Sustainable growth from generation to generation

Creating shareholder value remains the basis of all operations

Sustainable growth from generation to generation

2019 was a year of two parts in Aspo’s business operations. On one hand, the Group’s net sales reached a new record, supported by investments, and cash flow from operations was very strong. On the other, the market situation proved more challenging than expected, and we fell short of our profitability goals.

Key figures 2019

In 2019, our net sales were at a record high of EUR 588 million and our operating profit improved slightly to EUR 21.1 million. Net cash from operating activities developed very positively, reaching a new record of EUR 52.5 million in 2019, of which the positive effect of the adoption of the IFRS 16 standard was approximately EUR 14 million. Strong net cash from operating activities plays a key role in increasing our distributed dividends, reducing our indebtedness and carrying out future investments.

Net sales

587.7 M€

+8.7 %
540.9 M€ (2018)

Net sales by segment

Net sales by segment. ESL Shipping 175.0M€ | Leipurin 115.7M€ | Telko 297.0M€

Operating profit by segment

Operating profit by segment. Telko 8.0M€ | ESL Shipping 14.6M€ | Leipurin 3.0M€ | Other operations -4.5M€

Operating profit

21.1 M€

+2.4 %
20.6 M€ (2018)

Net Sales by market area

Net Sales by market area | Finland 195.1M€ | Scandinavia 84.8M€ | Baltia 57.9M€ | Russia, other IVY-countries+ Ukraine 171.2M€ | Other countries 78.7M€

Personnel by segment

Personnel by segment: ESL Shipping 337 | Leipurin 297 | Telko 330 | Other activity 27

Aspo Group’s financial targets

Operating profit of 6 %

Average return on equity of over 20 %

Gearing of up to 130 %

Aspo aims to reach these financial targets in


Now that we have completed our major investments, we will focus next on improving our profitability in all our business operations.

Net cash from operating activities at a record high in 2019 52.5 M€

Board of Directors’ goal remains to annually increase the amount of dividends.

HubSpot Video

Sustainable value creation

As a conglomerate, Aspo’s different businesses partly have highly different focus areas in their responsibility. ESL Shipping has actively reduced its environmental footprint by minimizing its fleet’s emissions and energy consumption. The operations of Leipurin focus on product safety, and the reduction of waste and wastage. Product safety is also essential for Telko, which acts as a link between industrial customers and international raw material manufacturers. However, Aspo’s Code of Conduct and responsibility priorities steer all operations at Group level.


un-global-compact FIBS

Five-star environmental technology

In April 2019, MS Viikki and MS Haaga, ESL Shipping’s dry bulk cargo vessels fueled by liquefied natural gas (LNG), received the highest five-star environmental label from Clean Shipping Index (CSI).

The environmental footprint of these vessels is reduced by many innovative solutions that aim to minimize emissions and energy consumption. The use of liquefied natural gas and powerful engines significantly reduces emissions into the atmosphere. The advanced ballast treatment system and the recovery system for water used to wash the cargo space minimize emissions into the sea.

Sustainability audits provide information about supply chains

Telko started to plan a pilot project for sustainability audits in 2018, and the first on-site audits were conducted in Russia and China in early 2019. These audits were based on a frame of reference built with an external consulting company, based on Telko’s Code of Conduct for suppliers.

During the audits, Telko’s representatives and external consultants interviewed representatives of suppliers regarding sustainability and responsibility, and discussed Telko’s requirements for human rights, environmental responsibility and safety guidelines, for example. Facilities and production plants were also audited.

Guidelines for responsible business

Aspo Group started to develop its compliance program in 2019. The purpose was to develop business processes, internal guidelines, as well as documentation and reporting. The ultimate goal was to raise the bar in compliance-related matters.

“The purpose of the compliance program is to ensure that we always abide by laws, the company’s principles and operating models, and the Group’s values. As a result, we can reduce business risks, protect Aspo’s reputation and meet our stakeholders’ expectations. Everything revolves around responsible and ethical operations,” says Toni Santalahti, director of legal affairs and compliance officer at Aspo Group.

Sustainably produced plastic raw materials

In August 2019, Telko was the first Finnish distributor to receive the ISCC Plus certificate. International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) promotes sustainable solutions in supply chains. ISCC Plus is a certificate granted for bio-based plastics. Accordingly, Telko can provide plastic raw materials produced in line with mass balance principles for its customers.

The granting of this certificate to Telko is a concrete indication of Telko’s strategy to invest in sustainable and eco-friendly alternate raw materials. Industrial sectors that use plastic raw materials require alternatives for conventional raw materials in western markets, in particular, and seek to find eco-friendlier solutions, and Telko aims to respond to this demand.