Technology industry wants to grow

Announcement
Situation and Outlook 4/2016: Technology industry companies are well equipped to succeed as long as their business environment is competitive. The industry turnover is expected to remain in the region of EUR 70 billion in 2016. Finnish marine industries are an example of a successful technology industry sector. Saalasti Oy invests in growth and renewal.

The turnover of technology industry companies in Finland totalled slightly more than EUR 68 billion in 2015. In the January-July period of this year, turnover was two per cent lower than twelve months earlier. Exports of goods shrank by eight per cent.

The companies that took part in the Federation of Finnish Technology Industries’ survey of order books reported that the monetary value of new orders between July and September was six per cent lower than in the corresponding period in 2015, but slightly higher than in the preceding quarter.

At the end of September, the value of order books was slightly lower than in the corresponding period last year, but at the same level as in end of June.

“Judging from order trends in recent months, the turnover of technology industry companies in the coming winter months is expected to remain at a similar level to that in the corresponding period last year,” says Jorma Turunen, the CEO of the Federation of Finnish Technology Industries.

21,000 new recruitments in early 2016 

The number of personnel employed by technology industry companies in Finland fell slightly between January and September. Personnel declined by some two per cent, or slightly more than 5,000 employees from the average number in 2015. The total number of personnel was 283,000 at the end of September.

Despite the overall reduction in personnel strength, technology industry companies recruited more than 21,000 new employees in the January–September period. Two-thirds of these employees were hired by SMEs. One third was hired by companies with at least 250 employees. Some companies were increasing their personnel, while others were hiring new employees due to retirements and employee turnover.

Finnish marine industry makes waves

Shipbuilding is experiencing a strong boost in Finland. While the large ship orders received early this autumn are not yet reflected in the technology industry order statistics, they will have a long-term impact once they are.

“Shipyards work with networks, which create jobs throughout the country. As much as more than 80 per cent of a large cruise ship is built outside the shipyard gates,” Turunen says.

Finnish marine industry employs almost 30,000 people directly. A significant proportion works in SMEs: almost 900 companies in Finland are classified as operating wholly or partially in the marine industry.

Growth Collective Finland generates ideas and growth

“When the bar is set high, participants are motivated and work with great passion,” Laura Juvonen, Director at the Federation of Finnish Technology Industries, remarks about several ongoing initiatives. This is equally valid for leading-edge universities and students as well as to the Growth Collective Finland and its members.

The collective already has 187 medium-sized member companies pursuing growth. They seek tangible growth with initiatives that will generate close to EUR 12 billion of turnover by 2020.

“Figures like this are not possible by simply doing more of the same. Instead, we will try new things and take risks,” says Timo Saalasti, Chairman of the Board of Saalasti Oy.

Exports are vital for Finland

Finland’s economy is weak because exports are not resuming growth. At current rates, our capital stock will suffer as the volume of new investments falls below the reduction in capital.

“A corporate taxation model that provides incentives for investments would stimulate investment activity. It would also have a significant positive impact on employment,” Turunen says.

Competence is the key factor. We need to invest in education and innovation to lay the groundwork for Finland’s future success.

“The creation of an export-led labour market model will test the labour market’s capacity to reform itself. We can only hope that the end result is a situation that supports competitiveness, growth and employment,” says Turunen.

Further information:
Jorma Turunen, CEO, tel. +358 (0)500 445444
Jukka Palokangas, Chief Economist, tel. +358 (0)40 750 5469
Timo Saalasti, Chairman of the Board, Saalasti Oy, tel. +358 (0)400 412 100

The Report (pdf)