A Word from the President
2019 has been a challenging year from a market perspective. Many of our customers and suppliers have been suffering from declining markets, experiencing difficulty with the trade war between USA and China, and other complications. Despite this, CellMark has managed to make continual financial progress and stay profitable. All this, thanks to our dedicated employees who know how to be agile and ﬂexible when circumstances change unexpectedly. Once again we have proven that we know how to succeed, not only in good times, but also in times of difficulty.
During the year, we continued the previous year’s strategy of growing our core business and concentrating our activities within our seven existing operating divisions. In line with this strategy, we completed the wind down of CellMark Medical. Despite a lot of effort spent trying to redirect the business, it turned out to take far longer than expected to develop a profitable project. We considered our investments to be better spent on our well-established activities.
Adding value to our core areas will help us to keep building upon the successful company foundation that, so far, has given us more than three decades of profitable business. Our focus going forward will be to reduce transaction costs to stay competitive and remain relevant for the future.
In 2019, we celebrated CellMark’s 35th anniversary. Looking back over these years of profitability and development, we are utterly proud of our growth story and our strong global position as a world-class marketing and supply chain service company. We are also grateful to our partners and for their continued invaluable support.
By division, CellMark Paper started out 2019 strong by resuming profitability after a period of struggle in 2018. CellMark Packaging suffered from a tough market development but managed the circumstances satisfactorily. CellMark Pulp had a successful year. CellMark Recycling experienced a rapid downturn in market conditions while still delivering profits. Our Chemicals division suffered from direct as well as indirect effects of the trade war. CellMark Basic Chemicals had a very tough year. Our Metals Division continued its restructuring and rightsizing, and CellMark Energy entered into new promising engagements.
Moreover, we focused on providing more efficient technology platforms for our organization, as well as for our partners. We launched a new intranet, a new external website and a new e-learning platform for our employees to use for improving their skills in different work areas. We made the decision to upgrade our Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) from IFS 8 to IFS 10. A necessary improvement.
As a global company with people located worldwide, it is of high importance to provide common platforms and tools where we all can unite and communicate. This will not only facilitate our employees’ daily work, but also ensure that we can bring more value to our customers and suppliers. Our vision will always be to Surpass Expectations.
Nonetheless, our vision also applies to the surrounding world and the communities in which we work and live. We demonstrate our principle, that we care, by continuing our support of the PaperSeed Foundation, a non-proﬁt organization dedicated to strengthening educational opportunities for children and youth around the world. This year, we also published our first stand-alone Sustainability Report.
Worth mentioning, 2019 was my very first year as the CEO of CellMark. I entered my new role with a lot of enthusiasm, and I am closing the books on 2019 with that same feeling. I am proud and grateful for what we have accomplished together this year, and wish to thank all employees and business partners for their contribution and support.
Now, we are ready for a new decade.
President & CEO