From the CEO
Financial Statements Release 2018Revenue increased by 3.1 percent in 2018, excluding currency effects and divestments, after a quite strong fourth quarter (an increase of 9.3 percent excluding currency effects and divestments).
However, the euro-denominated revenue decreased as much as 3.6 percent after being affected by currency fluctuation (a total impact of EUR -27.5 million) and divestments (EUR -11.8 million) in 2018. Sales volumes grew in all of the main markets, especially in Poland, but decreased slightly in Russia. Russian revenue in rubles increased due to the shift from the economy segment into the premium.
The fixed expense savings of EUR 30 million improved our profitability, which was better than in the previous year, even if not at a satisfactory level. Sales price increases did not fully mitigate raw material cost increases.
In order to further improve profitability, Tikkurila continued to execute its efficiency program. We closed down and divested small production sites, implemented personnel deductions, harmonized our product portfolio and initiated a project regarding sourcing efficiency, among other measures. These measures have been necessary in order to enhance our cost competitiveness. The fixed costs savings will be fully visible during 2019.
In 2019 we will continue to focus on improving internal efficiency, cost control and driving profitable growth. Our vision “Surfaces that make a difference” entails building outstanding customer experience and enhancing easy-to-use sustainable solutions. Tikkurila also builds new, digital service channels for a growing segment of paint professionals and also offers surfaces for selected industrial segments. On top of this, we will share our renewed growth strategy in the near future.