AKI OJANEN, CEO OF ASPO GROUP COMMENTS ON THE THIRD QUARTER:
(published in the Interim Report on October 29, 2019)
AKI OJANEN, CEO OF ASPO GROUP COMMENTS ON THE SECOND QUARTER
“The third quarter showed a clear and expected improvement from the first half of the year. Aspo’s net sales continued to increase, and the significant increase in the operating profit of shipping company operations, a segment important to Aspo, was particularly positive. Net cash from operating activities continued at a strong level.
Aspo has invested approximately EUR 110 million in ESL Shipping’s growth and the improved energy efficiency of its vessels during the past four years, and the results are starting to show. The technical challenges related to the new LNG-fueled vessels, experienced at the beginning of the year, have been overcome, and the vessels now meet the high standards we have set in terms of reduced emissions and improved energy efficiency and load handling capacity. The excellently economical LNG-fueled vessels improve the profitability of our shipping company operations. The acquisition of the Swedish AtoB@C has also been successfully finalized, and its operations have been integrated into ESL Shipping. Both the vessel investments and the acquisition are starting to fulfil the financial targets we have set for this investment program. For ESL Shipping, now is a good time to start planning the next development stage. Our goal is to further improve the company’s position as the leading and the environmentally-friendliest shipping company in the Baltic Sea which continuously improves its profitability.
Telko’s results for the third quarter did not reach our target levels. The company’s management has actively focused on the improvement of the efficiency of business operations and the management of working capital. We expect that these measures improve Telko’s profitability and reduce the impact of exchange rate fluctuations and any volatility in raw material prices on the company’s results. The measures related to the management of working capital reduced Telko’s operating profit during the third quarter, but the overall situation to support the company’s long-term growth and, in particular,
improve its profitability has not changed.
On October 25, 2019, Mikko Pasanen was appointed Telko’s new managing director. He has significant experience in leading B-to-B operations and extensive expertise in the eastern markets. We firmly believe that he is the right person to accelerate the fulfilment of Telko’s strategy and to lead the continuous development of operations.
The profitability of Leipurin’s bakery operations improved during the third quarter, and its net sales also increased. Unfortunately, the loss produced by Leipurin’s machinery operations reduced results, and the company’s operating profit remained at the comparative period’s level.
All in all, Aspo is in a good position to take the next development steps. We will announce more information about our goals and the strategies, development phases and financial targets of Aspo’s businesses during our Capital Markets Day on November 26, 2019.”