The year started slowly and the spring, which normally marks the start of the main selling period in our industry, came unusually late in our key markets. We did, however, make up for this during the second half of the year when favorable weather resulted in a prolonged selling season.
During 2013, Husqvarna Group took several steps towards becoming a sustainable company, balancing economic aspects with environmental and social.
We signed UN Global Compact, which is an initiative for businesses to commit to ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor relations, environment and anti-corruption. We strengthened the way we work with our main suppliers, by giving supporting documents, arranging global supplier meetings and conducting audits.
We worked through our own business and put focus on handling health and safety in a structured way on a global basis. This paid off and I am pleased to say that our lost working day accidents decreased during the year.
Investments in innovation
We strive to develop the very best products for our customers. One example from 2013 is our award-winning third-generation robotic lawn mower, which is now even more efficient and reliable. Growth was strong during the year and is expected to remain high. In traditional walk-behind lawn mowers, we launched the world’s first all-wheel-drive mower, which was successful in the US. We kept improving the Gardena branded irrigation systems, reducing waste of water.
In Construction, we introduced a range of high-frequency products including power-cutters and drills that offer higher speed and improved torque to provide the user with substantially improved productivity.
During the year, Husqvarna Group received six prestigious “red dot” design awards. Three out of the six awards were in the “best of the best” distinction. We appreciate that the jury awarded our efforts to protect the environment, with our recently launched battery-powered Husqvarna range that combines no direct emissions with excellent ergonomics through a lightweight and silent design.
325 years of sustainable operations
In 2014, we will celebrate our 325th anniversary. We have a long and proud history where the common denominator has always been our sustained ability to adapt to changes in demand by introducing new, innovative products. Last but not least, I am also proud to note that Husqvarna Group has been selected as one of Corporate Knights’ Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations. This designation will certainly encourage us further in our efforts.
President and CEO