Moelven is posting its best ever second quarter results, but is gearing up for a more challenging future. "The next six months will be impacted by considerable uncertainty and variations in demand. Going forward we envisage that our everyday operations will be more like those that we experienced before the pandemic," says CEO Morten Kristiansen of Moelven Industrier ASA.
Moelven posted a turnover of NOK 4,268 million for the second quarter, which amounts to an increase of NOK 119 million compared to the same period last year. Moelven’s operating profit for the period amounted to NOK 897 million (NOK 823 million).
NOK 1.2 billion in investments
"Moelven has used its favourable profit developments to equip the Group for the future, and we have decided to increase our investments by more than ever before. These investments will benefit many local communities, but they will also boost the group’s flexibility and competitiveness," says Mr. Kristiansen.
Before the summer the Board of the Moelven Group decided to invest SEK 382 million in a new pellet factory and energy production in Karlskoga.
Earlier this spring the Board gave the go-ahead for a NOK 210 investment package in order to improve capacity, efficiency and the climate footprint of Moelven Mjøsbruket at Biri, Moelven Treinteriør at Brøttum, Moelven Våler at Braskereidfoss and Moelven Notnäs Ransby in Torsby.
Following last year's decisions to invest in the development and modernisation of Moelven Edanesågen and Moelven Valåsen, Moelven decided to implement strategic investments worth more than NOK 1,200 million during the past year.
Uncertain times ahead
The demand for wood-based products on the international market has been good during the first half of the year, although not as high as it was in 2021. In Scandinavia we are witnessing a more substantial decline in demand in the building materials trade and new housing projects.
“This has already had an impact on module operations in the Norwegian housing segment,” says Mr. Kristiansen.
Earlier this month 80 employees at Moelven Byggmodul at Hjellum received lay-off notices and a major restructuring process was announced in order to strengthen competitiveness.
"Our industry is exposed to sudden changes, and following pronounced growth in both demand and price developments we are now entering a more uncertain period. This is because rising interest rates, energy prices and cost levels are generally cooling down some parts of the market. This means that we are expecting the type of seasonal variations and performance that were more prevalent before the pandemic,” predicts Mr. Kristiansen.
Tretten bridge in Gudbrandsdalen
Moelven Limtre AS was the subcontractor responsible for the production of glulam and the assembly of the the bridge that collapsed at Tretten on 15 August this year. The Norwegian Public Roads Administration was the principal. The design and project planning of the bridge were conducted by a consulting company on behalf of the principal.
The cause of the incident is not known, but Moelven has contacted Innlandet County Municipality, which owns the bridge, to offer our assistance in connection with the various investigations that are to be carried out.
"This is a very serious matter and more than anything we are relieved that it did not cause any serious personal injuries to those involved. Moelven has delivered many glulam bridges and we are very keen to uncover all the facts about what went wrong with this bridge," concludes Mr. Kristiansen.