In 2020, we were successful in improving our result and developing our business despite the unprecedented challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Our quick response to the pandemic demonstrated our agility, worldwide teamwork and business mindset combined with a sense of responsibility.
Furthermore, the public tender offer is evidence of the good work we have done in recent years in creating an attractive business in a world of increasing stakeholder expectations.
President and CEO
When the coronavirus pandemic struck in 2020, the need for efficient face masks quickly became apparent. As a world leader in both fiber and filter technologies, we rapidly went to work to see how we could alleviate the lack of adequate face masks.
By leveraging our in-depth knowledge of fiber-based solutions and the common manufacturing platform we were able to expand manufacturing of face mask fabrics to lines normally used for producing other materials. The result was a full range of protective face mask fabrics that were available in the spring 2020.
We have made good progress in innovation as sales generated from new products increased to 12%, nearing our long-term target of 15%.
The electrification of mobility is picking up momentum and provides us new business opportunities. Our fiber-based solutions form crucial parts in batteries, and new types of filters are needed for applications like battery cooling and air filtration.
Among the new products we introduced in 2020 was the FortiCell product platform of fiber-based energy storage solutions. The first product launch included a complete range of solutions for lead acid batteries and we are aiming to introduce an offering for lithium-ion batteries in the future.
In the survey of over 450 selected customers in 2020, 78% consider Ahlstrom- Munksjö to be their leading supplier (75% in the previous survey in 2017) and most customers are likely to choose us as their supplier again.
The total results of the survey also demonstrate a strong performance in many areas, and especially in personal contacts, technical service, innovation and sustainability.
The 2020 employee engagement survey results demonstrate a very high employee engagement.
The Employee Engagement Index was established and measured at the end of 2020, and the result was 80. The Employee Engagement Index is an online survey in which employees assess their own engagement at work.
KNOW-HOW, TECHNOLOGY AND PARTNERSHIP AT THE CENTER OF OUR VALUE CREATION
Ahlstrom-Munksjö plays an important role in the value chain. As a producer of functional materials we create value by adding know-how and advanced technology to fibers that we ensure are responsibly sourced. In close partnership with our customers we develop fiber-based solutions that often perform vital functions in the value chains and have a positive impact as part of the end product or solution. With our product offering we facilitate a sustainable everyday life by providing solutions with better performance, safer materials, fewer resources and lower environmental impact. We deliver a clear value proposition for our customers that is based on innovation, quality and customized service. Our customers use our solutions in a large variety of everyday applications within a broad range of enduses that are underpinned by fundamental business drivers in today’s society.