2014 in brief

The Group's revenue increased by NOK 818.9 million to NOK 8,828.2 million, which is the highest ever recorded. The operating profit improved by a quarter billion to NOK 203.6 million. The group's rate of return on employed capital improved from -1.5% to 6.8%.

For the Timber division it is the international market for industrial wood the determines price developments. In the beginning of 2014 activity was high in this market, and prices for industrial wood were on the rise. Throughout the first six months both production and stock levels in the production stage rose, and the market took on a more cautious approach in the second half of the year. Nevertheless, at the end of the year price levels were higher than at the beginning of the year.

The Wood division sells most of its products on the building materials market in Scandinavia. However, the combined sawmills and planing mills, whose mainstay is construction timber, also sell a share of their production as industrial wood through the same channels used by the Timber division. Demand from the building materials trade in Scandinavia has been satisfactory throughout the year. Price increases toward the end of 2013 and at the start of the high season in 2014, has resulted in price levels being higher than in 2013 for the year as a whole. In the second half of the year the market was to an increasing degree characterized by the weak trend in new construction in Norway and a wait-and-see attitude toward market prices as a result of developments in the market for industrial wood.

For the Group's timber-consuming units raw material costs have increased throughout the year, and have on a whole been higher than in 2013. Access to raw material, which was challenging in certain areas at the end of 2013, has however been stable and good from the late winter of 2014 and for the rest of the year. Prices for wood chips and fibre products have ranged from stable to weak compared to the previous year.

The Building Systems division has its primary markets in Norway and Sweden. In 2014 market activity in new construction has been good in Sweden, particularly in the Stockholm region. The Norwegian new construction market was to an increasing degree characterized by the downturn in activity in the oil industry. Activity in the renovation and remodelling markets has been satisfactory in both Norway and Sweden. Despite challenging market conditions in certain segments, at the end of 2014 the division had a healthy and well-composed order backlog that had increased by 37 per cent compared to one year previously.

In 2013 the competition authorities in Sweden launched an investigation into whether the illegal exchange of information had occurred between several undertakings in the Swedish forestry industry. The Moelven Group was one of the undertakings. The investigation concluded that some exchange of information had taken place, but that the information was of a historic and aggregated nature. In February 2015 the competition authorities therefore decided not to pursue the matter further.

Corporate governance

There have been no changes to the Board of Directors or corporate assembly. Comprehensive information on the Group's governing bodies is available at www.moelven.no. Upon agreement with the Board, Hans Rindal resigned from his position as the CEO in September. At the same time the Board appointed Morten Kristiansen (56) as acting CEO. Kristiansen holds a degree in structural engineering and is a graduate economist from the Norwegian Business School. He was employed by Moelven from 1981 to 1994 and subsequently from the year 2000. He was formerly a director at Moelven Industrier with responsibility for the timber supply and fibre products.

Group structure

The building interiors companies in the Group have operated as an organisational unit under the name of
Moelven Modus from 1 January 2014. As of 1 September, the legal entities have changed their names to Moelven Modus AB and Moelven Modus AS, respectively.

In Q3 a decision was made to discontinue the glulam business's office and storage facility in Eastleigh outside of Southampton. Moelven Timber's activity in the UK will continue as before, and it will be responsible now for the distribution of standard glulam on the British market. A provision of NOK 4 million for non-recurring expenses was charged to the accounts in connection with this.

This is the Moelven Group

Ownership structure

The Moelven Group is owned by Glommen Skog SA (25.1%), Eidsiva Vekst AS (23.8%), Agri MI AS (15.8%), Viken Skog SA (11.9%), Mjøsen Skog SA (11.7%), AT Skog SA (7.3%) and Havass Skog SA (4.0%). Most of the remaining 0.4 per cent is owned by private individuals.

Vision

Moelven is a Scandinavian Group. All production units are located in Scandinavia, which is also the primary market. The business is based on the prerequisites dictated by Scandinavian society and builds on these. Moelven's vision is to be the natural choice for people who wish to build and live Scandinavian, and the Group shall take the lead in developing buildings that are based on Scandinavian building traditions. Within this framework, activities are based on a desire and an ability to contribute to creating good spaces – good environments to live and work in, and for all social functions. Good Scandinavian environments are often close to nature in their form and content. Wood and other natural materials are essential parts of what Moelven makes and are dominant in the greater part of the product range. Natural materials are environmentally friendly building materials and solutions when it comes to houses and modules, bridges and interior products.

