In our power utilisation businesses, 2017 was a year of successes and changes. VEO’s strongest power utilisation foothold is in Finland and now, with the acquisition of ICE, in the UK, with great future expectations also for Sweden and Norway. In 2017, our main focus was to hone our organisation into an entity, which can handle the challenges of our quickly growing business.
In our marine markets, VEO was successful in securing new large deals and delivering the first electrification project within the Meyer Werft framework agreement signed in 2016. The product development and the measures needed to comply with the project standards and procedures have challenged and required effort from our teams, but from now on, VEO can reap the benefits of the hard work done.
Within our industry segment, last year was characterised by a variety of projects. In the chemical industry, we saw several smaller projects with a scope ranging from production and project management to installation and start-up. Within pulp and paper manufacturing there were only a few large investments in 2017, but several smaller reconstructions to increase capacity or replace obsolete technology. The mining industry sees a surge in Finland, thanks to the many battery projects under works. For the electrical appliances needed in these projects, we find that VEO has great potential with its competitive solutions.
Among last year’s successes, the acquisition of I.C. Electrical (ICE) stands out as the most notable one.
Among last year’s successes, the acquisition of I.C. Electrical (ICE) stands out as the most notable one. In ICE, VEO gains a business with specialisation in installation and maintenance. With this new channel to the British market, our aim is to grow in the UK and extend ICE’s scope to include the EPC capabilities and VEO products we already offer to our Nordic customers. In 2018 we will, also in general, develop our EPC offerings for the benefit of all our power utilisation markets. By advancing our know-how, products and project management we plan to expand into larger project entities. Part of this development is scaling our work to better be able to internally collaborate on parallel projects. Being flexible and agile, VEO can offer value especially in medium-sized projects, which include tailored solutions and reconstructions.
Year by year we have raised our business targets within the power utilisation markets. In 2017, we did well, although our sales fell some in the larger projects in the second half of the year. VEO has a steady base of regular customers, but our challenge for the future is to become more proactive in our sales work. To meet this challenge, we reorganised our personnel last year and now focus on training and recruiting seasoned sales professionals to our team. For an increased competitive edge, we have strengthened our product development with a dedicated team of professionals, while also developing clear processes in general. With deliberate risk avoidance and by choosing which projects we offer on, we believe this strategy will lead to profitable growth in VEO’s power utilisation markets.