The KWH Group was also hit hard by the Covid 19 -pandemic in the Spring 2020, but the situation improved sharply towards the end of the year. After the crash in the spring, our operations recovered strongly, operating profit was better than last year, and sales fell only by two per cent.
The KWH Group’s consolidated turnover declined to EUR 501.3 Million, which means a decrease of two percent compared to last year. The negative trend in the world economy due to the spread of the coronavirus and the consequent lockdowns affected sales of the year.
– After a strong start to the year, Covid-19 caused havoc in the world and on our markets in the spring. Restrictions and limited opportunities to meet customers meant that we were forced to abandon the growth targets for the year, says Group President Kjell Antus.
Improved operating profit
Mirka stands for 57%, KWH Logistics 38% and Prevex for 6% of the turnover. Even though the turnover decreased, the group managed to increase operating profit by over EUR 10 Million compared to previous year. The operating profit reached EUR 57.1 Million. We also continued investing to the future with higher-than-normal investments. Our gross investments were EUR 85.5 Million.
– With active leadership, we were able to lower overheads without risking leaving any significant business undone in the short term. The KWH Group demonstrated again that its strength is based on a broad, strong local presence on the markets and a successful mix of sectors.
Our labour force is almost unchanged from 2019. Personnel decreased within Mirka but increased in KWH Logistics and Prevex. At the end of the year the group had 2,347 employees, of whom 779 abroad.
– During the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, we prioritised employee health and safety. The success of the KWH Group is based on all our committed, motivated employees. After a year of Covid-19 stress, it is important to take measures that boost solidarity, enhance well-being, and maintain motivation and commitment, highlights Antus.
Promising start of the year
The KWH Group focuses on growth and is today the largest family business in Ostrobothnia. Year 2021 has begun strongly in all our divisions, but we are still prepared for a sudden change. Last year taught us that situations can change fast and that our strength is our ability to react quickly.
– I look forward to a very exciting 2021 and hope that the ‘lost’ year of 2020 is history and we can return to focusing on growth and development. Our strong financial position gives us the freedom to act, even in times of financial difficulty, finishes Antus.
Read more: Annual Review 2020.