Introducing the new CFO

November 18, 2022

 

Katri Hokkanen started as Valmet’s CFO on August 1, 2022. Before this, she was the interim CFO for three months. Now that Katri is in full flow in her new role, it is time to introduce her to the investment community. We stopped Katri for a chat.

 

Hello Katri, and congratulations on your appointment!

Hi! Thanks!

 

Can you tell us a bit about your background?

In fact, my whole career has been with Valmet. I am originally from Jyväskylä, Finland, where Valmet is the among the biggest employers. My first working day at Valmet was at the age of 17. During my M.Sc. (Economics) studies I worked as a finance trainee and have since then worked in several finance positions within the company.

Most recently I worked as VP, Finance for Valmet’s Pulp and Energy business line. After five years in that role, I know the Pulp and Energy business well. Having worked as Head of Finance for Valmet’s Asia-Pacific area I have experience from a regional role, and service business is familiar to me thanks to the years as finance manager, EMEA and business controller for services.

As a curiosity, also my father made his career with Valmet!

 

Sounds like you have an excellent basis for working as Valmet’s CFO. Based on your initial findings, what is new for you in the role?

It surely helps in getting up to speed that I have a wide network within the company and know Valmet’s businesses quite well. However, it is a totally new perspective looking at the company as a whole. In a group role, I will have more contact with Valmet’s external stakeholders. I have been in contact with our customers also in the past, but now I work e.g., with investors and analysts, too. I am really excited!

 

What is in your opinion the biggest challenge that Valmet is facing today?

It is soon nine years since Valmet got demerged from Metso and started as a separate listed company. Looking at the financial development I think it is fair to say that the company has done very well. After a long, positive development we must make sure we don’t get too satisfied. We must keep the same mindset of improving all the time, on every front. As a technology company we need to make sure that we are the ones with the best solutions also in the future.

We are living unpredictable times, which makes life tougher for companies as well as individuals, not to mention CFOs. However, Valmet is well positioned and we have a great team. I am sure we will get through this together.

 

As this is an IR blog, could you tell us, why do you consider Valmet as a good investment?

First of all, not many companies have a market position like ours. Wherever in the world you get a piece of paper or board in your hands, there is a roughly 45 percent chance it is made with Valmet’s machinery. We are technology leaders with the market’s widest offering.

Services and automation form more than half of Valmet’s net sales, which provides resilience to business cycles. We aim to grow these businesses, and by doing so, improve Valmet’s profitability further.

Finally, Valmet’s business is well in line with where the world is going, and the investment story has a strong link to sustainability. Increasing world trade and e-commerce drive the demand for board. Whatever you order online, it typically comes in a carton box. With Valmet’s equipment, fossil-based plastic packaging can be replaced with renewable fiber. Increasing living and hygiene standards in turn drive the demand for tissue. And to produce board or tissue, you first need pulp.

With Valmet’s technology and services, the pulp and paper producers can lower their environmental impact. Already today, we provide technologies for CO2 neutral heat and power production for our customers.  By 2030, our target is to enable 100 percent carbon neutral production for all our pulp, paper, board and tissue customers. We are well on our way to realize that target even earlier.

 

Thank you Katri!