KAMIC Karlstad Automatic AB (KAMIC Karlstad) is founded. Its operations consist of manufacturing of automation equipment, trading and agency sales.
The automation business is sold.
The company focuses on trading and agency operations.
KAMIC Karlstad is acquired by the Amplex group.
The subsidiary KAMIC Skärmningsteknik AB is merged into KAMIC Karlstad.
KAMIC Group is formed by a number of companies from the Amplex group, including KAMIC Karlstad and Microsec AB. A new sales office is opened in Spånga, Sweden. Fin-Alert Electronics Oy is acquired.
Bromanco Björkgren AB is acquired.
Acquisition of Tibe Interconnect AB, Dalma Electronics AB and Juha-Elektro Oy. The business operations of LTG-Keifor are also acquired.
Acquisition of Inteno Broadband Technology AB. KAMIC Karlstad opens a a sales office in Stockholm and expands its office and warehouse facility in Karlstad, Sweden.
Acquisition of Marelco-Vinga AB (which later changed name to Vinga Ljus AB). The Group opens a sales office in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Opening of a showroom and sales office in Malmö, Sweden.
The operations of Vinga Ljus are legally transferred to KAMIC Karlstad. A new central warehouse is opened. Acquisition of the Polish cable manufacturer Iconex.
ElektronikGruppen BK AB is acquired following a public tender offer on the stock exchange, which triples the Group’s sales and expands its geographical presence to 11 countries in Northern Europe and Asia. Fredrik Celsing, President and CEO of ElektronikGruppen, is appointed as President and CEO of the new KAMIC Group, which is formally established in August.
The year is characterized by integration activities and structural efficiency improvements in the new and larger Group. At the same time, significant weakening in the Nordic industrial market has a negative impact on sales and forces the Group to take rationalization measures.
The Production Technology business area opens a training centre in India and can thus offer advanced process training for the fast-growing regional electronics industry. The Home & Store business area strengthens its sales organization for the European market. In the Installation business area, several companies and operations are gathered in new, larger facilities in Karlstad and a new central warehouse for the Nordic market is established. The Broadband business area continues its focus on enhancing the offering, among other things through the launch of a in-house developed software product.
The weak business climate lingers at the beginning of the year, but starting from summer we see a successive increase in demand in most markets. However, the pace of recovery is slow and varies between customer segments. The Broadband business area is a clearly positive exception, which shows strong development throughout the year with its attractive portfolio of broadband gateways. During the spring they also acquire a software company whose solutions for cloud-based application platforms strengthen the offering for the digital home.
An additional acquisition is made in the Magnetics business area, which thereby gains a high quality offering of amplifiers for the audio industry under the Anaview brand. Through these acquisitions, Belgium and the USA are added to KAMIC Group’s operating countries, which now amount to 13.
For the Installation business area, which is active primarily in the Swedish construction and building services engineering market, the business situation remains tough. The Electronics business area achieves good volume growth during the autumn, above all due to strong development in the memory business. Sales are also rising in the Production Technology business area as the customers’ willingness to invest returns.
During the year, the Group conducts several relocation and co-location projects. In Sweden, the Parent Company and the companies ETAL and Scanditron move to Spånga, where KAMIC Installation is already situated. In Finland, four business areas are gathered at the same address in Helsinki. Also in Denmark operations are moving to more suitable premises.
Several business areas experience a slow start to the year with some decline in demand and margins. In the Broadband business area the trend remains positive, however, and there is considerable interest among Nordic and European broadband operators in the new, proprietary software platform Iopsys. The weaker overall development for the Group leads to a comprehensive profitability improvement programme. The first effects are soon apparent with a steady recovery in most businesses. Sales volumes and profit margins increase and in the second half of the year a number of aggressive marketing campaigns and recruitments, primarily in the Nordic countries, can be carried out.
Additional events during the year. Division Networks within the Installation business area is sold. The balance sheet is further strengthened through the divestment of the Group’s office property in Vällingby, Sweden. Scanditron (Production Technology business area) starts stencil production in South Africa through a joint venture, making South Africa the fourteenth country in which the Group has operations and marking the first establishment on the African continent.
