We use cookies to support your experience on our site. By continuing to use our site you agree to our use of cookies.
Read more
"2019 was characterised by major fluctuations for Moelven, and the current pandemic means the future is unpredictable"
Scroll for more

2019 saw fluctuations – 2020 brought a virus

2019 was characterised by major fluctuations for Moelven, and for the first time in five years the group saw a decline in results and operating profit. Moelven had sales of NOK 10,297.5 million in 2019, and delivered an operating profit of NOK 335.4 million. How 2020 will turn out is extremely uncertain due to the coronavirus outbreak, which will impact Moelven.

The first half of 2019 was very good, while the second half was characterised by uncertainty in the world economy due to the trade war between China and the US, Brexit and surplus timber in the market as a result of powder-post beetle attacks and storm fellings in Europe. The posed a challenge to market activities and profitability for Moelven towards the end of the year. While 2018 was one of the strongest years in the history of Moelven, in 2019 it was back to normal. Sales in 2019 decreased by NOK 723.3 million compared to the previous year, and the operating result was NOK 250.8 million lower. “Our industry is not unfamiliar with such fluctuations, and this shows how important it is to maintain constant focus on cost-effective operations and a sustainable corporate structure,” Kristiansen says.

Outlook characterised by pandemic

Until the pandemic was declared in March 2020, we saw a trend towards an improved situation compared to the end of last year. Among other things, this applies to the Timber division, which supplies wood products and components to the domestic and international industrial markets. Moelven’s Wood division, which targets the building materials trade and building market, has seen strong developments in interiors, while building wood deliveries are affected by a decline in new building activity in both Norway and Sweden. For the Building Systems division, with glulam, office solutions and building modules, 2019 was characterised by somewhat reduced activity. This particularly applies to building modules, where we had to reduce capacity for parts of the year. Until the coronavirus outbreak we saw a clear trend towards improvement in the module business. At the time of writing, society is marked by the virus outbreak, and it’s too early to say how this will impact us going forward. The only thing we know is that it will affect Moelven in 2020, but how severely and for how long is impossible to tell for the time being.

Intensifying HSE work

2019 was characterised by a number of new measures in Moelven’s HSE work. The group has a vision of zero injuries, and last year even more effort was applied to reducing the number of injuries. We have put into place a more systematic follow-up system for injuries with subsequent learning measures that are shared throughout the group. This, combined with new systems and solutions, allows us to intensify HSE work. Every injury is one too many.

Eventful year

2019 arrived with numerous important milestones for Moelven. Several of our companies were established after the First World War, and the glulam manufacturer Moelven Töreboda AS, the sawmill Moelven Våler AS and Moelven Treinteriør celebrated their first centenaries in 2019. Moelven also celebrated a world record when Mjøstårnet (85.4 metres) was officially named the world’s largest wooden building by the international skyscraper organisation Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Moelven Modus AS and Moelven Limtre AS played a major part in Finansparken Bjergsted in Stavanger, which opened in October. This is one of Northern Europe’s largest wooden commercial building, and is in line to achieve the highest standard in environmental building certification (BREEAM Outstanding). 2019 also saw a few contrasts. The Moelven family was joined by a completely new member in the form of the newly-established Moelven Pellets AS at Sokna. This is Moelven’s largest investment of all time, with a scope of NOK 270 million. A new, joint bioenergy centre at Sokna now supplies both Moelven Soknabruket and Moelven Pellets’ new factory with thermal energy, and the first pellet deliveries left the factory in late autumn. The same year it was also decided to close Moelven Eidsvold Værk AS. This led to 60 people losing their jobs, and the oldest sawmill in Norwegian history closed down operations in 2020. Excessive costs and need for investments were the background for the decision.

Result

Main figures

HSE

Go to ANNUAL ACCOUNTS
News

Robots promote job satisfaction

Robots have taken over the heavy manual labour at the old cutting factory at Moelven Byggmodul AS. More job satisfaction, improved accuracy and safer working conditions are just some of the benefits provided by the robots at the factory.

Robots promote job satisfaction

Robots have taken over the heavy manual labour at the old cutting factory at Moelven Byggmodul AS. More job satisfaction, improved accuracy and safer working conditions are just some of the benefits provided by the robots at the factory.

“Getting things to work has been very frustrating. The robots do the work, but the humans behind them are the ones who make things work.” says Atle Holmlund Løkken.

Mr. Løkken, who is a qualified carpenter, has now become a CNC operator on one of the company’s two production lines. The robot and CNC machines prepare the finished materials and sheet packs for the modules.

Investing in people

 

“We have invested approx. NOK 32 million on new machinery and buildings. At the same time we have given our employees both the time and opportunity to learn about the machines properly. Anyone can buy machinery, but it is the people who make the difference,” says Factory Manager Rolf Johan Sørli.

Questions and answers

Have employees been replaced by machines?

No employees have been replaced by machines. Employees who previously worked as carpenters have been given training and are now working as robot operators.

What do the robot and CNC machine do?

The CNC machine has taken over the work that was previously carried out at various work stations at the factory. This machine prepares the kit required for walls with finished sills, uprights, interties and similar components with cuts, holes and marks so that they can be assembled like Lego blocks instead of having to be processed inside the factory.

The Biesse machine formats sheets around doors and windows, ventilation holes and holes for electrical applications.

This makes production easier, more efficient and safer.

