The 139th year of operation of the family-owned company Berner was a year of impressive growth. In addition to acquisitions, the strong growth was driven by organic growth in sales in all four business areas.
The Group’s operating profit increased by 75 percent to MEUR 40.6, while turnover grew to MEUR 717.5 (72%). The Group’s solvency and liquidity remained at a strong level in 2022, with an equity ratio of 41.4 per cent. Return on invested capital was 16.3 percent (11.3 percent in 2021).
“As a company, we have made a significant leap in growth over the past two years through acquisitions as well as organic growth, and both our turnover and operating profit have more than doubled as a result. We will continue to strive for strong growth and internationalization in the future,” says Antti Korpiniemi, CEO of Berner Ltd.
Berner strengthened its position with four acquisitions last year. Our agricultural business grew and diversified further with the acquisition of Apetit Plc’s grain trade business. In the plant production input trade, we strengthened our positions in the Turku and Loimaa region. Berner also expanded its position in the Finnish potato starch production chain, as our subsidiary Chemigate Ltd acquired the majority vote in Finland’s leading manufacturer of starch potato products, the Finnamyl Group. Berner now also owns the Swedish laboratory equipment distributor ClaraLab. During 2021–2022, Berner completed a total of 10 acquisitions, increasing its number of employees to 850.
“The acquisitions we have made will significantly strengthen all of our four business areas. I believe that as a result we will have entities that will be better able to serve all of our customers, based on the very extensive and high-quality product and service ranges paired with impeccable customer service,” Korpiniemi says.
Challenges in the business climate
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine affected our operations especially in the procurement of raw materials for industry and agriculture. We immediately started looking for substitute raw material suppliers to replace the Russian ones, and during the year we found new suppliers for both fertilisers and industrial raw materials. The effects of the war were reflected in the increased costs of raw materials, packaging materials and logistics in all of our business areas during the year.
Promoting the circular economy
Last year, the circular economy was strongly emphasised in our sustainability development work, especially in our industrial and agricultural business areas. Ammonium sulphate, which is a by-product of the battery chemical plant’s production, and for the distribution of which we are responsible, has also responded to the shortage of fertiliser raw materials, providing a cost-effective option for fertilisation.
Last year, we participated in the EcoVadis sustainability assessment for the second time. We achieved the best Platinum rating for our sustainability work, which means that we are in the top 1% of the companies assessed. The evaluation is reviewed annually.
Link to our 2022 Annual Report:
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