Location

The Group has its headquarters in Moelv in Norway and consists of 44 production companies in 49 production locations, and 32 offices for sales, service and fitting. Most of the production units are companies and workplaces with a strong local presence in rural communities in South East Norway and the western part of Central Sweden. The offices for sales, service and fitting are located in larger population centres around Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands. Production in Norway and Sweden is of approximately the same volume, but the Swedish units export a greater proportion of their production than the Norwegian. Out of a total of 3,326 (3,276) employees at the end of 2014, 1,697 (1,660) work in Norway, 1,597 (1,582) in Sweden, 19 (21) in Denmark and 13 (13) in other countries.

The Divisions

Moelven offers a wide range of building products and building systems and associated services. The Scandinavian market accounts for 80 per cent of sales revenues, and 85 per cent of the Group's products and services are used for new building or renovation of homes and commercial property. A large part of the remaining operation consists of sales of biomass for biofuel and for pulp, paper and particle board production. The Group also supplies wood products to the furniture, interior and packaging sectors. Customers are divided into three main segments: industry, trade and projects. These segments are based on the nature of their business. The Group is divided into three divisions: Timber, Wood and Building Systems, each of which focuses on one of the main segments. There is also an Other Businesses reporting area, which consists of the holding companies, supply businesses and bioenergy companies.

Timber

The Timber division consists of 15 production companies and 4 sales offices, supplying industrial timber, components and chip products made from local spruce and pine. The customers are mainly industrial companies that buy intermediate products for their own production of construction timber, panels, flooring, mouldings, windows, packaging, board and paper products and for bioenergy. About 60 per cent of operating revenues come from Scandinavian customers. At the end of 2014, there were 703 (677) employees, 245 (204) of them in Norway, 450 (464) in Sweden and 8 (9) in other countries.

Wood

The Wood division comprises 19 production companies, 3 customer centres and one project sales company. The main products are both white and impregnated building wood, external cladding, boards, components and chip products and interior products such as mouldings, flooring and interior panels. Wood also sells products produced by other companies. Almost 80 per cent of production is sold through the building goods trade. Wood is one of the leading suppliers to the Scandinavian market and about 96 per cent of its operating revenues come from Scandinavian customers. At the end of 2014, there were 993 (1,011) employees, 522 (555) of them in Norway, 452 (435) in Sweden and 19 (21) in Denmark.

Building systems

The Building Systems division consists of 8 production companies at 13 production locations and 24 sales, service and fitting offices. Building Systems is divided into the business areas Glulam, Building Modules and System Interiors, all three of which are market leaders in Norway and Sweden, as well as Electrical Services in Norway. The division's building and contracting customers buy customised building modules, flexible interior solutions systems and associated services, advanced glulam structures and electrical installation services. In addition to bridges and load-bearing structures, the glulam unit also has considerable sales of standard laminated timber beams through the building products trade, as well as components for the prefabricated house industry. Operating revenues come from Scandinavian customers. At the end of 2014, there were 1,498 (1,460) employees, 837 (821) of them in Norway, 656 (634) in Sweden and 5 (5) in the United Kingdom. In order to ensure adequate flexibility in production capacity to meet seasonal and economic fluctuations in the market, the divisions use hired workers. Hired workers are not included in the employee figures. However work is carried out on the principle that work contracts, rights and obligations, as well as time limits in the employment relationship, should be the same as for permanent employees.

Other business

Other businesses include Moelven Industrier ASA, with common services in economics, finance, insurance, communications, HR, ICT and procurement.  Timber supply and sales of wood chips and energy products are organised as a common function for the Group's timber processing industry and are included through the companies Moelven Skog AB, Moelven Virke AS and Vänerbränsle AB. Moelven Bioenergi AS is also included. At the end of 2014, there were 132 (128) employees, 45 (45) of them in Norway and 87 (83) in Sweden.

Social responsibility

The Board has processed and approved the Groups general strategy and guidelines relating to HSE, social responsibility, the environment and competition law. The discussion of these areas are included in the Board's explanation of principles and practice concerning social responsibility pursuant to the Accounting Act Section 3-3c.

