Year 2017 has been successfully closed, and in 2018 Fortaco is steaming ahead with a full speed in the overall busy market. Let me recap some key highlights from 2017 and share our key priorities going forward this year.
There were only a few economists some years ago, who could foresee the general pick-up on the market, realizing towards the end of 2016 and continuing the full year of 2017. As a result, Fortaco experienced an increasing demand on most of our customer segments – especially amongst mining, material handling, forestry and construction. The increased demand was converted into the growth of net sales, in the excess of 20% in 2017. As the capacity is not unlimited on short-time, this growth of net sales often meant working 24/7 and long days at several Fortaco Business Sites. I would like to take this opportunity and express my gratitude to all our customers and Fortaco people for the hard work done.
In 2017 the position and strategy of Fortaco have been crystallizing. Just to reconfirm, Fortaco is the leading brand independent strategic partner to the heavy off-highway equipment and marine industries offering Technology, Vehicle Cabins, Steel Fabrications and Vehicle Assembly. Fortaco’s pledge is to provide our customers with the industry leading mix of quality, delivery accuracy and cost and the highest safety standards. We are continuously challenging our way of working to make tomorrow better than today, and we benchmark ourselves to the automotive industry standards. As an example of our development, a new Fortaco Technology business area was established in 2017 providing our customers with additional value and services across the whole Fortaco product offering portfolio.
In 2017, Fortaco started increasing the overall level of investments in its operations. Consequently, several important capacity investments were finalized or decided, including several new welding robots and machining centers, a new laser cutting machine and a new press break and large-scale layout change project in one of the Business Sites. Fortaco will continue building up capacity also in 2018, several new capacity investments have already been decided during the first quarter. After refinancing was fully completed during the first half of 2017, Fortaco is financially a sound company and well positioned for untapped market opportunities.
Dear valued customer, Fortaco is the premium supplier on the market, our commitment is to act accordingly every day. Going forward 2018, ensuring the industry leading delivery accuracy is the highest priority on our agenda. We do have continued good performance at most of our Business Sites, whereas delivery accuracy has not been where it should be at some Business Sites. We are working actively to ensure the needed capacity and supplies in accordance with the customer promise. Together we will make it.
Senior Vice President & CFO
© 2017 Fortaco Group Oy