What does Moelven Byggmodul AS manufacture?

Moelven Byggmodul AS manufactures modules for construction rigs and buildings for schools, kindergartens and offices. The factory manufactures over 50 modules per week.

What impact has this investment had?

When the machines now approach optimal function, the modules in the factory are produced more efficiently. The machines are currently still in the start-up phase, so their effects cannot yet be fully measured. This project has had a very positive impact on the working environment in the cutting factory, something which is evident from lower absence from work due to illness, etc.

 

Photo: Moelven.

Self-drive forklift trucks being considered at Moelven

Moelven have invested NOK 30 million on a new distribution centre at Longmoen in Brumunddal. This upgrade marks the start of a new technological journey for Moelven which could end up with self-drive FLTs in the future.

Self-drive forklift trucks being considered at Moelven

Moelven have invested NOK 30 million on a new distribution centre at Longmoen in Brumunddal. This upgrade marks the start of a new technological journey for Moelven which could end up with self-drive FLTs in the future.

Moelven Langmoen AS is a national distribution centre for the products of Moelven Wood. “This new investment in technology, buildings and the packing line is improving logistical efficiency and thus ensuring that the distribution centre is ready to meet increased demand.

“This investment is providing us with good foundations for future growth and development. Growth in sales, and the fact that we have taken over some of Moelven’s in-house tasks, are responsible for ensuring an increase in the volume of deliveries received and delivered by the facility, to the tune of 1,000 lorries per year,” says Director Sven Egil Holmsen, Director at Moelven Langmoen. This means that a total of 6,000 lorries per year will be coming to Langmoen.

Digitalisation

In addition to new buildings and warehouse facilities, Moelven Langmoen have commenced digitalisation of the warehouse.  

“We are introducing digital localisation of all packs, and this will be rolled out for the entire Langmoen area during the course of 2019.  During the forthcoming years we will also start using different technology in order to further improve logistical efficiency. This is necessary to enable us to adapt to growth and increasingly more customised orders from customers,” explains Mr. Holmsen.

“Self-drive FLTs are one example of technology that will be considered in the future. We will start looking into the available options with the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) during the course of the year,” says Mr. Holmsen.

Better working environment

The company’s investments in new buildings are also providing better working conditions for its employees, since the company is transferring more operations under one roof.

“We want to have good, safe working conditions, and the comfort of our employees is considerably improved when we can carry out more work by being protected from snow flakes and the north wind,” concludes Mr. Holmsen.

Value creation at the Crown Prince’s Conference

Four of Moelven’s experts are attending the “SIKT” Conference where the topic this year is value creation. “It is an honour to be chosen to represent a company which supports sustainable value creation in Norway,” says Elisabeth Davis.

Value creation at the Crown Prince’s Conference

Four of Moelven’s experts are attending the “SIKT” Conference where the topic this year is value creation. “It is an honour to be chosen to represent a company which supports sustainable value creation in Norway,” says Elisabeth Davis.

The four Moelven employees who have been chosen to attend are Petter Fjeld Bjerke, Anita Mørdre, Elisabeth Davis and Simen Kristiansen. This annual conference, which is organised by Crown Prince Haakon, is attended each year by 200 participants from all over the country. Its purpose is to create a meeting place for young managers and talented employees between the ages of 20 and 40.

Extra rewarding when Moelven attends

Petter Fjeld Bjerke, Operations Manager at Moelven Mjøsbruket AS, thinks that it is particularly rewarding to be able to attend the conference when Moelven is involved.

“Dinner is served in the Laminates Hall and CEO Morten Kristiansen will be giving a lecture there,” says Mr. Bjerke.

He is looking forward to the workshop on values and value creation. He says: “This will be an opportunity to learn from other young people who have different roles in companies from all over Norway, so I am really looking forward to this.”

Petter Fjeld Bjerke, Operations Manager at Moelven Mjøsbruket AS.

 

Knowledge sharing

Anita Mørdre, Finance Manager at Moelven Industrier ASA, is looking forward to representing Moelven in the talks being held about value creation.

“I am very grateful and feel humbled by the fact that I have been given the opportunity to attend. The conference topic is a topical one. We will be able to discuss the future of Norway and how we can help to provide sound value creation and, of course, a future built using wood,” says Ms Mørdre.

Anita Mørdre, Financial Manager at Moelven Industrier ASA.

 

Lecture from Oxford University

Simen Kristiansen, Marketing Manager at Moelven Wood AS, is looking forward to a lecture to be held by Ian Golding from Oxford University about how we can navigate through future opportunities and challenges.

“We will really be placing Moelven on the map when our CEO presents his observations about value creation to some fo the most skilled and talented young manager in Norway, says the Marketing Manager, who is pleased and proud to be able to attend SIKT.

Simen Krististiansen, Marketing Manager at Moelven Wood AS.

 

Inspiration for the way forward

Elisabeth Davis, Business Developer, Logistics at Moelven Industrier ASA, is hoping to gain inspiration that she can use in her job.

“I am working on making constant improvements to the value chain which are designed to benefit both Moelven and its employees. Value creation is affected by the effectiveness of our operations, so the topics we will hear and discuss are particularly relevant to my everyday work,” says Ms Davis.

Photo: Moelven. 

The Company

The Moelven Group has its head office in Moelv, Norway, and comprises 37 production units located in 46 production locations, in addition to several offices for sales, service and installation.

Read more about Moelven