Veidekke ASA: Annual and sustainability report 2020

Veidekke ASA: Annual and sustainability report 2020

26.03.2021 - 09:00

Veidekke publishes its annual and sustainability report for 2020 today. In a year marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, Veidekke delivered a strong financial performance and implemented significant changes.

After making important strategic and organisational changes in 2020, Veidekke is now a streamlined construction company. In June, Veidekke signed an agreement to sell its property development operation, a transaction which released substantial value. The establishment of Veidekke Infrastructure allowed the group to amalgamate its Norwegian civil engineering and industrial operations to give civil engineering clients a more coordinated offering.

“We made good progress on our projects and increased our activity level and profitability in a year of great change. This has allowed Veidekke to start 2021 as a streamlined construction company with a robust financial position and strong market shares in a Scandinavian region that is transitioning into a low-emissions society,” says Group CEO Jimmy Bengtsson.

Following this strategic reorientation, Veidekke presented three key priorities for the years ahead: effective measures to improve profitability, selective growth in key markets and payment of an attractive dividend to shareholders. Veidekke delivered on these priorities in 2020: the total profits of continued operations almost doubled compared to 2019 thanks to improvements in all operational areas. Veidekke’s growth is concentrated in densely populated regions in and around major cities in Scandinavia. Last, but not least, Veidekke’s shareholders received a total dividend of NOK 22.50 per share following the sale of the property development operation.

The construction industry is labour-intensive, and key priorities in 2020 were to maintain production and progress on the hundreds of projects being executed by the group all over Scandinavia and to prevent infections at both construction and civil engineering sites and offices. These efforts were largely successful.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us that even though we cannot always control our circumstances, we can decide how to respond to them. Time and again, our staff have demonstrated an exceptional ability to find good solutions that have enabled Veidekke to keep its promises to clients and shareholders while still safeguarding workplace health and safety. The flexibility, professionalism and loyalty of our staff make me very optimistic about Veidekke’s future,” says Bengtsson.

Veidekke’s annual report includes the group’s sustainability report, which provides an overview of the group’s sustainability efforts in key areas like health and safety, climate impact, expertise and compliance.

“Sustainability is founded on cooperation between society and businesses towards a common goal. Veidekke wants to help overcome societal challenges and build a better future for all. By making our operations sustainable, we can create a safe and positive work environment. Sustainable solutions are both a prerequisite for our success in the transition towards a low-emissions society and key to realising new opportunities,” says Jimmy Bengtsson.

Veidekke supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and sustainability is being integrated ever more closely into Veidekke’s strategies and processes. In 2020, the group entered into a financing agreement with SEB that incorporates sustainability targets. In addition, bonus schemes for senior executives now include consideration of climate and diversity performance.

Climate change is impacting Veidekke’s operating framework, and identification of climate risks is integrated into the group’s ongoing risk assessments and strategic planning. In accordance with the Paris Agreement, Veidekke has adopted the targets of reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 and 90% by 2050. In 2020, the group launched a greenhouse gas budget broken down by operation, and will begin quarterly reporting in 2021.

The construction and civil engineering industry has a higher-than-average injury rate, and injury reduction is a top priority for Veidekke. Six years ago, the group adopted the target of zero serious injuries by 2020, and has worked to reduce injury rates in all operations since then.

“Our new safety measures and intensified information campaigns have reduced the number of serious injuries by over 90%. However, the three serious injuries registered in 2020 are three too many, and the operations will therefore continue their injury-reduction efforts,” says Jimmy Bengtsson.

Download Veidekke’s annual and sustainability report for 2020. A pdf version of the report is attached. The report meets all regulatory content requirements for annual reports and accounts, in addition to information concerning corporate governance, shareholder information and sustainability.

This information is subject to a disclosure duty pursuant to section 5-12 of the Securities Trading Act.

For more information, contact:
Lars Erik Lund, EVP +47 413 31 369

Jørgen Wiese Porsmyr, CFO +47 907 59 058

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Veidekke is one of Scandinavia's largest contractors. In addition to undertaking all types of building and civil engineering assignments, the group also maintains roads and produces asphalt and aggregates. Veidekke emphasises stakeholder involvement and local experience. Its annual turnover is approximately NOK 38 billion, and half of its 8,100 employees own shares in the company. Veidekke is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange, and has posted a profit every year since its inception in 1936.