Valmet continued its strong performance and consistent development of its operations in 2021.
During the year, Valmet was able to grow all its businesses. The very active market demand for our board and paper making technologies continued. We also made several important pulp technology delivery agreements, for example, in Finland, Brazil and China. The market for our services and automation solutions recovered compared to last year and both businesses returned on growth track.
In 2021, Valmet’s orders received increased by 30 percent to EUR 4,740 million, and our order backlog at the end of the year was EUR 4,096 million. Net sales increased by 5 percent and amounted to EUR 3,935 million. The comparable EBITA margin was at an all-time high 10.9 percent.
Solid current market and new opportunities in emerging sectors
E-commerce, emerging markets growth, rising living standards and the shift to renewable materials are supporting the demand of Valmet’s process technologies, automation and services for pulp, paper and energy sectors. Valmet has an excellent position in the growing market for the conversion of renewable raw materials into sustainable end products, and we are continuously developing and introducing innovations for our customers.
For example, in addition to our traditional markets, there are new emerging opportunities in cellulose-based and recycled textile production, in which Valmet’s current pulp and board making technologies can be adapted. As the first important steps in this sector, Valmet made an agreement to supply drying technology to a planned renewable textile fibre factory in Finland, and to supply the main equipment for a planned textile recycling plant in Sweden in 2021. We can also provide textile fiber producers with the full scope of automation solutions and services.
Merging Neles to Valmet a major strategic step
In July 2021, Valmet and Neles announced that the companies had signed a combination agreement and a merger plan to combine the two companies through a merger. The pending combination will be implemented as a statutory absorption merger, whereby Neles will be merged to Valmet. Following the combination, Valmet is expected to become a stronger globally leading company with a unique offering to process industries around the world, consisting of process technologies, services and automation, including automation systems and flow control solutions. The merger is intended to create a platform for further growth of the automation business. The completion of the merger is pending the needed regulatory approvals and is targeted to take place on April 1, 2022.
During the year, we also continued to strengthen Valmet with smaller business acquisitions. In 2021, we especially developed our environmental systems offering with two purchases.
Ambitious climate program introduced, with concrete targets and action plans
In March 2021, Valmet introduced a climate program with concrete targets for our entire value chain, including the supply chain, our own operations and the customer use of our technologies. I have been delighted to see strong commitment to and enthusiasm for this program among Valmet employees, and that we have been able to create concrete roadmaps for achieving the set targets by 2030. Many of Valmet’s customers have set CO2 reduction targets for their own operations, and thus the interest, support and expectations towards our program and our ability to support our customers in their own efforts through this program have been high.
In 2021, Valmet continued to receive recognition for the progress of its sustainability work in various sustainability ratings and was included for the eighth consecutive year in the Dow Jones World and Europe Sustainability Indices.
Moving forward together with the committed Valmet team
The uncertainty in the markets will continue in 2022. The Valmet team has continued to show exceptional resilience and commitment to serve our customers and ensure successful project deliveries in all circumstances. We will continue on this path, prioritizing the safety of our employees and customers, while ensuring the best possible customer experience, both on site and remotely.
I warmly thank all Valmet employees around the world for their excellent work and our partners for their good cooperation during the year. I wish to express my appreciation to all our customers for the trust you have shown in Valmet.
President and CEO
On July 2, 2021, Valmet announced that the Boards of Directors of Valmet Oyj and Neles Corporation have signed a combination agreement and a merger plan to combine the two companies through a merger.
The merger of Valmet and Neles Corporation (“Neles”) and the merger consideration securities have not been and will not be registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 (the “U.S. Securities Act”), and may not be offered, sold or delivered within or into the United States, except pursuant to an applicable exemption of, or in a transaction not subject to, the U.S. Securities Act.
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