2022 was the second best year in Moelven's history, but it will still be remembered as being a challenging year. "The first half of the year was characterised by the boom we had been experiencing since 2020, but then things suddenly changed during the autumn. Now our everyday operations are being governed by a completely different situation," says CEO Morten Kristiansen of Moelven.

Moelven posted a 2022 turnover of NOK 14,439 million and an operating profit of NOK 1,757 million. Compared to 2021, which was Moelven's best ever year, the company’s operating profit fell by NOK 1,229 million. Turnover dropped by NOK 433 million between 2021 and 2022. 

2022 was a year divided into two parts. During the first half of the year Moelven posted an operating profit of over NOK 1,600 million.  The next six months were marked by a market downturn combined with the costs associated with structural measures and inventory write-downs. During the second half of the year Moelven’s operating profit amounted to approximately NOK 130 million. 

"Never before have we experienced such a marked change during the course of one year," says Mr. Kristiansen.  

Prevailing uncertainty

The Scandinavian market for timber products saw a sharp decline during 2022 and there has been reduced demand in several international regions, especially Europe. Prices for timber products have dropped while there has simultaneously been a substantial increase in production costs. The increased cost of living means that consumers are buying fewer timber products and the professional markets for newbuilds and refurbishment have also recently suffered a major decline.

"We have talked about the uncertainty which has prevailed since the pandemic and we have warned that we are facing challenging times. But it is impossible to say how long this will last. Our job is to deal with this uncertainty in the short term, while simultaneously working in line with our long-term strategies," explains Mr. Kristiansen.

Moelven is already experiencing the consequences of these changing times as a result of reductions in the company’s building module operations in Norway and Sweden. In Norway one production line has been closed down and this has affected around 50 employees. On the Swedish side, 20 people were given notice of termination as a result of lower demand for modules for the construction market. Furthermore, 16 employees have been laid off at one of Moelven Limtre’s departments at Vatnestrøm, and 6 people have received notice of layoffs at Moelven List in Eidsvoll.

Investing for the future

Even though times are challenging at the moment, Moelven has been taking major steps to boost its competitiveness. When times were better the Group made decisions about extensive investments and it has built up a capital base that will ensure the implementation of its projects. The Group has planned investments amounting to around NOK one billion for 2023. These measures are intended to strengthen the Group's development and improve its competitiveness.

"Moelven has an investment portfolio unlike any that we have had previously. This is a clear sign of our faith in the future. In a world marked by unrest we are convinced that wooden climate-smart products and solutions will continue to gain traction and that is where we will be asserting ourselves," says Mr. Kristiansen. 

Read the quarterly report for Q4 2022 here (PDF).