Operating revenues and results

Both volumes and prices were higher than in 2013 for all divisions. The prices for saw timber also increased overall, but the balance between finished product and raw material prices nevertheless improved compared to the previous year.
Throughout 2014 much priority has been given to follow-up and implementation of those measures and projects that were identified and initiated at the end of 2013 to improve the Group's competitiveness in the long term and reduce the risk of losses related to individual projects. This work has provided good results in many companies, but further improvement is required at more units to elevate the results to the targeted levels. Reimbursements from group health insurance plans in Sweden has a non-recurring effect of NOK 6.7 million on the Group's 2014 operating profit.

The Electrical system business has conducted write downs on projects totalling NOK 9 million.The 2013 result was negatively affected by significant losses in the Building Systems division related to project assessments in the Electrical system business and extensive damage to a module project in Sweden. This totalled NOK 67,5 million.

Net financial expenses were somewhat higher than for 2013. This is due to unrealised losses on financial hedging instruments, which are used to hedge exchange rates, interest rates and power prices.  Non-cash items associated with this totalled minus NOK 30.4 million (plus NOK 5.5 million) The negative result from the hedging instruments is attributed primarily to lower interest rates in both Sweden and Norway, as well as the decline in electricity prices. Developments for the Group's unrealised currency hedges were positive.

The Group's average margin on debt financing was unchanged from 2013, but interest rate expenses were lower due to a lower level of debt through the year.

Profits before tax were NOK 115.3 million, an improvement of NOK 232.4 from 2013 and in line with the board's expectation of a significant improvement in 2014 compared to the previous year.

Timber

årsberetning timber tabell 1 E

The positive trend from the last half of 2013 in the international market for industrial wood continued into 2014. The balance between supply and demand improved compared to the previous year, and market prices rose in the fist six months. Demand in the export markets in the Middle East, North Africa and China was good, while activity in the Euro zone was somewhat more hesitant.

Increasing production and producer stocks led to a gradually more cautious attitude in the market from the end of the second quarter and into the autumn. In addition to the normal seasonal reduction towards the end of the year, the international industrial wood market was marked by uncertainty and a continued cautious attitude among customers toward the end of the year. Both the volume and prices were higher for the full year than in 2013. For the export-oriented units the price increase in the export markets was amplified by the NOK and SEK falling against the most important export currencies.

Access to raw material was challenging in certain areas at the start of the year, but gradually improved in the second half of the year. The prices of saw timber rose, particularly in Norway, and were at the end of 2014 somewhat higher than a year previously. The prices for wood chip and fibre products varied from stable to somewhat weaker compared to the same time in 2013.

Access to raw material was challenging in certain areas

Sawmills in Sweden saw better improvement in the balance between finished product and raw material prices than in Norway, and achieved good earnings improvements due to this. For Norwegian operations, realised operational improvements led to a comparable result with the previous year as the increase in raw material prices overall exceeded the increase in finished product prices.

The recognition of reimbursements from group health insurance plans in Sweden has a positive non-recurring effect of NOK 3.4 million on the operating profit.

At the start of 2014, ambitious improvement measures were planned within the division. In addition to a number of specific measures and goals, a great deal of emphasis is placed on developing a culture for continuous improvement of all the processes throughout the entire organisation. At the end of the year, there have been many successes, but certain units have nevertheless not performed satisfactorily. Significant work thus remains to bring all units to a level with satisfactory profitability and good competitive ability.

Wood

årsberetning wood tabell 2 E

For the Wood division the positive developments in the market from the latter half of 2013 carried over into 2014. A mild winter provided good operational conditions and an early start to the spring season. Throughout the first six months both delivery volumes and prices were higher than for the same period the previous year. However, as mid-year approached the Wood division's primary markets were also characterized by a more cautious approach. Following a seasonally normal reduction in the summer, market activity picked up somewhat slower as autumn progressed. In the fourth quarter, however, demand declined slightly in Norway and supply volumes dropped in comparison to the previous year. Activity levels in the Swedish market were satisfactory.