A good year in many ways, with positive sales development in several business areas and strategic advances in the right direction. The Group’s earnings improve and the organisation is strengthened through a number of recruitments. These include Petra Freimark Thell as new CFO for the Group and Elisabet Österlund as new Head of the Electronics business area. Through the sale of the Group’s office property in Helsinki, Finland, the level of debt is further reduced.
For the Broadband business area, the strong trend continues with solid sales growth and successful product launches. Based on the Iopsys platform, the already close collaboration with Telia is further intensified in Telia’s major eHealth venture. Inteno’s head office and warehouse are moved to Sätra, outside Stockholm.
In the Installation business area, an in-depth strategic realignement is carried out to reverse a protracted downward trend in the Light & Safety division. With the support of a new product and sales organisation, positive effects are increasingly visible in the second half of the year.
The Electronics business area also works with a focus on boosting the areas where development has been weaker. Changes are made in the sales organisation and the logistics function is reinforced. EG Electronics’ head office is moved to Spånga, where KAMIC Group now gathers four of five business areas.
The Production Technology business area successfully defends its position in the market and launches a number of own-brand products and a new web shop.
The Magnetics business area takes successful measures to widen its customer base and achieves clearly satisfactory results for the full year. A new factory opens in Sri Lanka, which provides greater flexibility anc capacity in production.
The single most notable event during the year is the sale of the Inteno group to the investment fund Accent Equity, a transaction that is announced in April. Through the sale, KAMIC Group significantly strengthens its equity to assets ratio and thereby increases its freedom of action for future mergeres and acquisitions. After the sale, the Group consists of four business areas: Installation, Electronics, Production Technology and Magnetics.
For Installation, the market is stable overall and sales are up slightly. The new strategy in the Light & Safety division, with a sharper focus on a more limited number of product areas, gains increasing momentum in pace with the development and launch of new products. In the Group’s own cable factory in Poland, capacity utilisation is high and production volumes are rising steadily.
In Electronics, the year’s most remarkable feat is powerful volume growth in the business area’s memory trading business. Among the other areas of operation, development is more varied with both positive and less positive elements. Ongoing adaptions are made in the organisation to shorten decision-making paths and reinforce sales functions.
For Production Technology, the market for equipment is initially hesitant but improves gradually. Sales of stencils and consumables also show a positive trend and the business area continues to expand its product range with own brands. However, stencil operations in South Africa have failed to reach the anticipated volumes and KAMIC Group chooses to withdraw from this joint venture.
The Magnetics business area shows favourable development that is fuelled by high demand from customers in the telecom sector. The new factory in Sri Lanka is fine-tuned and, together with the other production units in Sri Lanka and Estonia, forms a stable platform for efficiency and flexibility in the business area’s operations.
The favourable industrial cycle continues in most markets and the Group’s total sales are increasing. Volume growth is especially strong in the Electronics business area which can be credited partly to continued success with memory trading deals and also good sales development to the automotive industry.
The Installation business area is also successful with its more focused offering within lighting and emergency lighting. Other product areas showing good growth include perimeter protection solutions and electrical insulation.
Production Technology is winning a number of major machine projects at the same time as the business area benefits from a good base of sales of stencils and consumables.
Magnetics shows stable development during the first half of the year, but then has a tougher time with falling demand from several of the business area’s customers in the telecom sector. However, with a flexible production apparatus and clear cost awareness, it is possible to react quickly and adjust to the changed market situation.
During the year, KAMIC Group makes two company acquisitions. In June, the Group acquires Grandchain Ltd., a specialist manufacturer of magnetic components in England which, among other things, strengthens development resources in the Magnetics business area. Shortly afterwards the Group acquires Instrumentcompaniet AS, a leading supplier in Norway of measurement instrument for industrial use. Instrumentcompaniet continues to be run as a separate company but is organisationally part of the Installation business area.
The market climate remains positive and most operations in the Group show growth and good earnings development.
The Magnetics business area benefits from ever improving demand from the telecom sector while sales to other customer groups are also increasing. The business area’s position in the UK is strengthened through the acquisition of SIGA Electronics, a leading British manufacturer of transformers and inductors.
