Fiskars Oyj Abp
Company typeJulkinen osakeyhtiö
Nasdaq HelsinkiFSKRS
IndustryConsumer products
Founded1649; 375 years ago (1649)
Headquarters,
Key people
  • Paul Ehrnrooth (Chairman)
  • Nathalie Ahlström (CEO)
ProductsScissors, gardening tools, kitchenware, glassware, ceramics, knives, outdoor equipment
RevenueIncrease 1.25 billion (2022)[1]
Decrease €151 million (2022)[1]
Increase €98.2 million (2022)[1]
Total assetsIncrease €1.59 billion (2022)[1]
Total equityIncrease €835.6 million (2022)[1]
Number of employees
6,595 (end 2022)[1]
Subsidiaries
Websitewww.fiskarsgroup.com
Footnotes / references
[2]

Fiskars Group (also known as Fiskars Oyj Abp or Fiskars Corporation, and until 1998 as Fiskars Oy Ab) is a Finnish group company. The company has its roots in the village of Fiskars (in the city of Raseborg, about 100 kilometres (62 mi) west of Helsinki), where it was founded in 1649. The oldest business still operating in Finland,[3] its global headquarters are in Keilaniemi, Espoo, Finland.[4] It is one of the oldest companies in the world.

The company has operated in various sectors over the decades. Fiskars was formerly best known for its orange-handled scissors, which were created in 1967. More than one billion were sold by 2010.[5] In 2023, its products related to the home, outdoor activities, interior decoration and table setting. Its key brands today include Fiskars, Iittala, Royal Copenhagen, Wedgwood and Waterford.[5][6]

History

The early stages (1649–1915)

Fiskars village

Fiskars Corporation was formed in 1649, when a merchant named Peter Thorwöste was given a charter by Christina, Queen of Sweden, to establish a blast furnace and forging operation in the small village of Fiskars; however, he was not permitted to produce cannons.[7] This makes it the oldest privately owned company in Finland.[8] From the outset, the company manufactured products for consumers, industry and agriculture. The furnace produced pig iron that was shingled to wrought iron in the finery forges powered by water wheels. In the early years, Fiskars made nails, wire, hoes, and metal-reinforced wheels from wrought iron.

In the late eighteenth century, copper was discovered in nearby Orijärvi, and thus the focus of production shifted to processing copper from the Orijärvi mine. For almost 80 years, Fiskars' main source of business came from copper, but by the nineteenth century there was little copper left in Orijärvi.[9]

In 1822, the apothecary Johan Jacob Julin (later, von Julin) from Turku acquired the Fiskars ironworks and village. During this time, the ironworks were actively developed and production focused on processing iron. In 1832, the first cutlery mill in Finland was founded in Fiskars, with the production range increasing from knives to include forks and scissors.

After Julin's death, the company became a limited liability company called Fiskars Aktiebolag in 1883.[10] Von Julin’s youngest son, Albert von Julin, took over the management of the company.[11]

In 1915, Fiskars was listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange.[9][12]

1916–1999

A pair of scissors with orange plastic handles, the best-known product by Fiskars

Plow production was at its peak in the 1930s, with over a million plows made. The Fiskars Kymppi plow was the most famous of these.[13]

Fiskars made many plastic products in the 1960s, including the first ergonomic plastic-handled scissors the company is perhaps best known for.[14] The scissors were designed by Olof Bäckström, and the first pair was manufactured in 1967. There were prototypes with handles in black, red, green and orange. After an internal vote at Fiskars, the orange color was chosen.[9] Between 1967 and 2010, over a billion units of these orange-handled scissors were sold.[5] The design has changed slightly over time, and in addition to orange, the scissors are manufactured in other colors as well.[15]

In 1972, Fiskars was the first company in the world to start mass-production of left-handed ergonomic scissors, which can be identified by their red color.[16]

In 1977, Fiskars founded a scissors factory in the United States to provide a basis for international trade and further expansion.

