4 Owners’ greetings
Our personnel are our most important resource
In 2022, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on society and the functioning of SOL decreased significantly, but the impact of the pandemic as a whole was significant for a couple of years. I would, therefore, like to thank the personnel of all companies and services of SOL for their dedication and hard work. Our personnel have played an important role in a challenging and uncertain time. Cleanliness, hygiene and safety have become important and our work is valued like never before. Under these surprising conditions, the success has been driven by our committed and dedicated experts.
Working life in the whirlwind of change
For young people, work is important, and they appreciate the significance of work, entrepreneurship and that their work is in line with their values. Work provides rhythm in everyday life and offers the possibility to be part of a community. For immigrants, work is important for integration and learning the culture and language. As the members of the work community come from increasingly diverse backgrounds, the sense of community and leadership also change. Changes in work and operating methods require continuous competence development and, sometimes, even retraining.
SOL has extensive experience and expertise in leading heterogeneous teams, and we have been investing in competence development since the founding of SOL. Multiculturalism and learning are in our genes. 31% of our employees in Finnish companies are young (under the age of 30) and 17% have a foreign background. We are guided by good supervisor work and competence in leading international teams when it comes to the challenge of labour shortages. Our investments in education and competence development produce results and help with the commitment of the workforce. We will continue to support the culturally sensitive management of our supervisors by increasing supervisor training and providing support for the recruitment of foreigners and training in Finnish language for those with foreign background.
Responsibility at the core of business
The marginalisation of young people and people with foreign backgrounds is an unfortunate social phenomenon that affects us all. Getting to work provides a very important rhythm to people’s everyday life and is a part of their overall well-being. We provide many young people and people with foreign backgrounds with their first job, and the threshold for getting the first job should not be too high. As a strong working-life trainer, we make it possible to become proficient and develop careers in our service sectors.
For us, it is extremely important to cherish and develop an equal work community where it is possible to grow, train and work in accordance with your values, regardless of your gender, age, nationality, background or religion. Through family reunification, we offer work to other family members on an equal and non-discriminatory basis.
We have continued our everyday acts that are important both socially and locally. We helped the family members and loved ones of our Ukrainian employees to escape from Ukraine to Finland. We helped them to start their everyday lives here, e.g. by assisting in travel arrangements and getting an apartment as well as buying food and other everyday necessities. In Kajaani and the capital region, our employees arranged, for example, a collection of clothing, kitchen and other supplies as well as help in furnishing apartments and assembling furniture.
Our employees also helped with bank and tax card matters as well as in registering the children to schools and hobby clubs. We have also provided work for Ukrainians.
Under the Climate Commitment System of the Finnish Chamber of Commerce, we have committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2035. We have taken environmental matters into account in our procurements and solutions since the beginning, which is evident in our small carbon footprint. The most significant was the switch to 100% renewable electricity in the properties and on premises of SOL. In the future, we will only acquire cars that meet the Euro 6 emission standards. We are also using an incentive system that encourages our employees to travel by bike, on foot or by public transport.
SOL 30 years – today and the future
The year 2022 was our 30th year under the SOL brand. Our operations have grown and expanded by several indicators as well as geographically during these years. The aforementioned growth and development as well as our success shows that SOL has succeeded in serving its customers in a sunny and responsible way. Over the years, the development from a national company with a few services to an international multiservice group, while preserving the values and culture of the family company, are an indication of our successful choices and actions along the way. Our organisation, which has grown to nearly 15,000 people and serves our customers in thousands of locations, provides its own challenge as well as opportunities.
In 2022, our Group turnover was EUR 373 million (320 in 2022), with a year-on-year growth of nearly 17%. The Group’s operating result for the year was EUR 12.3 million (12.6), which was reasonable under the circumstances. The Group’s result was significantly affected by the large write-downs at the end of 2022 related to the divestment of Russian operations.
The combined turnover of the Group’s Finnish companies in 2022 was EUR 284 million (255). Finnish companies’ operating result was EUR 9.9 million (10.2). In particular, the cleaning business of SOL Palvelut and business of SOL Pesulapalvelut grew in relative terms from the previous year. The main reason is the improvement of the COVID-19 situation. Consultor Finland’s very positive development in terms of both turnover and result also continued.
The combined turnover of the Group’s foreign companies amounted to EUR 88.6 million (74.7) and the result weakened from the previous year by EUR 2.6 million (3.7). The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began in February 2022, led to the decision to withdraw from business in Russia. During summer 2022, we were able to sell our Russian laundry operations, and the process of exiting the cleaning business progressed, with the aim of completing the final exit of the Russian operations in 2023.
Looking forward, we will continue to focus on profitable growth in several of the Group’s companies, while keeping profitability as a priority. Responsibility will also be strongly involved in planning for the future.
Wishing you a sunshine summer,
Chairman of the Board
SOL Palvelut Oy