Production Technology is also increasing volumes and above all notes a growing willingness to invest in Finland. Machine sales are however good in all markets with sales of stencils, spare parts and consumables going according to plan. During the year, the business area’s operations expanded through the acquisition of STAC, a Swedish specialist in equipment for cable production.
Electronics’ sales continue at a stable and good level. Deals within RF and microwave products are showing particularly strong development. The electromechanical offering is consolidated in the Industry business unit and the new unit gets off to a good start.
In Installation things are somewhat slower in the lighting area where there is tough price pressure in the market. At the same time, the business area shows positive volume development in the new Evacuation Tech unit where among other things the offering within EMS and UPS is now consolidated, as well as in Instrumentcompaniet in Norway.
The majority of companies in the group experience a continuing stable business climate with good demand. In the UK, the Brexit situation is worrying for some companies but is not causing any major disruption. Organic growth and somewhat stronger margins mean that the group as a whole showed good earnings development. Business area Production Technology, which delivered a number of large machine projects, is especially strong as is recently acquired STAC which developed beyond expectations.
During the year a number of company acquisitions were made which broaden and strengthen the business areas’ respective operations:
- In January, British Distec, a supplier of advanced display solutions, was acquired. Now part of the Electronics business area.
- In April, Swedish Robotteknik Vetlanda, a specialist in industrial automation. Part of the Production Technology business area.
- In May, Swedish Swetouch, which delivers customised solutions for control panels and enclosures for HMI applications. Part of the Electronics business area.
- In July, Swedish Leeroy Digital Signage (later renamed to Starbit), which complements the Electronics business area’s offering in digital communication services.
- In September, Norwegian Eltavler, which designs and builds complete power systems and electrical panels. Now part of the Installation business area.
Other highlights during the year include EG Electronics opening an operation in the USA and Scanditron celebrating 50 years as a company.
The Covid-19 pandemic had a global impact and affected everybody, both individuals and companies. The effects for KAMIC Group were split since willingness to invest in more capital-intensive machine projects fell while demand for components and systems continued to be strong especially from customers in communication technology and medical technology. Clear differences could also be seen geographically with our operations in the UK and Poland most affected by the pandemic while the effect in the Nordic countries was clearly milder.
Overall volumes held up well and in those companies where volumes fell swift action was taken to adapt costs. A combination of long-term measures and short-term cost reductions in the form of government-subsidised furloughing as well as reduced travel costs had a good effect on operating margins and profitability for the group as a whole strengthened compared with the previous year.
With the exception of the spring, when uncertainty about the pandemic was at its height, we continued to be active with acquisitions. At the start of the year we acquired Liftsafe Group with 130 employees in Canada and the US which supplies lifting equipment and safety equipment to industry. In May, a smaller acquisition was WEAB, a manufacturer of advanced electronics based in Torsby, Sweden. Subsequently we acquired two Norwegian companies, Langsjøen Elektro and Moss Automation, which are both specialists in solutions within encapsulated electrical technology such as distribution boards and panels.
Despite the ongoing Covid pandemic with tough restrictions for workplaces and travel, underlying demand was strong in the most important customer segments and geographies. Increased component shortages and bottlenecks in transport further intensified demand since many customers built up buffer stocks. The business areas’ order books therefore strengthened significantly in the second half of the year. High volumes, well-managed control of costs and good handling of price increases from suppliers created a strong result especially in the business areas Electronics, Magnetics and Production Technology.
Two new business area heads took up their positions during the year, Stefan Bengtsson at Electronics and Johan Karlsson at Installation.
Company acquisitions during the year
Eltecno – encapsulated electrical technology in Vellinge, Sweden.
Talema Group – development and production of magnetic components. Sales offices and production facilities in Ireland, USA, Germany, Czech Republic and India.
Elproman – special cables and connectors shipped from Segeltorp, just south of Stockholm.
Electro Design – manufacturer of automation equipment for printed circuit board production. Operations in Gimo, Sweden.
Group structure clean-up
With the aim of improving clarity some changes were made to the group structure of KAMIC Group and our two sister groups, Amplex and Mindelon. KAMIC Group now consists of all the electrical and electronics companies in the sphere, Amplex is home for all companies with operations in materials handling, lifting and industrial safety and the third group, Mindelon, gathers all companies within Retail Solutions.