Letter from the CEO

CEO letter sak 2

2023 has been a year of geopolitical turmoil and uncertainty. This, in combination with high interest rates and sustained inflation, has generally dampened willingness to invest and take risk across several industries. 2023 was also the year when Europe claimed energy independence from Russia. In just two years Europe has lowered its energy consumption by 6 per cent while shifting its energy mix further toward renewables. This has boosted the energy transition but also driven down electricity prices. Consequently, operating profit from our hydropower generation business was somewhat lower in 2023 than last year. On the positive side Arendals Fossekompani initiated the construction of a new hydropower plant during the year. The Kilandsfoss hydropower plant is scheduled to open in 2026 and will produce 38 GWh per year, equivalent to the energy consumption of approximately 2000 households.

As the energy transition in Europe continues to move forward with more renewable, intermittent energy being introduced, Volue remains uniquely positioned with products and services enabling this transition. The company made significant progress in 2023, delivering 20% topline growth and more than doubling the operating result compared to 2022. Volue also strengthened their energy trading operation through the acquisition of Enerim’s energy market division.

2023 has also been an impressive year for ENRX. Following a slightly negative operating result in 2022, the company delivered a positive result of NOK 116 million. Despite political instability and continuous worldwide supply-chain constraints, most parts of the markets in which ENRX operates had a positive development. The automotive industry in Europe remains weak, but ENRX more than compensated for this within the automotive segment in China and other market segments and regions.

Tekna recorded an all-time-high revenue, up more than 50% from 2022, driven by high demand from blue chip customers within both advanced material and systems. During the year Tekna has focused on operational excellence to improve profitability and cash generation. The effects are showing. The company also made strides in nano-nickel qualification processes with leading microelectronics manufacturers.

The global satellite market is undergoing a fundamental shift with the rapid expansion of low earth orbit (LEO) commercial satellite networks. NSSLGlobal is adapting to meet these changing market conditions. During the year the company rolled out a new product offering (FusionIPLEO), which combines the trusted benefits of a global, high availability GEO service with the low latency and high capacity from 4G/5G and LEO satellites. Revenue growth in 2023 was largely driven by increased maritime and government engineering projects, as well as continued high airtime related to operational activity caused by global turmoil.

Sustainability and corporate social responsibility are important drivers of future value creation.

We are committed to the climate targets in the Paris Agreement. We are a UN Global Compact member and continue to support its principles for responsible business policies for human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption.

2023 marked the first year when Arendals Fossekompani reported on EU Taxonomy alignment. Arendals Fossekompani`s portfolio have the potential to contribute to multiple environmental objectives, covering Climate change mitigation, Climate change adaptation, Transition to a circular economy and Water and marine resources. The alignment turnover of 21%, and the high percentage of eligible activities reflects the great potential in our portfolio companies.

Overall, 2023 has been a year of improved operations and strong organic growth for Arendals Fossekompani. I would like to thank the team at Arendals Fossekompani, as well as all employees across our portfolio companies for your contributions. Through your hard work, dedication, experience and competency you have created significant value during the past year, demonstrating once again that our people are our most valuable asset, and that we are builders and supporters of technology that moves the world forward in a sustainable way.
I sincerely look forward to continuing this exciting journey together with you, our partners and stakeholders in the years to come.

To download the full Annual Integrated Report for 2023, you can follow this link: https://arendalsfossekompani.n...