I think back on 2016 with a smile. I remember a day in May when we gathered all VEO employees and shared a moment of genuine pride and joy, knowing that, together, we had accomplished something great. Our entire personnel had coffee and cake, accompanied by spontaneous applause. Almost a year from that moment I still have the same feeling – 2016 was a year of growth on many levels.
I’m glad that VEO has remained a wanted workplace. In 2016, we employed 24 new professionals and introduced a new mentoring programme to enhance knowledge sharing. This year we’ll keep working for a flat organisation that encourages individual growth. We’ll also continue our comprehensive ERP system update, initiated in 2016, and reap the fruits of the investments we’ve made regarding international project management, product development, and seamless production and planning cooperation.
We need to stay awake and grab opportunities as they arise. VEO must always be ready to take a new direction.
In recent times VEO has experienced significant turnover and export growth. The first half of 2016 continued that trend by bringing us two far-reaching contracts: a Norwegian hydropower framework agreement and the largest marine order in VEO history, Meyer Werft. These projects will certainly fill our order book with many new entries. VEO also experienced great growth in Sweden and the UK. Our production, logistics and engineering investments are starting to pay off. We’re certainly creating enough added value to keep production in Finland. It’s also clear that big contracts like Meyer Werft immediately take VEO’s media publicity to a whole new level.
Sales-wise I was particularly pleased with the latter half of 2016. Overall our sales grew by 30 %, which is a very remarkable result. Combined with our turnover, the growth was 15 % compared to previous years. In other words, 2017 begins with a big backlog, which in turn promises a substantial turnover growth for this year. I’m also pleased to announce that a successful working capital improvement campaign brought our operational cash flow to an all-time high. I salute the entire project and sales team – great job! VEO is now in a strong financial position. Our equity ratio is around 60 %, and we are a debt free corporation with sufficient monetary resources to grow our business.
I believe in the energy industry and the growth potential this international market can offer. Megatrends – e.g. delivery reliability, energy storage solutions, waste-to-energy, circular economy and digitalisation – are quickly altering the industry. As an International Integrator, VEO has every possibility to embrace the change. Through our knowledge in project management, electrification and automation we can always connect the right technologies with the right knowledge and thus create a tailor-made customer experience. However, we need to stay awake and grab opportunities as they arise. VEO must always be ready to take a new direction. But we also need an inspiring intention that has our entire organisation aiming for the same destination. That way, 2017 will also be a year of growth.