13 August was one of the darkest days of Moelven’s history. That day an employee lost his life in a fall accident at Moelven Edanesågen AB in Sweden. “We are unable to celebrate a good half-year result as we have just had a fatal accident,” says CEO Morten Kristiansen of Moelven Industrier ASA.

“We have failed in our most important job. At Moelven, everyone must return home after work uninjured – every single day. However, on this day our colleague never made it home. This has greatly affected us, and we mourn the loss of a colleague,” says Kristiansen of Moelven Industrier ASA.

The police, Labour Inspection Authority and Moelven itself are investigating what happened when an employee at Moelven Edanesågen AB lost his life after a fall accident in the saw building. 

“HSE work at Moelven has improved in recent years, but we are not complacent. Even before the accident occurred, we were working on improving further. We recognise that we need to do more to take new and bigger steps along with our employees to establish a stronger safety culture,” Kristiansen says.

Healthy figures

Moelven has come through an unusually demanding six months with the coronavirus pandemic and periods of great uncertainty. Nevertheless, the group has delivered a good result.

“We quickly introduced several measures to protect our units from infection. Thanks to great efforts from our employees, we have largely managed to maintain operations during the pandemic,” Kristiansen says.

In the first half of the year Moelven reported sales of NOK 5,970.6 million. This is an increase of NOK 430.8 million compared to the same period last year (5,539.8 million). The operating profit for the first half-year was NOK 268.6 million. This is NOK 40.5 less than for the corresponding period of 2019.

The coronavirus quarter

Sales to the building products trade in the second quarter saw a significant increase, and the result for the second quarter alone was better than the second quarter last year. As a consequence of consumers spending more time at home during the pandemic, sales of terrace flooring went through the roof. International demand for wood products for industrial processing has also been good, even with some brief closures due to virus outbreaks in certain markets. 

For module building and office interiors the market has been somewhat slower, but nevertheless sufficient to maintain production. Great uncertainty as a consequence of the pandemic has led to several projects being put on hold. The glulam units reported better results than last year, and Moelven Limtre and Moelven Modus were also presented with two awards for Finansparken. The building was presented with the 2019 Building of the Year and Wood Building of the Year awards.

“Although we have emerged from the second quarter and the summer relatively unscathed, the future remains uncertain. Continuous focus on HSE work, improvements , the group’s structure and cost efficiency is the best medicine in these times of the virus. This will enable us to cope with unpredictable terrain,” Morten Kristiansen says.

Read the quarterly report for Q2 2020 here.