2016 WAS A SUCCESSFUL YEAR, AND WE REACHED ALL OUR FINANCIAL TARGETS FOR THE 2014-2016 STRATEGY PERIOD.
Demand for equipment rental and modular space developed favourably in 2016, and we succeeded in increasing sales and profit in both product areas. Development was especially strong in Finland and Sweden, and the profitability in Central Europe turned positive during the year, which is especially gratifying. Our modular space business, Cramo Adapteo, continued to perform well, with organic growth at an exceptionally high level.
These strong results are mainly due to the successful execution of our strategy, with Cramo People living the Cramo Story at its core. The Cramo Story is a broad programme through which we drive sales in all our markets and differentiate ourselves from the competition, provide specific customer value and strengthen our corporate culture. It has proved to be a source of strong competitive advantage in the European rental market, where competition is intensifying.
Optimisation of our investments also had a positive impact on our financial performance. We quickly adapted our fleet investments to changing circumstances in the market and steered them to areas with the most promising growth opportunities.
All in all, 2016 was a successful year, and we reached all our financial targets for the 2014–2016 strategy period.
Sustainability high on the agenda
During the year, we further sharpened our focus on chosen areas. Our Group Management was strengthened with the addition of two people with expertise in HR and in marketing and corporate communications, and an executive management position with Group-level responsibility for sustainability was established.
Our work with sustainability took notable steps forward in 2016 as we crystallised our strategy on how to integrate sustainability in all parts of our business strategy through the Cramo Care programme. We now have a solid foundation to systematically continue our work in this important area. Our ambition is to embed sustainability even more deeply in all our operations and decision-making. I am convinced that our responsible way of working will create value for both Cramo and our customers, and generate benefits to all our stakeholders and to society.
An important part of our strategic thinking is enabling our people to perform. By putting more effort into personnel development, we aim to ensure that our employees are well prepared to meet future challenges.
In order to offer our customers and other stakeholders relevant and engaging touchpoints, we are investing in enhanced and more concise multichannel communications. A good example of this is our new website, which was launched simultaneously in fourteen countries at the end of the year.
OUR AMBITION IS TO EMBED SUSTAINABILITY EVEN MORE DEEPLY IN ALL OUR OPERATIONS AND DECISION-MAKING.
SHAPE AND SHARE
During the year, we prepared for the new 2017–2020 strategy period. The main idea behind our new strategy is that we want to be a company that shapes not just its own operations but the whole rental industry.
Our new vision, Shared resources simplified, refers to the sharing of resources in its broadest sense, with our customers and other stakeholders and in a way that is both simple and engaging. In our mission, we promise to create great days at work and room for great days. That is why we want to learn to understand our customers and their needs even better, and will let that knowledge steer our future development. Building and supporting a truly innovative culture at Cramo will be an important part of this.
The strategic steps we will take in the coming years include aligning processes and ways of working Group-wide as well as optimising our operations by shaping our business structure and model and by creating new digital concepts. These two steps will enable us to take the third one – actively seeking and capturing new opportunities for profitable growth.
I am convinced that, by delivering on our new strategy, we will be able to build an even more successful Cramo and reach our ambitious new financial targets. I want to thank our shareholders for your loyalty and trust in us also in 2016. We will continue our work to generate increasing value for you.
President and CEO