Innovation for here and now
Södra’s latest financial results reflect the fact that 2017 was a very buoyant market for softwood pulp and exchange rates worked in our favour, too. The fact that we are in a strong financial position can reassure you our customers of our stability and reliability at all stages of the cycle. It also means we can invest in innovation which is directly relevant to your daily challenges.
While it was a year of strong demand and therefore financial stability, 2017 was not without its challenges. We learned a lot in the months that followed the startup of Värö’s new line and appreciate the patience and understanding of our customers during the more difficult moments. It was a steep learning curve, but we have highly skilled engineers to build on what is now a technically very strong position at the mill.
There is a fine balance between providing cost-effective and tailor-made pulps, but we already have an extremely broad range of options: We pride ourselves on being able to find the right pulp for your needs, no matter how stringent your demands and we are working on the introduction of further premium grades which will give us an exceptionally wide portfolio.
Expansion is always our long-term goal, since our customers are growing globally, and we need to grow with them. But this year will be about consolidation and continuing our efforts to optimise the significant investments of the last few years. The virtually new line at Värö has huge potential and we really want to make the most of the new equipment, so that we can add value to your processes and products. Our focus is on bringing out the best of the mill with further fine tuning and delivering the most consistent, premium pulp qualities.
Finding innovative, sustainable solutions to fossil-fuel based products remains on our agenda, but this work runs parallel to the ongoing mission of optimising our existing products for today's markets, not just for the future. Unsung innovation is what it’s really about here. It rarely makes the headlines, but it's often during the small incremental steps of fine tuning that the beginnings of a new idea or premium grade emerge.
The results of our latest customer survey are now in and we are analysing them carefully in an effort to meet your needs even more closely. Once again, on-time delivery of consistently high-quality pulp emerged as the top priority for customers, with sustainability issues such as certified wood not far behind. More detail on our findings will follow soon. But until then, we will continue to work to deliver to your expectations, on time, every time.
Gunilla Saltin, President of Södra Cell