For the year as a whole, supply volumes were at the same level as 2013, while prices were higher.
The price performance for finished products throughout the year were ensued by higher raw material prices, both for the planing mills where the production is based on purchased industrial wood and for the timber-consuming units. Following a start to the year with a challenging situation with regard to the supply of raw material for the timber-consuming units, the situation took a positive turn. The supply of saw timber in the second half of the year was good, but particularly in Norway the prices were higher than in the same period in 2013. The price levels for wood chips and fibre products varied from stable to slightly weaker.

The recognition of reimbursements from group health insurance plans in Sweden has a positive non-recurring effect of NOK 1.3 million on the operating profit.

Many units have achieved the expected results and developed well throughout the year

There was an extensive plan of action at the start of the year to improve profitability further for Wood as well. Many units have achieved the expected results and developed well throughout the year, but there are also certain units that are still performing significantly below the plan and target. In addition to technical improvements, extra resources were allocated to these units in order to safeguard the implementation of the improvement measures in the fourth quarter.

Building Systems

årsberetning byggsytemer tabell 3 E

The Building Systems Division has primarily Norway and Sweden as its market. In general, market activities within the sectors in which the division's companies operate have been good in Sweden and more challenging Norway. Price developments have been positive. With the exception of the Electrical systems business, all business areas in the division increased their revenues in 2014. All business areas improved on their operating profit compared to the previous year. Order intake has been good, and at the end of 2014 the division had a healthy and well-composed order backlog that was NOK 360 million higher than at the start of the year.

The Norwegian part of glulam operations had a good level of activity in 2014. Despite a certain decline in market activity, price levels throughout the year were higher than the previous year. Developments in Sweden were less positive, and the Swedish part of glulam operations has in the latter half of the year intensified market efforts and implemented a number of measures to increase volumes and improve production efficiency. In addition to poor developments throughout the year, the result at the end of the year was hit by cost overruns and productivity interruptions related to the introduction of a new ERP system.

Raw material costs for glulam operations increased compared to previous years as a result of the price increases for industrial wood.

The glulam business has had a separate organization in the UK with offices and warehouse in Eastleigh outside Southampton. Results have not been satisfactory in recent years, and a decision to discontinue operations was made in September. The accounts for 2014 have been charged with NOK 4 million for costs related to this. Standard glulam products for the British market will be sold through the Timber division's organisation in the UK.


At the end of 2014 the Electrical Installations business has essentially been restructured in accordance with the new strategy for the company. The restructuring entails increased focus on smaller projects and service jobs, and the company has several long-term contracts for maintenance with durations of several years. Activities in large and complex projects are being discontinued. In connection with the finalization of the restructuring and the final major individual project, NOK 9 million was written down in 2014. Comparative figures for 2013 include a corresponding charge totalling NOK 42.5 million.

For the Modular Building business in Sweden, the market activity was good throughout the year, and the company showed a very good inflow of new orders and good results. The level of activity was lower in Norway, particularly in the housing segment, where there has also been problems achieving satisfactory profitability. A new market concept in the housing segment is being developed. Compared to 2013 productivity at the factory in Moelv has improved, but efficiency at the building site still lags behind targets. Measures are being implemented for further productivity improvements and increased efficiency at the building site. Comparative figures for 2013 include a write down of NOK 25 million related to a large individual project with Modular Building in Sweden.

For the Modular System Interiors companies, the level of activity for new construction saw positive development in the Swedish part of the business, especially in the Stockholm area. In Norway the level of activity in new construction has been poor throughout 2014. The renovation and remodelling markets have had a stable, good level of activity in both Norway and Sweden.

The recognition of reimbursements from group health insurance plans in Sweden has a positive non-recurring effect of NOK 2.0 million on the division's operating profit.

Other businesses

årsberetning øvrige tabell 4 E

Fluctuations in operating revenues within the area of Other businesses are largely due to fluctuations in the level of activity within timber supply and sales of chips and energy products. The main activity is internal sales, which do not materially affect the results within the business area. In order to safeguard the supply of timber and market opportunities for wood chip and energy products in the regions that were affected by the closure of Södra Cell Tofte in August 2013, a train solution was established to transport pulp wood and chips. The arrangement entails increased external sales due to pulp wood now being purchased and subsequently sold externally. The business is based on fixed agreements on both the customer and supplier sides, and the risk is limited. The cost increase for the full year compared with the same period last year is attributed to a higher level of activity in the parent company linked to improvement projects. A provision for 18 months' salary for the former CEO was charged to the operating profit for 2014 in accordance with the guidelines described in note 28 in the consolidated financial statements and note 16 for the parent company.

