crisis. Through a mix of successful business strategy, active leadership, and a good cooperation between all employee groups we have worked together to get the job done. The KWH Group has once again shown its strength based on a broad and strong local presence on its different markets and a good balance between its branches.
Compared to 2020 turnover increased by 18% for a total of 593 million Euro. The operating profit improved by 14 million Euro for a total of 71 million Euro. Our operating margin increased from 11,4% to 12% and we made investments for a total of 70 million Euro. The large investments of the previous three years are starting to show results both in terms of turnover and profitability.
But at the same time as we see a continuation of these positive developments in the beginning of 2022, we can also see some dark clouds which will impact the coming reporting period. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is very serious. Even if it is overshadowed by other matters, the crisis will also result in economical consequences. The markedly worsened external situation is going to have a negative impact on trade and industry. Furthermore there is the risk of delivery disruptions which in turn could lead to difficulties in procuring raw materials and components for our production. The shortage of containers, logistical difficulties and rising oil prices have increased shipping costs.
Our powerful growth shows in the increase in our work force. At the end of 2021 we employed 2524 people. There is a continued need for recruitment within all our business units. In order to meet the competition for labour we take care to create pleasant workplaces and a cozy and safe working environment. As a family-owned growth company our priority is long term growth and profitability over short term gains, which is something that is shown by the way in which we face different challenges.
The importance of conducting business in a sustainable way has also had an impact on KWH Group. We want to strengthen our trust capital by conducting our business in a way that financial and non-financial assets are optimized, and where metrics and activities are being reported and communicated in a relevant and transparent way to our different stakeholders. Our business should be conducted in a sustainable and ethical way in order for us to be able to offer products and services that meet the requirements of our customers. This will also let us recruit top talent which will allow us to perform better than our competitors in the long run.
For 2022 our plan has been continued growth and high profitability. But in light of the crisis in Ukraine and the economical sanctions directed towards Russia as well as Russian countermeasures it seems like we are facing a period of uncertainty. In order to meet these challenges, the Group has prepared necessary action plans. In this way we will be prepared to act quickly and adapt to what is happening in the world.
Kjell Antus, Group President