Review by the President and CEO
Financial Statement Release 2020, February 9, 2021
Jukka Moisio, President and CEO:
“Our October-December 2020 sales continued to be impacted by COVID-19 as restrictions were again tightened in many countries. Passenger Car Tyres’ net sales were also negatively impacted by a delayed winter season in main markets. Heavy Tyres and Vianor continued to perform well considering the volatile market. Segments operating profit declined mainly due to the lower passenger car tire volumes.
I am extremely proud of how our team responded to the challenges in 2020. We have demonstrated the resilience of our company. Our focus has been on serving demand, safeguarding supply and reducing costs. In Russia, we successfully achieved our target to lower distribution channel inventories in line with the plan. The cash flow was significantly better than in the previous year, and we maintained a strong balance sheet.
At the same time, we have progressed on our key projects to support the company’s long-term growth. We began commercial tire production in the US factory and are completing our new test center in Spain. The project to increase Heavy Tyres’ capacity in Finland is proceeding as planned. These investments, together with innovative new products and robust sales and marketing efforts, will provide an excellent foundation to capture profitable growth opportunities as we move forward.
In 2020, we continued to take important steps forward in our sustainability journey. We got our ambitious greenhouse gas emissions targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative as the first tire company in the industry. We had a good development also in occupational safety, with LTIF dropping from 4.3 to 3.7. However, the work continues, as even a single accident is one too many.
We are starting 2021 in a good position. We will drive growth through new product launches, and improvements in go-to-market activities. Cash flow will continue to be in focus, with prioritized investments on a lower level compared to previous years. In the coming months, we will review our strategy to continue to deliver positive long-term results to our stakeholders.”