Investments, balance sheet and financing

Total investments in 2014 were NOK 195.1 million (351.2).  The overall investment activity for 2014 was thus NOK 156.1 million lower than in 2013. The investments were aimed primarily at necessary maintenance and upgrades.

At the end of the year, the book value of the Group's total assets was NOK 4,653.2 million (NOK 4,539.8 million).

Cash flow from operating activities in the 2014 was NOK 351.2 million (NOK 86.2 million), corresponding to NOK 2.71 per share (NOK 0.67). A project to free up working capital has yielded good results, but some of this improvement was reversed in the fourth quarter due to the build-up of inventory. Cash flow from working capital items was NOK -72.2 mill (-48,8).

A project to free up working capital has yielded good results

Net interest-bearing liabilities were NOK 1,353.1 million (NOK 1,476.0 million) at the end of 2014. Financial leases are included in net interest-bearing liabilities, amounting to NOK 25.1 million (NOK 33.8 million). The liquidity reserve was NOK 238.7 million (NOK 250.8 million).

At the end of the first half year, an agreement to refinance the Group's long-term debt which had maturity in May 2015 was entered into, as well as seasonal financing with maturity at the end of the third quarter of 2015. The new loan agreement entered into force on 10 July and expires on 30 June 2017. The agreement provides satisfactory financial flexibility for the Group during this period. The terms reflect the market conditions when the agreement was entered into. The equity requirements and maximum gearing will gradually increase somewhat in the new agreement.

Equity at year end amounted to NOK 1,592.3 million (NOK 1,518.2 million), which is equivalent to NOK 12.29 (NOK 11.72) per share. The equity ratio was 34.2 per cent (33.4 per cent). The change in the interest rate assumptions for calculation of the future obligations related to the Group's closed, defined-benefit pension plans in Norway entailed an increase in the obligations after tax of NOK 30.2 million. The amount was charged to equity.

Parts of the Group's equity are linked to ownership interests in foreign subsidiaries, principally in Sweden, and are thereby exposed to exchange rate fluctuations. The extent and consequences of likely variations in exchange rates are within acceptable risk limits. For 2014 there has been an unrealised change of NOK 12.3 million (NOK 58.4 million). Since about half of the Group's assets are recognised in SEK, total assets also change with the exchange rate. If the exchange rates at the previous turn of the year were assumed, the equity ratio would change from 34.2 to 34.3. 


Risk

The Group's profits and balance sheet are affected by several external factors that can be influenced by Moelven to a greater or lesser extent.

For some of the risk areas that affect the Group, there are functioning financial markets where the risk of fluctuations can be reduced. This applies, for example, to interest rates, exchange rates and electricity. The Group's position on financial risk is that it is the industrial activities rather than financial transactions that shall create the conditions necessary for profitability. The main aim of the guidelines for the use of financial instruments is to reduce fluctuations and create more predictability. In other areas, such as raw materials, finished goods and projects, other methods of hedging risk must be used. As far as possible, fixed price contracts or index linking of contracts is used, for example. The Group's composition of units directed at different primary markets also has the effect of reducing risk. The primary markets are seldom affected by economic fluctuations at the same time, while the cost side can still benefit from economies of scale.

Prices of finished goods

The units of the Moelven Group operate in markets with free competition and many players. The creation of prices therefore occurs freely in the marketplace, and assuming unchanged volumes a change in process will affect the group as shown on the sensitivity table below.

Sawn timber prices

In 2014, the Group produced and processed 4.2 million cubic metres of sawn spruce and pine at a value of about NOK 2,250 million, including transport costs. Spruce and pine account for approximately equal portions of the round timber. Moelven does not own any forest, but buys all its timber from external suppliers. These suppliers are in turn dependent on functioning markets within an acceptable transport distance, as well as satisfactory price levels for both sawn timber and pulpwood. The cost of timber is by far the biggest single cost for the Group, and changes in timber prices have an immediate and substantial impact on margins. This involves both a price risk and a volume risk. The Group therefore focuses on entering into price agreements that as far as possible correlate timber prices with documented changes in the price of finished goods.

