Milestone in Narva industrial development – new factory launched

“This was a project, which was really big – maybe it turns out to be the biggest project in my life”.

A factory extension project was kicked-off in 2015, when we first time started to foresee an overload of new project implementations, and lack of space, as well as capacity constraints. Many actions were connected to operational excellence allowing us to accommodate additional work into the company up to +100%. 30 revisions of a business plan were executed before the final approval.

Mid 2017, when we celebrated a 70 year anniversary of Fortaco Estonia, we officially announced the start of the extension project. This will be an investment of 10.000 m2 in factory floor as well as investments in several welding robots, CNC machines and bending capacity, in total 10 MEUR. The extension project was supported by the Estonian government with the amount of approx. 1 MEUR.

Before autumn 2017 old buildings were demolished, and we started technical design for a new production hall. After extensive technical and commercial preparations a construction work was started by a contractor, Rand and Tuulberg, during summer 2019. We assigned Andrey Ponomarev from Fortaco Estonia as Project Manager. Andrey was doing excellent job in cooperation with all stakeholders. Thanks to all dedicated work done by the project team, partners, Fortaco Estonia Leadership Team, we managed to finish construction work successfully in August 2020 – according to time schedule.

”This was the biggest project I have participated from a concept and design stage, and I think this was like a fresh wave for us in our daily routine jobs. There were some challenges during the project, but all of them have been analyzed and worked through for a next similar project. The most memorable moments are in the beginning and at the end of construction; I was participating in project documentation and development for two years before the real construction work was started, and it was nice to see the factory layout starting to be realized with equipment installation” – Andrey Ponomarev.

In 2020 Fortaco Estonia was awarded by the Estonian government as the best company for its’ contribution to the regional development of Narva, Ida-Virumaa county. In 2019 Fortaco Estonia was awarded as the best company of Narva city for the result.

I would like to thank all who contributed to this successful project. I am happy that Fortaco Estonia will now have wider possibilities to boost new business implementation and support customers’ supply chain strategies. I am also very glad that our employees will get working conditions with advanced technologies to develop their skills.

I am sure, this will be a great continuation on our road to success.

Larissa Shabunova
Managing Director
Fortaco Estonia


Cabin

The Next Generation Operator Cabin

Fortaco is the co-designer and manufacturer of the next generation Hyster® operator cabin, which is designed to meet the highest standards and lift them up within the industry.


Factory

Everyone has a role – pay attention to safety

We are wishing all our business partners a safe restart of operations after the summer break.

The increase of COVID-19 cases in many EU countries reminds us to continue paying attention to safety measures. Everyone has a role in this. It is important to continue maintaining physical distancing, respiratory etiquette, and good hand hygiene. People with symptoms, compatible with COVID-19, should stay at home and contact their health care providers.

Fortaco is committed to safety of our employees, and we continue our manufacturing operations. We keep our operations safe by the measures introduced already earlier this year. We have decided to continue with the restrictions regarding travelling, personal contacts at our factories, and remind about the responsibility concerning all of us to keep this situation under control.

Let us stay safe!


Time for Vacation

Dear customers, business partners and Fortaco team,

The Corona crisis is still reality for all people around the globe. Countries are using their best knowledge and experience to reduce and eliminate the crisis. We are all impacted, harder or softer. Most probably, we will experience a new normal when Covid-19 is a new illness in our global society.

Since the beginning of March, Fortaco has taken serious actions to safeguard our employees, customers and business partners, and to keep our deliveries as promised to our customers. I am very honored to see a strong commitment by everybody involved in the complex supply chain, including the Fortaco team. Despite of somewhat declined net sales 2020 year-to-date, we have taken extraordinary actions and improved profitability. We have also strengthened our liquidity in case it is needed going forward.

New Chairman of the Board
Mr. Panu Routila has been appointed the Chairman of Fortaco Group Board of Directors as from May 2020. Mr. Routila has served as President & CEO at Konecranes and Ahlström Capital. Mr. Peter Augustsson has successfully chaired Fortaco Group since company’s establishment 2013.

