Take-off strategy for growth
AFRY's mission is to accelerate the transition towards a sustainable society and our ambition is to be a European leader in sustainable engineering, design and advisory with a global reach. The strategy describes how we get there and is based on five pillars.
- 1. Drive growth in targeted geographies - organic and acquired
- 2. Target transforming segments that show secular growth
- 3. Lead in industrial digitalisation in the Nordics
- 4. Lead in sustainable solutions to drive impact and growth
- 5. Deliver best in class operations to drive growth and scalability
Drive growth in targeted geographies – organic and acquired
We will accelerate organic growth in core markets by continuously adapting and developing our offering, as well as focusing on clients and areas which are showing strong growth. This will be done by attracting and retaining talent and through a ramped-up acquisition agenda.
AFRY is aiming for a position as a European leader in sustainable engineering, design and advisory with a global reach. Over the past few years and helped by the acquisition of Pöyry, AFRY has evolved from a Swedish company to a leading player in the Nordic countries with a strong position in international niches.
Our core markets are Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Switzerland which account for circa 80 percent of our net sales. We will accelerate organic growth in these markets as well as the segments where we have the strongest positions internationally, specificially in the bioindustry and the energy sectors, by attracting and retaining the right talent.
To strengthen the organic growth we will further develop the way we work with key accounts and our key account managers. This represent an opportunity to further deepen the relationships with our most important clients.
We have accelerated our acquisition agenda and we see acquisitions as a potential to strengthening our geographic position as well as increasing our market share in selected segments. A total of 18 acquisitions have been announced during 2021 with annual net sales of SEK 1.2 billion. The majority of the acquisitions during the year have strong digital offerings. Our goal is to grow 10 percent annually through organic growth and bolt on acquisitions.
Target transforming segments that show secular growth
Our society is currently in the midst of several ongoing and major transitions, driven by digitalisation and a demand for more sustainable solutions.
AFRY will focus on segments that show secular growth; e.g. Infrastructure, Food & Life Science, Clean Energy and Bioindustry, which accounts for circa 70 percent of AFRY’s net sales. We aim to take leading positions in these segments and will focus on assignments where we have a strong position in the customer value chains.
Several examples of the major transitions can be found in our home market, for example in Northern Sweden, with the significant investments in battery manufacturing, green steel, hydrogen and renewable energy. We will organise around some of the key priority growth segments and collect dedicated expertise from across our company to support our clients.
The infrastructure sector is characterised by strong, extensive shifts over the coming years, demanding new solutions, as cities and society are moving in a more sustainable direction.
Public and private investments within infrastructure are driven by political ambitions of transitioning to more sustainable means of travel, and to meet a need for modernisation.
Trends within transport infrastructure are changed mobility needs and behaviour, electrification of vehicles, decarbonisation and increased demand for sustainable transportation solutions.
The real estate market is driven by trends such as digitalisation, the green transition, modernisation, urbanisation and flexibility to allow for broader use of office space.
Food & Life Science
The Food and Life Science sectors have demonstrated stable growth for many years. This is expected to continue, driven by an increasing, ageing and wealthier population.
There is also a transformation driven by personalised medicine, IoT enabled medical devices and digitalisation, as well as the emergence of new and rapidly growing intersections, such as functional food, preventive health, eHealth and plant based food.
A common denominator for each of these segments is that they are governed by strict regulations. Understanding these regulations require deep sector knowledge and how to operate within their boundaries is needed to participate in the markets.
The European Green Deal is a set of EU initiatives to become the first climate neutral continent by 2050 and underlines the need for global decarbonisation, which will require a significant transition of the energy sector.
Fossil fuelled power generation needs to be replaced by clean energy sources, generating significant investment and growth in the clean energy sector in the coming decades. Driving this growth is an increasing demand for energy derived from zero-emissions sources, such as offshore and onshore wind, solar, hydro, nuclear energy and energy efficiency measures as well as developing technologies such as small nuclear reactors, hydrogen and carbon removal.
