Viva Las Vegas
CONEXPO, held every three years, this time from March 7-11, attracted some 128,000 visitors looking to find out more about the offering and the latest industry news of over 2,000 exhibitors. Big events like these are of interest also to institutional investors as it’s an opportunity to visit the stands of several interesting companies in one go sensing the mood and to hear management’s latest insight about business development and the future outlook.
Over the course of two days, Metso’s stand greeted investment groups hosted by six brokerage firms. Markku Simula, Eeva Sipilä and Jose Perez gave insight into the development of the Aggregates business, new products, outlook, and other Metso-related issues that investors are interested in. The guests seemed pleased with the meetings and pointed out that Metso is doing the right things to develop business and to win market shares. For Metso, the highlight of the tradeshow was the launch of the new MX cone crusher. Overall, the event was a success and Metso stood out very well. It was particularly pleasing to see the that construction and aggregates companies have an optimistic view of their industry’s future.
Important day for shareholders
Metso’s Annual General Meeting was held in Helsinki on Thursday, March 23. Careful preparations for the AGM had been under way since autumn, and there were more than 40 Metso officials on hand to serve the shareholders. Prior to the meeting, visitors had an opportunity to get to know more in detail Metso’s products and services in the mini exhibition area designed specifically for the event. Shareholders were especially interested in the small-scale model of a Lokotrack crusher, the iPad-controlled valve demo, and a safety game.
Chairman of the Board Mikael Lilius opened the Annual General Meeting, introduced the Board members, and gave a brief presentation on the most important themes of the Board’s work in 2016. His speech underscored the importance of Metso’s digital transformation and effective successor planning.
President and CEO Matti Kähkönen’s review presented the main outlines for 2016 and shed light on Metso’s future outlook. 2016 was just as challenging as previous years, but Metso has fared well in the competition particularly because of the resilient services business. Orders exceeded sales and especially positive development was seen in the Aggregates business in 2016.
Kähkönen, too, emphasized the importance of successor planning and the ongoing digital transformation at Metso. Kähkönen pointed out that digitalization means different things to different people and companies: For Metso, it means business-driven digital development work within the business lines, including better utilization of analytics, study of e-commerce opportunities, and development of project business tools. All this is supported by Metso’s light and agile digital office. Additionally, Kähkönen reviewed the 2016 key strategic achievements and reminded the audience of how sustainability and safety aspects continue to be high on Metso’s agenda. Monitoring supply chain responsibility is just as important as reducing its own water consumption. Supply chain responsibility is an issue of importance to Metso, and the company doesn’t hesitate to change a supplier if there is suspicion of unethical conduct. Kähkönen also presented results from the employee survey that showed 85% of Metso’s employees being strongly committed to Metso and motivated in their work. Kähkönen ended his speech by reminding shareholders about Metso’s vision to be the best choice for sustainable processing and flow of natural resources. The bright spots seen in the market, the commitment to digital transformation and sustainable operations, and the motivated personnel are a promise to Metso of many good years going forward.
President and CEO Kähkönen’s speech was highly praised, and the questions presented after the speech touched on the themes emphasized during the presentation also: e.g. how Metso’s customers allow the equipment and service supplier access to the valuable digital data they have collected, and how closely are customer incident frequency levels followed by Metso?
The President and CEO’s review was followed by the Board’s proposals according to the agenda, and the meeting ended with a coffee reception about 90 minutes after it had started.
We thank all Metso shareholders and officials for a successful meeting. Soon it will be time to start preparations for the next meeting! But before that, watch highlights of the President and CEO’s review in the beginning of this blog post.