Since 1.4.2014, the Supervisory Board of AS Harju Elekter decided to suspend the activity of Harju Elekter AB for an unspecified term. According to the Group’s development strategy, Scandinavia and Sweden continue to be significant target markets, but the reason behind this step was the inefficient and cost-intensive business model used 2011 - 2013. Responsibility for the Group’s Sweden-oriented business activity and the local clients was taken over by the sales and development teams of AS Harju Elekter Elektrotehnika, along with partner agents based in Sweden. Sales in the Swedish market increased in 2014 compared to the previous year by almost two times.
On 17 June 2014, Satmatic Oy, a subsidiary of AS Harju Elekter in Finland, signed a contract for the purchase of all shares in Finnkumu Oy, Finland’s largest pre-fabricated substation producer. After the transaction, Finnkumu Oy continues to operate under its own name and brand as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Satmatic Oy. By purchasing Finnkumu Oy, the Group will increase our market share in Finland as well as elsewhere in Scandinavia and increases the product range.
In Q2 negotiations took place about selling minority stake in the associated company of AS Harju Elekter. On 9th of July 2014 AS Harju Elekter concluded a contract according to which AS Harju Elekter sells their 34% holding in AS Draka Keila Cables to the core investor Prysmian Group. Selling the holding was a strategic decision of Harju Elekter Group. AS Harju Elekter is going to continue close cooperation with AS Draka Keila Cables in the procurements of low voltage and other cable products; similarly long-term rental contracts of production facilities are going to remain in force.
In September, an invitation to tender was announced in order to find a contractor for a 3100 m2 production building to be built in the Allika Industrial Park, resulting in an agreement signed between AS Harju Elekter and Merko Ehitus Eesti AS. The construction works were launched in October. The construction is to be completed in June 2015, and a preliminary lease contract has also been signed.
Krediidiinfo AS awarded to AS Harju Elekter the credit rating AAA (excellent) and to its subsidiary AS Harju Elekter Elektrotehnika AA (very good). The rating of Krediidiinfo AS assesses the activities of the company as a whole and represents an aggregate assessment of the company’s economic and financial condition as well as the payment patterns. Less than 10% of the Estonian companies have credit rating AAA or AA.
Finnish subsidiary Finnkumu Oy was awarded the certificate “Suomen Vahvimmat 2014” by the client register of Suomen Asiakastiedon. The creditworthiness of the company is the main evaluation criterion and the title is awarded to a company that has met the highest requirements of Alfa rating. The number of such companies makes up only 12% of all companies registered in Finland.
Swiss CE Asset Management, along with its Baltic partners, announced the next nominees for the Corporate Excellence Award. AS Harju Elekter, a fourth year in the row was recognised as the best in Estonia. It was recognised thanks to its market position, stable customer base, good historic economic results and promotion of the general management of the company.
In the Group’s Estonian and Finnish subsidiaries, the process of implementing the Lean 5S/6S principles of increasing productivity and activities in order to increase profitability and customer satisfaction through the cost-effective use of resources was continued.
The Group’s subsidiaries participated actively in exhibitions: in February, Satmatic Oy participated in the International Exhibition of Electricity Telecommunications Light and Audio Visual (Sähkö, Tele, Valo and AV), in Jyväskylä and in Subcontracting Exchibition in Tampere, in September. AS Harju Elekter Elektrotehnika participated in SLO Autumn Exchibition in September and AS Harju Elekter Trade Group presented its products range in the international building fair Estbuild, in April.