Mia Brunell Livfors, Board Chair of Axel Johnson International reflects on the challenges of the past year and what to expect in the years ahead.
As one chapter comes to an end and another begins,
Axel Johnson International CEO Martin Malmvik reflects
on another record year – a year of letting go of “business as
usual” and accepting new realities.
IT IS ALWAYS EQUALLY exciting to wrap up a year as it is to start a new one. And the last three years have been unusually invigorating; so much has been different in so many ways.
Past experiences have lost value in situations most of us have never encountered before. The pandemic and the war in Ukraine have caused enormous turbulence with material and energy shortages, inflation and geopolitical unease. Global trade can no longer be taken for granted. Although it is human nature to seek normality and progress, at Axel Johnson International we have accepted that normality is a thing of the past, and that outdated solutions must be left behind.
ACCEPTING NEW REALITIES while fearing stagnation has driven our organisation to another record year. Crisis feeds innovation, always with our customers at the centre of our attention. Our decentralised, yet coordinated, organisation has consolidated our unique strengths, and we have acted from a short-term perspecitve with the best available information. Although an agile approach to new realities has guided us through many unforeseen obstacles, our long-term strategic direction and culture have ensured that we remain two steps ahead.
THERE ARE SO many things to be proud of. In some cases, strategic initiatives, in others, our ability to adapt instantly to changing circumstances. Sustainability has been our guiding light – both internally and for our customer offering. New circular business models have developed at record speed in several business groups to remedy supply shortages. Remote condition monitoring installations have freed up service capacity, while securing customer uptime. New technology helps our people to solve time-consuming problems, and a digitalised work environment allows us to meet without extensive travel. Looking back, we did what we said we would do, only so much faster.
IN SUMMARY, WE have continued to invest and our achievements are outstanding. Sales grew by 26 percent and reached SEK 16.3 billion, mainly due to organic development. Operating results (excluding goodwill depreciations) increased 33 percent to more than SEK 1.3 billion. We finalised 20 complimentary acquisitions. The success is even across our different business groups; each and every one of our companies has contributed. And most of all, our success comes from our people, our culture and the way we cooperate. There is no team in the world I would rather work with to take on the future.