In 2019, the business area accounted for a total of 49 percent (48) of the Group’s net sales. The business area consists of the Group’s operations in Finland and the three Baltic States. The operations in Finland consist of production and warehousing facilities in Lapua, Lahti and Turku and sales offices in nine locations. The operations in the Baltic States comprise warehousing and sales units in Tallinn, Riga and Kaunas.

In the Finnish market, the company has around 2,800 customers and the ten largest customers account for 12 percent of the business area’s sales. Focus is on delivering value-creating services to both the construction and manufacturing industries. BE Group Finland operates a steel service center for thin sheets processing in-house, which results in a higher share of sales of these products compared with business area Sweden & Poland. The primary competitors are Tibnor, Kontino and Flinkenberg.

In the Baltics, the market is more fragmented and conditions vary substantially between Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, but BE Group generally has a strong position in the market.

Sales and business performance

Net sales for the year decreased by 6 percent compared to last year and amounted to SEK 2,157 M (2,299). The operating result amounted to SEK 65 M (81) and, adjusted for inventory gains and losses of SEK 0 M (13), the underlying operating result amounted to SEK 65 M (68). The decline is largely attributable to the weaker volume development in the Finnish distribution business.

Continued development

Demand during the year was generally weaker both in the construction and the manufacturing industries. Steel prices were stable over the year. Extensive focus is now on improving profitability in the Finnish distribution operations and the Baltic operations. As before, the goal is to offer the best customer experience in our industry by providing value-creating solutions to every customer and segment that we focus on.

Key data 1) 2019 2018 %
Nyckeltal 1) 2019 2018 %
Shipped tonnage, thousands of tonnes Levererat tonnage, tusentals ton 173 190 -9%
Net sales, SEK M Nettoomsättning, MSEK 2,157 2,299 -6%
Operating result (EBIT), SEK M Rörelseresultat (EBIT), MSEK 65 81 -20%
Operating margin, % Rörelsemarginal, % 3.0 3.5 -0.5%
Underlying operating result (uEBIT), SEK M 2) Underliggande rörelseresultat (uEBIT), MSEK 2) 65 68 -4%
Underlying operating margin, % Underliggande rörelsemarginal, % 3.0 2.9 0.1%
Investments, SEK M Investeringar, MSEK 7 18 -61%
Average number of employees Medelantal anställda 301 304 -1%
1) In the result, the intra-group expenses invoiced from the Parent Company have been eliminated. The effects regarding IFRS 16 have been reported under Parent Company & consolidated items and have not been allocated to the business areas.
2) Included as a part of BE Group’s alternative performance measures, see also Alternative performance measures.
Operating result (EBIT)
Underlying Operating result 1)

1) Underlying operating result (uEBIT) is the reported operating result before items affecting comparability and adjusted for inventory gains and losses (deductions for gains and additions for losses). See also Alternative performance measures.