Factory extension in Narva
Fortaco’s strategic investment in Narva, a new factory of 10.000 m2, is proceeding exactly according to the plan. Operational take over takes place in coming days. More information to be released after summer.

Make Tomorrow Safer and Better
Fortaco’s operational focus is on safety, quality, delivery performance and productivity, according to our strategic approach “Make Tomorrow Safer and Better”. By continuous development we have successfully been improving our performance.

Outlook for autumn
Fortaco is perceiving the outlook for autumn to large extent unknown. The Corona crisis is still alive with the releases of restrictions, depending on country and specific situations. We have updated our scenario plans for autumn to be prepared, varying from a slight optimistic to a less optimistic, equal to the second quarter net sales.

As of beginning of August, we are going to allow visitors at our Business Sites; changes might occur, depending on Covid-19 development. Since the beginning of March, our approach is “no panic”, we are managing our operations professionally day by day – and this is still valid.

I would like to thank you for your trust, and I am wishing all of you a nice summer period. Stay safe and healthy!


With best regards,

Lars Hellberg
President & CEO


Safe and Sound Summer Greetings

Looking back to the end of 2019, no one could predict such a turn, which happened during the first half of 2020. After optimistic 2018 and more realistic 2019, business environment was expected to continue in 2020 the same general trend as 2019. End 2019 the signals coming from China were not understood as a foretaste of an economical earthquake.

Standing now at the end of the second quarter, we can say it was a very unusual period. Entering year 2020, Fortaco felt some optimism as regards to the market growth. Our experiences from 2019, and customers’ forecasts for 2020 built a perception of stabilization. However, a quickly spreading Corona virus changed the business environment and rapidly introduced a new reality.

During the first quarter, Fortaco factories continued with the normal production output, deliveries were not interrupted. Shortage of components from China did not impact our operations. However, the rapidly rising number of infection cases as from end Q1, and quickly spreading virus through Europe, forced most of the economies in the old continent to implement various tools for temporary lockdown, which did not left Fortaco intact.

The overall slow-down on the market influenced us mainly through the situation at end-customers. Due to the governmental regulations, issues in supply chain, and protecting of employees’ health, the most customers implemented security measures and temporary closed their operations. All this had a strong correlation with Fortaco’s operations and our production and delivery plans. Luckily, from a supply chain perspective, Fortaco did not suffer from any major shortages which could have seriously impacted our customer supplies. Thanks to common understanding, good collaboration with suppliers and partnership approach, Fortaco has managed to secure the flow of parts and modules to our customers as well as for aftermarket.

The second half of the year remains to be a big question mark. Our customers’ forecasts follow the general trend in the industry. At Fortaco, we are preparing ourselves already now for the quick reaction once volumes return. We believe, the market situation caused by the pandemic will give new opportunities for those, who are ready in proper time to support customers quickly and agile way. We Trust in Tomorrow.

I am wishing all of you safe and healthy holidays. Enjoy the summer with your families and friends, getting ready for challenges in the second half of 2020.


With best regards,
Krzysztof Michel
Senior Vice President,

Fortaco Sourcing & IT


Mining

Spirit of Commitment

During the Corona outbreak it is good to remember that business continues despite the recent restriction across Europe. In Sastamala, Finland we have celebrated the roll-out of the 2500th completely assembled mining machine for one of our important customer. Special congratulations to the local team for the achievement of this great milestone during these special times.

Recently, governments across Europe have started to lift Corona restrictions on people and businesses. However, the Covid-19 situation remains challenging, and we are following all earlier implemented preventive measures at our factories. Our priority is to continue protecting our people and local communities from spreading the virus, as well as protecting our cashflow.

Fortaco factories are operative since the outbreak of Covid-19, we have managed with the supply without any major disruptions. We are closely monitoring the market demand, as our customers are slowly increasing orders and/or slowly reopening their factories. However, we still have a long way to go, both with ups and downs, before the crisis is behind us.

