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Share 2016-09-29 17:29 RATOS B 40.64 SEK

GS-Hydro

Operations

GS-Hydro is a leading global supplier of non-welded piping solutions. Piping systems are mainly used for hydraulic applications with high demands on fast installation, cleanliness and minimal production shutdowns.

The company supplies complete piping systems, prefabricated piping modules and components for piping systems and related services such as design, installation, documentation and maintenance. GH-Hydro has also expanded its offering to include hoses and hose-related components.

The company’s products and services are used within the marine and offshore industries, within land-based segments such as the paper and metals industries and in test equipment for the automotive industry. GS-Hydro has operations worldwide, approximately 700 employees in 17 countries and its head office in Espoo, Finland.

Market

Non-welded piping solutions account for a relatively small part of the global market for piping solutions for hydraulic applications. Opportunities to increase the market share are created by highlighting the advantages of the system compared with welded solutions. The advantages are evident and include shorter installation times, improved accessibility, lower environmental impact at installation, improved opportunities for customers’ production to continue without costly shutdowns during installation and maintenance as well as better work environment and safety, particularly in the offshore segment, since no welding flame is required.

The offshore industry is GS-Hydro’s single largest customer segment and, given the pressured price on oil, the market outlook is sluggish. The marine segment is GS-Hydro’s second-largest customer segment and, following a lengthy cyclical decline, the market has stabilised in the past years. Also GS-Hydro’s prioritised land-based industries have enjoyed a relatively stable market trend in recent years.

The year in brief

The sales trend for GS-Hydro was affected by extremely weak growth in the offshore segment and weaker sales in the land-based segment toward the end of the year. The trend in the marine segment was stable.

Sluggish sales had an impact on operating profit, instigating a focus on streamlining measures in several markets.

During the year, GS-Hydro acquired the UK company First Hose, which supplies hoses and hose-related components for the oil and gas industry in the UK North Sea. The acquisition will strengthen GS-Hydro’s aftermarket business and position as supplier of hose maintenance. In conjunction with the acquisition, GS-Hydro received a capital contribution of SEK 59m.

Juha Silvennoinen was recruited as new CEO and took over at the end of the year.

Sustainability

GS-Hydro’s key sustainability issues are preventative anti-corruption initiatives since the company operates in a number of high-risk markets and reducing its environmental impact. The company has implemented a clear Code of Conduct, whistleblowing system, employee training programmes and follow-up processes. From an environmental perspective, GS-Hydro’s non-welded piping systems offer a better solution than welded systems, generating both business and environmental potential.

Development potential

GS-Hydro has a strong position in an attractive market niche, a global presence, extensive applications expertise and the ability to supply total solutions for piping systems.

Since Ratos became sole owner of GS-Hydro, the company’s sales have grown 8% per year on average. Growth has mainly been driven by non-welded technology capturing market shares from traditional welded technology, the company’s expansion into growth markets and overall positive underlying market development. Uncertainty in the offshore segment has increased in the short term and a lower growth rate is expected. How-ever, GS-Hydro has the potential to grow in this segment by developing the company’s aftermarket offering, broadening the product offering and taking market shares from welded solutions. The company also has considerable potential to grow in marine and land-based industries where a more stable market trend is predicted, and to improve and strengthen its operational efficiency. 

(Mainly from Ratos's annual report 2015.)