The cost of timber is by far the biggest single cost for the Group, and changes in timber prices have an immediate and substantial impact on margins

Prices of chips and biomass

The price of cellulose chips and biomass, which come from saw and planing production in Timber and Wood, is of great significance for the Group's revenues. Even though work is constantly going on to improve the utilisation of raw material, only about half of each log becomes industrial timber after passing through a sawmill. The remaining half is made up of bark, shavings, cellulose chips and biomass. Part of this is used for our own energy production, while the rest is sold to the particle board, bioenergy and paper industries. Since a change in the profit margin for these products has a direct influence on the Group's results, the distance to the customers and access to efficient logistics solutions for road and rail transport are of great importance.

Electricity prices

The price of electric power is another important factor that affects the Group's profitability. Through the Group's electricity suppliers an annual 185 GWh of electricity is purchased on Nasdaq OMX Commodities. According to the Group's finance policy, the need for electric power shall be secured against price fluctuations so as to ensure stability and predictability. The anticipated power requirement is hedged within stated maximum and minimum levels by trading futures on Nasdaq OMX with a 5 year maximum horizon.

Interest rate risk

The Group's net interest-bearing debt is subject to interest rate risk. The bulk of the debt in SEK, which is why interest rates in Sweden are most important for the development of the Group's interest expense. The Group companies will be financed with loans from the parent company. All external borrowing is done by the parent company, which also makes hedging in accordance with financial policy. The hedging instruments that can be used are ordinary interest rate swaps, FRAs and composite swaps of types that are normally used for such purposes. The extent of hedging is measured in terms of the combined duration of outstanding debt and hedging arrangements. The combined duration shall be between 12 and 36 months. No interest rate hedging agreements shall be entered into over more than 10 years.

Exchange rate risk

About 20 per cent of the Group's operating revenues come from markets outside Scandinavia and carry exchange rate risks. Additionally, there is significant internal and external trade within the group with both raw materials and finished products between Sweden and Norway. The most important currency crosses are EUR/SEK, SEK/NOK and EUR/NOK. Moelven uses forward contracts to counteract large cash flow fluctuations as a result of variations in exchange rates. Because of the hedging strategy that has been chosen, changes must be long-term so as to have the full effect on the Group's profitability, and during the hedging period operational adaptations may be made to compensate for the external changes. During the hedging period operational adaptations may be made to compensate for the external changes.. About half of the Group's total balance sheet is connected to activities in Sweden. The balance sheet figures will therefore be affected by the prevailing exchange rate between the Swedish and Norwegian kroner. The equity is partially hedged against this by financing the share investments in most of the Group's Swedish subsidiaries in Swedish krona. At the end of 2014, the total equity that is exposed to exchange rate risk amounted to SEK 632.3 million (SEK 538.4 million).

Credit risk

It is the Group's policy that credit sales over a certain size shall be secured in the form of either guarantees or credit insurance. In practice, credit insurance is used most. There are internal guidelines and follow-up routines for unsecured sales, which only occur when no other security is possible.

Liquidity risk

The Group's foreign capital financing consists of two long-term credit facilities with ceilings of NOK 1 350 million, which expires in June 2017, and NOK 300 million which will be reduced to NOK 150 million in September 2015 and which is due in full in September 2016. The loan agreements include normal default clauses with regard to equity, net equity value and debt ratio. As at 31 December 2014, the Group's key figures were better than the levels at which the default clauses are triggered. In addition to the long-term credit facilities, the Group also has available credit in its banking systems, amounting altogether to NOK 312 million, which is renewed annually.

Risk of damage and interruption to production

The Group has a policy for industrial insurance that is centrally managed and which is followed by all companies. This policy gives guidelines for insurance cover, preventive measures, risk review and preparation of continuity plans. The continuity plans become key plans if a fire/damage should occur. The plans cover immediate efforts, disaster management and the ability to continue deliveries to customers. Through its industrial insurance, the Group is covered for financial loss exceeding NOK 3 million per individual claim.