2000–

Fiskars Orange was officially registered as a trademark in Finland in 2003 and in the US in 2007.[9]

Fiskars acquired Iittala Group in the summer of 2007; the value of the transaction was EUR 230 million. The brands owned by Iittala were Arabia, Hackman, BodaNova, Höganäs Keramik, Rörstrand and Høyang-Polaris. With the acquisition, Fiskars became the Nordic market leader in home products.[17] Fiskars also acquired French Leborgne, which strengthened the company's position in the kitchenware and tabletop categories, as well as the garden tools business.[18]

The acquisition of Royal Copenhagen A/S in 2013 complemented Fiskars' tableware offering with hand-painted porcelain. The company, founded by the Danish royalty in 1775, cost EUR 66 million. Royal Copenhagen was a leading brand in hand-painted porcelain in countries such as Japan.[19]

In 2015, Fiskars acquired the Waterford Wedgwood group of companies (WWRD) from a US private equity investor. The acquired brands included Waterford, Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, Royal Albert and Rogaška. The transaction was worth EUR 406 million, and it more than doubled Fiskars' net sales. The number of personnel also increased by almost 50%.[20] In September 2015, Fiskars celebrated 100 years of being listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki Stock Exchange, along with Nokia, Wärtsilä and UPM.[9] Fiskars recorded net sales of 1,105 million euros and an adjusted operating profit of 65.1 million euros. Cash flow from operating activities was 47.6 million euros.[21]

In 2016, Fiskars opened the Iittala & Arabia Design Center in Helsinki, which presents the story of the brands and organizes activities.[22] Fiskars recorded net sales of 1,204.6 million euros and an adjusted operating profit of 93.8 million euros. Cash flow from operating activities was 83.8 million euros.[23] As Finland's oldest company, Fiskars was honored to ring the closing bell of the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York's Times Square on the last trading day of the year on Friday, December 30, 2016. The ringing celebrated Finland's 100th anniversary.[24]

In early 2017, Fiskars Group abandoned its regional organizational structure and formed two strategic business units: Living and Functional. In addition to the English & Crystal Living business, the Scandinavian Living business was included in SBU Living. SBU Functional was formed of the Fiskars, Gerber and Gilmour brands and the Outdoor business.[25] An exhibition was held at the Helsinki Design Museum to mark the 50th anniversary of Fiskars' orange-handled scissors.[14][26]

In 2018, Fiskars' key brands were Fiskars, Gerber, Iittala, Royal Copenhagen, Waterford and Wedgwood.[27]

In 2019, Fiskars sold Leborgne.[28][29] Fiskars announced that it would release a collection of gardening clothing. The Fiskars by Maria Korkeila collection will be launched at the Pitti Uomo Fashion Fair in Italy in January 2020.[30]

In April, 2020 Fiskars Group President and CEO Jaana Tuominen stepped down from her position with CFO Sari Pohjonen appointed interim CEO.[31] Nathalie Ahlström started as the new President and CEO.[32]  The company's net sales had been on a downward trend and the company had not had a clear growth strategy. At the end of 2021, a new strategy was announced, focusing on five brands: Fiskars, Iittala, Royal Copenhagen, Gerber and Moomin Arabia. The company's main channel was its own channels: shops and online stores.[33]

In 2022, the divestment of the company’s American watering business, in other words the Gilmour and Nelson brands, was finished.[34] Fiskars Group's new head office was completed in spring in Espoo, between the Keilaniemi metro station and the Jokeri Light Rail terminal.[4] In October, Fiskars Group announced that it would make 10 million euros energy investment at the Iittala glass factory. As a result, the factory’s existing, natural gas powered furnaces will be replaced with electricity-powered furnaces. With this investment, the glass factory will reduce its annual carbon dioxide emissions by 74 per cent by the end of 2026.[35]