Global environmental issues and renewable intermittency will increase demand for waste-to-energy, bioenergy, HVDC interconnectors and energy storage systems such as hydro pumped storage and batteries. Digitalisation will be a key enabler of resource efficiency, decorbonisation and market integration of intermittent renewable sources.
The biotransition sets the frame for fossil based materials replacement with bio based materials.
Traditional pulp and paper, chemicals and oil refining companies are transforming towards biorefineries where sustainability, resource efficiency and new resource innovations will play a key role.
Material transition will require new solutions in material use and new bio based materials are continuously developed towards commercial solutions. The entire value chain, from forest to end user markets need to get digitalised and fully integrated in one plattform. The biotransition offers endless opportunities but also requires increased investments and development from the industry sector.
Lead in industrial digitalisation in the Nordics
AFRY is a driver of industrial digitalisation in our core sectors where we are market leaders and can leverage our deep expertise with digital skills and technologies. Now we are increasing our capability in order to serve our clients’ needs to strengthen their competitiveness and because we see that digitalisation is one of the most powerful and universal tools we have to tackle climate change and reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.
AFRY has a unique combination of deep sector knowledge, business skills and digital capabilities, making AFRY well positioned to offer digital solutions and services to industrial players. Therefore, we aim to be a market leader in applying digital solutions and services in our core sectors and significantly increase our revenues from digital offerings.
A new division, AFRY X, was established in January 2022 to accelerate AFRY's digital business. We are concentrating a significant part of our digital resources and capabilities into the division to gain strength in order to be better enabled to support our clients to meet their digital journeys. In addition to continuing growing our software product business we will further develop and strengthen our digital services. Focus areas will be Industrial IoT, Industrial AI, Cyber Security, Service Design and SaaS solutions in combination with significant capabilities in software development.
Lead in sustainable solutions to drive impact and growth
We are facing many global challenges at the same time, in health, economics, the climate and an increasing pressure on the planetary boundaries such as biodiversity. There is broad awareness that the recovery both during and after the Covid-19-pandemic must be socioeconomically sustainable and focus on ensuring that the rise in the global average temperature does not exceed 1.5ºC.
AFRY holds a unique position and will take a leading role as an enabler in the transition to a sustainable society based on our solutions, our global presence and our ambitions.
Sustainability is an integral part of our business strategy and our strong commitment is reflected in our mission to accelerate the transition towards a sustainable society. We aim to lead in sustainable solutions to drive impact and growth, and to help our clients achieve their sustainability goals.
AFRY acknowledges the complexity of dealing with the global challenges and our sustainability approach encompasses a holistic view, the need to address both positive and negative impacts as well as the value chain perspective.
Deliver best in class operations to drive growth and scalability
“Best in class operations” aims to create an efficient and scalable platform to enable efficient cross-sales, improved quality and better usage of information.
AFRY has established a scalable platform to enable efficient cross-sales, improved quality and better usage of information. The focus is also to benefit from efficient transactional service centres, leverage of scale in core countries and increase the use of excellence centres. The goal is to create a platform that is scalable and that grows relatively slower than sales.
The ongoing implementation during 2021 of a modern system landscape is vitally important for AFRY’s development, both in terms of driving growth and enabling sustained efficiency enhancements and integration of joint processes.
The implementation of our new ERP system is progressing according to plan and is being rolled out in stages. In addition, we have successfully implemented a modern CRM and HR system with global coverage. With an improved CRM-system, we create new opportunities for measuring and analysing customer satisfaction, which is one of our sustainability targets.
For the delivery of our services to clients we will increase the use of design and engineering centres in offshore and nearshore locations, for example in Eastern Europe and Asia. This will allow us to secure access to highly qualified people, and at the same time to a competitive cost level. The scaling will be achieved primarily by growing in existing AFRY locations.
Annual and Sustainability Report 2021