Jøtul is one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of stoves and fireplaces. The company, one of Norway’s oldest dating back to 1853, manufactures cast-iron stoves and fireplaces, inserts, surrounds and accessories. The group’s most important brands are Jøtul and Scan. Jøtul stoves are made of cast iron with an emphasis on their timeless, Norwegian origins, while Scan’s products are manufactured from sheet metal with a modern design. Manufacturing mainly takes place in Norway and Denmark, with smaller units in France and the US, and to some extent via partners. Its products are sold worldwide through the company’s sales subsidiaries and distributors. Products reach end consumers through specialised stores and in Norway also through the DIY channel.
Jøtul’s largest markets are the Nordic countries, France and the US. The market share in the Nordic countries is approximately 20%. Competition mainly comprises local players in Jøtul’s various markets. However, the main competitor in the Nordic region, NIBE, like Jøtul has an international presence. Short-term demand is affected by the macroeconomic situation and consumers’ willingness to invest. Long-term market growth is mainly driven by an increased focus on heating using renewable energy and by the price trend for alternative heating sources – electricity, oil and natural gas. Market development is also affected by factors such as weather, property prices, housing starts and renovations. Key product characteristics for cast-iron stoves and fireplaces are design and the ability to burn the wood cleanly so that particle emissions are minimised. In Norway, tough demands on clean-burning were introduced at an early stage and Jøtul’s products are market leaders in this area.
The year in brief
Sales in 2015 rose, driven by currency effects. Growth in France was weak and several of the company’s larger markets were negatively affected by the mild weather.
The plan launched in 2014 to recover Jøtul’s competitiveness and profitability continued throughout the year, resulting in cost savings as a combination of continued internal efficiency improvements and structural changes in the production structure. Implemented measures and favourable currency effects led to an improvement in the adjusted EBITA margin for the full year.
During the year, a capital contribution of SEK 91m was provided and a new financing agreement was signed, resulting in a new capital structure and improved cash flow.
In 2015 Jøtul won several prestigious design awards for the design of its cast-iron stoves and fireplaces, an increasingly more important factor in efforts to strengthen the brand directly among consumers.
High quality and environmental products are central to Jøtul’s product development and manufacturing process. All cast iron used in production is manufactured from recovered scrap iron and hydropower is used almost exclusively in the manufacturing process. Jøtul’s products are among the market’s most energy efficient and have a very clean burning technology. Jøtul aspires to the company’s products being environmentally certified in accordance with local environmental certification standards.
The company places great emphasis on health and safety.
Jøtul has a strong global market position. The market in which the company is active is, however, shrinking and has been volatile, showing negative development since Ratos acquired the company. Jøtul has increased its market shares, but the earnings trend has been unsatisfactory. Therefore, focus for the most recent and coming years will be on further streamlining in order to restore profitability.
In addition to optimising purchasing, production, logistics and distribution, Jøtul will invest in product development to further strengthen its global market position. An important element in greater competitiveness includes continued investments in product development that focuses on both design and emissions from stoves and fireplaces coupled with efficiency in pace with demands for changes in regulations.
(Mainly from Ratos's annual report 2015.)