A year of progress
As we conclude 2014, we can look back on some of the key developments. Firstly, we completed the initial step in our profitability improvement program for 2016. Secondly, we widened our horizons and looked beyond current short-term improvement initiatives. The result is a revised strategy and a new organizational structure that we implemented on January 1, 2015.
Let me begin with a few words about our financial performance in 2014. Operating income, excluding impairment of goodwill of SEK -767m, rose 47 percent to SEK 2,358m (1,608). Sales grew 6 percent, adjusted for currency and the operating margin increased by 1.9 percentage points to 7.2 percent
We believe that innovative products and profitable growth can be combined with respecting nature and caring for people. In 2020, we aim to be a market leader in priority segments. As we see it, this means being in or competing for the number one market share position, leading the evolution of the industry and exceeding the market in terms of profitable growth. To be a market leader means achieving sustainable results with responsible use of resources – natural, human and capital – in everything we do. As part of the strategy process, we are currently incorporating sustainability in divisional strategies and processes.
Product innovation is in our DNA
Our fundamental for success has always been about adapting to our customers’ needs through innovation and developing products that will take our market presence to new levels. We continuously launch new products that are more productive, energy efficient, safer and ergonomic.
Take the example of our robotic lawn mowers. With superior products, we have pioneered this market since 1995, transforming lawn care from traditional mowing into an automated service that also is energy efficient, silent and almost emissions-free during use. For professionals and consumers with as high demands as the professionals, we are continuing to extend the range of handheld battery products – chainsaws, trimmers and hedge trimmers.
Another example is Husqvarna Fleet Services™ that uses sensors (that collect user-data wirelessly) on outdoor power products to enable landscaping businesses and their operators to improve control of up-time, machine handling, vibration reports and service needs, resulting in safer, cleaner and more productive operations.
Honesty and fairness is part of our culture
We have a long and successful history, with a culture characterized by honesty and fairness, of which we are very proud. Since starting out in 1689, our goal has been to combine engineering skills with our strong entrepreneurial spirit and innovative products to help our end-customers become more productive.
Internally, we strive to have zero work-related accidents and a workforce boosted with knowledge, prepared for a changing environment. We stay committed to the UN Global Compact, a policy initiative for businesses that aligns their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles for human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.
What to expect in 2015
President and CEO