At VEO, the year 2019 was a time of significant changes and development. Our CEO changed, and in several management-level positions, adjustments were made as well. The volume of our operations continued to grow, our turnover increased significantly, and the growth in orders received was also higher than in the previous year. At the same time, to improve profitability, we had to make some difficult decisions and implement significant development measures.
But in retrospect, we can say that everything we were working with during 2019 was worth the effort; our result improved significantly compared to the previous year, and now VEO has once again stepped on a path to profitable growth.
In 2019 we also continued our success in Norway and improved our position in the Swedish market. In addition, we strengthened our support to ICE in the UK, which allows us to expect business growth from there as well, once the Brexit issues are clarified.
VEO has an excellent reputation as a responsible top-level expert. Our success has always been and will continue to be based on our skilled and motivated employees. Therefore, process development, maintenance and the advancement of employee competence and motivation are the keys to our future success. From now on, we will invest even more in people-oriented leadership.
In the beginning of 2020, we were suddenly faced with a new challenge in the form of Covid-19. Although the crisis will not be hitting our business the hardest, VEO still needs to be prepared for its effects. In the first half of 2020, it appears that our business will survive without sustaining any significant damage. And even though a decline in volumes is expected towards the end of the year, we believe that things will return to normal after all.
In conclusion, a higher level of profitability means that our expectation to continue our growth in phase with our 200-8-23 target (i.e. a turnover of EUR 200 million in 2023) is still achievable. Still, if we need to extend the schedule due to circumstances beyond our control, then so be it. However, we always keep in mind our main principle: if growth and profitability are in conflict, profitability remains priority number one.
On behalf of the board, I would like to warmly thank all of VEO’s personnel for their excellent work during 2019. I think we can proceed very satisfactorily, based on what we achieved together last year.