Business units, brands and products

The company operates as an integrated consumer goods company. Fiskars has three business areas: Vita, Terra and Crea. Business area Vita offers premium and luxury products for the tableware, drinkware and interior categories. Business Area Terra consists of the gardening, watering, and outdoor categories. Business Area Crea consists of the scissors and creating, as well as the cooking, categories, mainly with the Fiskars brand.[36]

Fiskars' main brands include:[6]

Fiskars’ products are available in more than 100 countries.[20] Fiskars headquarters are located at Fiskars Group campus in Keilaniemi, Espoo, Finland.[4]

Waterford Crystal Vase (geograph 3748920)
Military entrenching tool manufactured by Fiskars for the US Marines

In Finland, the garden tools are manufactured by Fiskars Brands Finland's factories in Pinjainen, near the Billnäs ironworks. The factories also manufacture other products, such as scissors and axes.[37] The majority of product development activities are also based in Pinjainen, but there is a separate product development unit in the United States as well.[38]

Other

Fiskars Group’s four primary reporting segments are Vita, Terra, Crea and Other. The Other segment contains the corporate headquarters, shared services and investments; Fiskars' other business includes real estate operations.[39] They include 15,000 hectares (37,000 acres) of land and forests and the maintenance of several properties. The company owns areas around Fiskars Village and in Hankoniemi, among others. In 2019, there were 3,700 hectares (9,100 acres) of water areas.[40]

Major owners

Fiskars shares are quoted on the Helsinki Stock Exchange. Among the major shareholders of the company are investment companies of the Ehrnrooth family.

Major shareholders (as of April 30, 2023):[41]

  1. Virala Oy Ab
  2. Turret Oy Ab
  3. Holdix Oy Ab
  4. Sophie von Julins Stiftelse
  5. Julius Tallberg Corp
  6. Gripenberg Gerda Margareta Lindsay Db
  7. Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company
  8. Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company
  9. The estate of Greta Von Julin
  10. Ehrnrooth Albert Carl Göran

Recognitions

The Finnish marketing magazine Markkinointi & Mainonta found that Fiskars' brands are regularly among Finland's most valued brands.[42][43][44][45]

Fiskars has won multiple Red Dot Design Awards.[46]

Social responsibility

An old Sarpaneva pot made by Iittala

In 2017, Fiskars celebrated Finland's centenary by donating the historically notable Dagmar park in Källviken to Metsähallitus for a hundred years. The annual rent for the area of 40 hectares(99 acres) is one euro. The park consists of natural forests, naturally sandy beaches, cliffs, sea and the Dagmar fountain. The park was tagged as an official nature conservation area due to the contribution of the Fiskars.[47][48]

In 2019, Fiskars began selling used Iittala and Arabia tableware in its stores.[49] Dishes unsuitable for sale are sent for recycling and reuse. The recycled material can be used as brick powder or as an insulating material. Used ceramic and glass dishes by other manufactures can also be brought to the stores for recycling.[50]

In 2022, Fiskars started offering recoating services to consumers’ old frying pans. Fiskars has also piloted a tableware rental service.[51] Fiskars Group announced that it would make a 10 million euros energy investment at the Iittala glass factory. As a result, the factory’s existing, natural gas powered furnaces will be replaced with electricity-powered furnaces.[52] With this investment, the glass factory will reduce its annual carbon dioxide emissions by 74 per cent by the end of 2026.[53]

In the United States, Fiskars offers all its employees 14 weeks of paid parental leave, which is rare in the country. Under federal law, employees should be offered 12 weeks of unpaid leave, and in Wisconsin, employees are guaranteed 6 weeks of unpaid parental leave.[54]

References

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  54. ^ Journal, Alexander Shur | Wisconsin State Journal, Mitchell Schmidt | Wisconsin State. "Expanding paid family leave 'critically important' to attracting workers, Gov. Tony Evers says". Wisconsin State Journal. Retrieved 2023-05-04.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)