We would like to thank all our partners for the support and trust in tomorrow during the challenging times.


Holiday Greetings

We are wishing you a peaceful and safe Easter. Despite the serious and special circumstances we hope everyone can still find their time to relax and enjoy the holidays.

Fortaco operations are still stable and we are not experiencing any major disturbances. We would like to thank our great team for keeping up with the safe and health instructions.

Let's keep the way forward.


Fortaco operations solid and safe

Following the outbreak of the Corona virus Covid-19, European governments have taken several health-related border management measures and limitations to people and businesses. The aim is to protect citizens' health and make sure that essential goods and services remain available.

Fortaco has also taken measures to keep our people, working places, and operations safe. We have imposed number of restrictions at our factories to protect our people and prevent infection. We are closely following local regulations and recommendations made by local authorities.

To confirm our earlier messages, we are not experiencing any major disturbances in our operations, and supply chain, and we are continuing with the normal production output. We are in a close communication with our customers and suppliers to secure smooth production and delivery of goods.

We will continue to update all our stakeholders as developments occur, but in the meantime, we hope everyone remains safe and healthy and would like to thank everybody for continued support.

Please do not hesitate to contact local Fortaco representatives for more information.

Marcus Engman
Senior Vice President
Marketing and Sales


Corona virus update, 18 March

Following the outbreak of the Corona virus Covid-19, the European Commission presented guidelines to Member States on health-related border management measures in the context of the COVID-19 emergency on 16 March. The aim is to protect health of citizens, ensure right treatment of people who have to travel, and make sure all essential goods and services remain available.

In all countries, Fortaco has manufacturing operations, there are limitations to enter the country. In addition, kindergartens, schools and universities, as well as public spaces and places are closed for the time being. However, it is important to note that these control measures are not causing any serious disruptions for international transportation.

We are closely monitoring order intake and supply chain situation and try to limit exposure to our operations. So far, we have not experienced any major disturbances in our operations and supply chain, and we are able to continue with normal production output. However, we are connected to the real situation and able to make appropriate actions quickly.

Fortaco has also taken extraordinary measures, based on the best available knowledge and equipment, to keep our people, working places and operations safe. We have imposed number of restrictions in our factories to protect our people and prevent infection. So far, we have not experienced any major bottlenecks in our processes, and our factories are free from the Covid-19 virus.

We will continue updating all our stakeholders as development occurs, but in the meantime, we hope everyone remains healthy and safe. We would like to thank everybody for continued support.

Please do not hesitate to contact local Fortaco representatives for more information.

Kind regards,

Marcus Engman
Senior Vice President
Marketing and Sales


Corona virus update, 13 March

On 11 March 2020, the Director-General of the World Health Organization declared the current outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic in global scale.

You are aware of the serious nature of the impact that the current outbreak of Corona virus Covid-19 is having on society and business globally. The situation has escalated rapidly, and several countries in Europe have now taken or are planning to take extraordinary actions to slow down the spread of the virus.

Following the extraordinary measures in the countries Fortaco operates:

• In Slovakia and Hungary, it has been decided to limit international travel into the country, and public places are closed as from 13 March 2020.

• In Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Estonia it has been decided to close kindergartens, schools and universities as from Monday 16 March 2020.

Fortaco has taken measures to keep our working places and operations safe. We have imposed restrictions on international travel, factory visits and internal meetings, and we prefer remote work when applicable.

We are closely monitoring the situation together with all stakeholders and following the rules from local authorities. Our goal is to limit the exposure of the extraordinary situation to our operations. In case we learn that your orders or shipments have a potential of being affected, we will contact you immediately.

It is imperative, we all maintain open communication, so we can collectively work through this crisis. We appreciate teamwork and keep you informed as this situation develops.

Please do not hesitate to contact local Fortaco representatives for more information.

With kind regards,

Marcus Engman
Senior Vice President
Marketing and Sales