Openness is what characterises the way the Group relates outwardly to society and the media and inwardly to employees of the Group

Risk of loss of reputation

Moelven places great emphasis on maintaining a good reputation. This is measured regularly using a brand survey that is conducted by external partners. There is financial risk linked to any loss of Moelven's reputation. The reputation risk is not quantified. Openness is what characterises the way the Group relates outwardly to society and the media and inwardly to employees of the Group. This applies whether it concerns positive or negative circumstances for Moelven, in line with Moelven's brand platform.

Risk of loss of environmental costs

The activities of the Moelven Group follow the prevailing legislation and regulations with regard to emissions and waste management. The Group has made provisions in the accounts for all known obligations in connection with environmental protection. The purpose of the Group's environmental policies is to minimize the risk of negative impact on the natural environment and thus the potential environmental cost as well.

årsberetning Risiko Sensitivitetstabell E

Human resources

The Group's human resources ideal is to "Provide opportunities for people with the drive to succeed". This ideal establishes guidelines for the Group's objectives in terms of which persons are recruited, what expertise is demanded, what pay and working conditions are offered, how new employees are introduced, what development and career opportunities are offered and how downsizing is handled.

Employees

The number of employees increased from 3,276 to 3,326 during the course of 2014. For a more detailed view of the HSE area, please refer to the Board's explanation of principles and practice concerning social responsibility pursuant to the Accounting Act Section 3-3c.

The number of employees increased from 3,276 to 3,326 during the course of 2014

Recruitment and personal development

Moelven acts strategically in both internal and external recruitment. Competent employees are vital to the Group's competitive ability and it is important for Moelven to emerge as an attractive employer.

Moelven focuses on long-term employment relationships and strives to offer its employees the opportunity to develop in their jobs. Motivated and competent employees are encouraged to take their personal development further, including through internal management programmes.

Effect on the external environment

Sustainability is one of Moelven's basic values. Environmental considerations are a natural part of day-to-day work and an ongoing effort is being made to reduce the impact on the external environment. Moelven takes responsibility for the environment through sustainable and long-term exploitation of renewable resources. Industrial production is largely based on the use of wood and the wood content of the finished products is very high in most operations. Wood as a material has many positive environmental aspects, including that it binds carbon dioxide. The vast majority of the forest raw materials that are used in Moelven's production end up as products or biofuel. The Group therefore produces little waste. The aim is that all fractions of wood shall be treated as potential input factors in the products and contribute to overall value creation. Cellulose chips, dry chips, shavings and bark from the sawmills have ever increasing financial and environmental significance. District heating systems use dry chips, shavings and bark as fuel and the Group's own heating systems use chips and bark.

The vast majority of the forest raw materials that are used in Moelven's production end up as products or biofuel

For those companies in the group that make less use of forest raw materials in their production, the industrialised building process helps to limit the environmental effects in comparison with traditional building methods.

For a more detailed description, please refer to the Board's explanation of principles and practice concerning social responsibility pursuant to the Accounting Act Section 3-3c.

Innovation

Moelven's innovation policy is to engage in development and innovation linked to a specific application of a product or in a production process. The responsibility for innovation lies within each business area, where the greatest competence exists. The Group's task is to facilitate innovation and provide resources, support and coordination across the business areas as necessary. Research and development at Moelven takes place primarily at the project level, linked to commercial operations.

Product innovation

For the building module companies, the development of cost-effective concepts adapted to the market for modular buildings of several storeys has been a prerequisite for the operations as they are today. The functional and aesthetic aspects change continuously in accordance with the technological developments and market trends. In order to maintain the market position in current markets and develop further in other segments, focus on innovation and developing new solutions in essential.

The building interiors companies are aimed at a market where trends move rapidly. Product development and innovation are therefore a high priority and a continuous process.

Glulam operations have for several years been at the forefront in the development of new products and technical solutions, and have completed several major innovation projects in recent years.  This has formed the basis for today's laminated wood bridges, halls and multi-storey buildings or buildings with large spans.

 


Construction of the world's tallest wood building, “Treet” in Bergen, started in the fourth quarter of 2014. The building will, when completed in the autumn of 2015, consist of 14 storeys and be 51 metres tall. The load bearing glulam structures will be supplied and installed by Moelven Limtre AS.

