Unpredictability is the new normal

In recent years, the world has been characterised by great unpredictability and 2023 was no exception. However, now that the year is over, we can see that it was ultimately a really good year for Mirka, even if the market was slow and unsteady, mainly on account of the recession in the construction industry.

As of October 2023, we have been back to normal sales levels, and since we have always known that we operate in a pre-cyclical industry, I dare to believe that this indicates a permanent turnaround. On a positive note, the disruption to supply chains caused by the coronavirus pandemic is finally coming to an end, allowing us to free up capital by holding less stock, and improving profitability.

In the area of sustainability, we made great strides last year. The new energy-efficient, environmentally friendly abrasives manufacturing process is now in full use and already accounts for a significant share of production volume. Other sustainability achievements include the factory in Jakobstad becoming carbon neutral thanks to geothermal energy and solar panels. We also decided to build a solar farm at the factory in Jeppo.

Perhaps the most important work in the environmental field, however, is taking place in the two projects run by Mirka and co-financed by Business Finland. In the SHAPE project, we are exploring the possibilities of the circular economy, among other things. We have set a target for 70% of our products to be circular or compostable by 2035. It is a tough target, but we are working full steam ahead to achieve it.

Stefan Sjöberg.The CIGMA project, in turn, aims to develop circular processes to produce new ceramic abrasive grains and to separate used abrasive grains from the other materials in the products to reuse them. Here, the environmental measures go hand in hand with the business benefits, as abrasive grains are the most expensive raw material we use. The plan is to commission a facility for this purpose by the end of 2025.

Sustainability is not only about environmental action. It also includes corporate social responsibility. A good example of this is the campaign we ran at the beginning of 2023, when we had surplus capacity in production for some time. Instead of starting furloughs for staff, they spent two weeks working on voluntary tasks in the third sector, such as care for the elderly. This was a real win-win situation for all parties involved, and it also generated a lot of media interest.

Mirka has been working hard on digitalisation for a long time and we are now starting to see the full effect of the investments we have made in, for example, marketing automation and e-commerce platforms. It is worth noting that all the digitalisation initiatives across the company support our sustainability efforts, as they facilitate reporting and make it easier to prioritise the right actions. I would go so far as to say that, without proper digitalisation, sustainability is impossible.

Other important events in 2023 were the addition of two new subsidiaries to Mirka, in the Benelux countries and Poland. We bought out the operations of our importers, giving us a stronger and clearer presence in these important markets.

The year ended with a celebration of Mirka’s 80 years in business with all our staff. Despite Mirka’s considerable age, it is not time to slow down. In fact, I feel that we are only at the beginning of our journey.

Stefan Sjöberg
Head of Division, Mirka

Mirka – the technology leader in sanding solutions

  • Technology leader: Mirka offers a wide range of total solutions for surface finishing and precision sanding.
  • Innovator: At the turn of the millennium, Mirka launched a revolutionary method for dust-free sanding.
    Ever since, the company has been the technology leader in its industry, and Mirka continues to invest heavily in product development.
  • Winning machines: In addition to abrasives, Mirka also offers sanding machines, which have won awards for their ergonomics and innovative design.
  • Production in Europe: Mirka’s headquarters and largest factory are in Jeppo in Ostrobothnia, and all production takes place in Finland and Italy.
  • Global subsidiaries: Mirka has many sales companies in different countries, and almost half of its employees work outside Finland.
  • Countries in which Mirka has subsidiaries: Baltic States, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, USA

Key Figures

Mirka turnover 2019-2023.

Mirka personnel 2019-2023.

Mirka investments 2019-2023.


Simon Bloxham.

Simon Bloxham, VP Sales, Surface Finishing

Jan Torrkulla,

Jan Torrkulla, Production Director

Mats Sundell.

Mats Sundell, R&D Director, Deputy Chief Executive

Nina Nyman.

Nina Nyman, Marketing Director

Joachim Rännar.

Joachim Rännar, Operations Director

Olav Hellman.

Olav Hellman, CFO