Dan Sten Olsson - March 2022

PROGRESS IS GOOD

Celebrating one's birthday is fantastic. Thank you all for your nice gestures and notes of appreciation on my birthday the 3rd of February. Everybody loves to be recognized and I am not an exception. Especially now, when it is so important to keep on being alert and agile.

We have been through two very special years. 2020 was annus horribilis for Stena AB, but for Stena Metall it has been their best year ever. Our success differs for our various activities. That is why we want to be parts of a conglomerate. To learn from each other is very meaningful. We all try to run lean operations with the objective to be very close to our customers and do so with various degrees of success. We are all developing and managing closeness to our clients. That we could reduce our costs so remarkably is surprising though. Congratulations and thanks to everyone showing that when it comes to survival we can all do things in more simple and direct ways. Let us keep up our new ways of doing things in better ways. Our clients will thank us for that and we can continue to invest in our businesses.

Our mantra is, always fear losses and love profits. This attitude has made our remarkable recovery possible. We have learnt the importance of acting decisively in times of big change, the importance of looking at problems from different perspectives and the importance of balancing short term and long term perspectives. The recovery we have been able to do has come through hard work, strong customer focus and difficult decisions and actions. I would like to say thank you to everyone who has contributed to this recovery. Well done! 

It is in tough times that companies are stress tested. We have during the last two years proven that Stena is resilient, that we can adapt and that we are able to collaborate in difficult times. I am proud of the way we support each other, learn from each other and together act on both opportunities and challenges. Through good collaboration with our customers and internally we have proven that we have the strengths and capabilities to ride out a storm. 

I WOULD NOW LIKE TO TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SAY SOMETHING ABOUT OUR DIFFERENT BUSINESS AREAS FROM MY PERSPECTIVE

• Stena Line has done a remarkable recovery during 2021. The company is benefitting from a strong freight market and we see that our travel guests especially those in cars come back as soon as restrictions are lifted. We have been able to maintain the strict cost control also when the volumes are increasing which has led to the company back to profit delivering a really strong result in 2021.  

• Stena Fastigheter is delivering very healthy results and have several interesting development projects going on. Fortunately we have slots for new projects to develop available for another five years.

• The tanker market has been very challenging during 2021 and Stena Bulk is struggling in this market. Despite the company’s ability to proactively develop good customer solutions, 2021 has been the worst year ever from a profitability perspective. 

• The ship management business within Northern Marine Group is developing well and we have during 2021 signed several new prestigious contracts with energy majors and shipping companies. These contracts proves our ability to provide safe and efficient ship management services and builds our operational capabilities.  

• Stena RoRo’s E-flexer program has been a great success. During 2021 we have taken delivery of two new E-flexers designated for DFDS and Brittany Ferries and these vessels will through long term contracts contribute to stable cash-flow streams for Stena AB. 

• Stena Drilling has also recovered well during 2021 and the fact that all rigs currently have firm contracts with well-known energy majors shows that our high operational standards and well maintained riggs pays off. 

• The Stena Logistics companies have benefited from strong market development and are showing good revenue growth and profits. 

• Finally Stena Adactum has delivered good results during last year and are together with Stena Fastigheter generating stable cash-flows and results stabilizing the group. Ballingslöv and Blomsterlandet have seen large increases in revenues and profits as people have invested in their homes and gardens during the pandemic. 

• Stena Recycling has due to its success in teaming up with their customers, the strict rules for waste handling and high prices for raw materials created their best result ever. Not only that, we take market shares everywhere and make profit in every country, where we operate.

• Stena Trade and Industry activities make reasonable profits though our value added propositions need to be further developed. 

• To conclude I would say that we have during 2021 proved that our business models for Stena AB and Stena Metall works also during difficult times.

During these two years of crises we have continued to invest in our future even though we have reduced our cost levels significantly. It is difficult to continue to invest in development in times, when you are struggling to survive. It is absolutely necessary to continue doing so because otherwise we might survive short term, but realize we have nothing to live from nor for later. I am very proud that we have been able to balance the short term and the long term perspective. By doing so I am convinced that we have secured  both something to live from and for going forward on in the future. By being ready, we shall have a place and role to play also in the future. 

I think that 2022 has the potential of becoming a good year for us. By continue using the knowledge and capabilities we have developed to create new businesses, be innovative, take care of our customers and each other I am sure that we will continue seeing great performance as a result of our hard work. 

One important question I have learnt to consider during the last year is – who would miss us if we were not here? 

Thinking about that question creates valuable inputs to solve:

– How do we create value for society and for our customers?
– How useful are our activities and for whom?                               . 

– I think we should all ask us the question, who would miss us, if we ceased to exist, in order to be able to find solutions and opportunities, where we are useful. 

To our great surprise Stena AB turned 2021 into a profitable year and the combined profit for our three sphere companies namely Stena Metall, Stena AB and Stena Sessan AB  amounts to around SEK 3 billion. 

So, as we are not shy, let us take on 2022 with a lot of energy. Together we have proven that we can manage almost anything! Let us now keep on working together to accomplish more great things.

Dan Sten Olsson

Göteborg March 2022

THANKS FOR READING THIS ARTICLE.
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