In the Wood division product development is of great importance in order for the choice of products to both follow the shifting market trends and satisfy requirements toward quality and functionality. The goal is to offer customers the market's best, most diverse and most modern product range. Innovation work is divided into two main directions. One aims to develop modern products that contribute towards inspiration and new trends at the end-user. The other main direction aims to simplify work with the products at the building site. Examples of such solutions are internal panels with concealed nails, sheet products with reduced widths to ease handling, ready cut lengths, etc.

Process innovation

For the timber-consuming units in Timber and Wood, it is primarily the optimisation of the production processes that is of key importance. The aim is to safeguard the value that is intrinsic to the raw materials, through efficient production and the purchase of raw materials that are adapted to the market, to the greatest possible extent.

For the part of Glulam that is directed at the building products trade and for the processing units at Wood, the logistics systems are of great significance for reducing the cost and environmental effects of transport and for ensuring the customers' access to a wide range of products with short delivery times. Work on optimising the logistics systems is therefore continuous.

For the Module and Interior operations, the development and refinement of technical solutions for production, connection of technical installations and assembly at the building site have been important to operate profitable industrial production of module-based building solutions, as well as to exploit the competitive advantage inherent in short construction times.

Corporate governance

Corporate governance at the Moelven Group is based on the Norwegian recommendations for corporate governance of October 2014. The Board's report on the Group's policies and practice for corporate governance in accordance with section 3-3b of the Norwegian Accounting Act has been incorporated into the report on corporate governance. For further information about the Board and senior executives, refer to note 28.

Allocation of the net profit for the year

The Board of Directors' dividend policy is based on Moelven's shareholders receiving a predictable and satisfactory cash return on their share investment. The policy provides guidelines for how much of the profit, or of distributable equity in years with a loss, shall be distributed as a dividend. The Group's net profit for 2014 was NOK 88.4 million and the equity ratio of 34.2 per cent is below the targeted 40 per cent. The Group has sufficient equity and liquidity to distribute a dividend. The board proposes a dividend of NOK 0.40 per share, totalling NOK 51.8 million. The parent company Moelven Industrier ASA, which distributes a dividend for the Group, had a net loss of NOK 14.8 million for the year after the receipt of group contributions and share dividends from subsidiaries. It is proposed that the negative net income and provision for dividend is covered by a transfer from retained earnings in its entirety. The company has sufficient distributable equity and liquidity for the distribution of the dividend.

Events after the balance sheet date

No events have occurred after the balance sheet date that affects the accounts that have been presented.

Going concern assumption

In accordance with the requirements in the Norwegian accounting legislation, the Board of Directors confirms that the prerequisites have been met for preparation of the accounts under the assumption that the Company will continue as a going concern and that the annual accounts have been prepared under this assumption.

Outlook

There is still good demand for industrial wood in many markets, while the supply has also increased after a period of high production levels, especially for spruce products. The exchange rates for the Norwegian krone and Swedish krona are at levels that give a good point of departure for competition on the export markets. Continued weak growth for housing construction is expected in Norway. In Sweden, housing construction is increasing, but from a low level. However, the main portion of the Group's deliveries is made to the renovation and remodelling markets, which are more stable than the new build market. The level of activity is expected to follow the normal seasonal variations with a weak level of activity in the first quarter prior to the start of the high season after Easter.

The level of activity in the building and construction sector in Scandinavia is expected to be on a par with 2014, with normal seasonal variations throughout the year. The Building Systems Division has a better and more diversified order book than at the start of 2014. The divisions' companies have adapted their capacity and cost structure to the prevailing market conditions. A high level of activity is expected in the timber market in the first half of the year. A plan of action has been implemented with a number of measures and projects that will be closely followed up in order to improve the results of ongoing operations, ensure better competitiveness in the long term and reduce the risk of losses related to certain projects. This work will continue with a high intensity. The Board expects that, combined, the measures will significantly increase the Group's cash flow throughout an economic cycle significantly and contribute to achieving the Group's target of a return on capital employed of 13.0 per cent, which is almost double the 6.8 per cent that was achieved in 2014.

A plan of action has been implemented with a number of measures and projects that will be closely followed up in order to improve the results

The Board is of the opinion that the Group has adequate solvency and access to liquidity over the long term to undertake any necessary restructuring. The board is satisfied with the improvement in operating profit of a quarter billion in 2014 and expects that the Group's underlying operations and result improve further in 2015.

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