It would be impossible to look back at 2020 without discussing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business and our everyday lives. Under such exceptional circumstances we have been able to perform well. Our active efforts in embracing the rapid digitalization of sales and marketing operations early on put us in the position to succeed regardless of the obstacles presented by the “new normal”.
It goes without saying that every business faced challenges when the global crisis began. We saw some of the effects early, well before we were calling COVID-19 a global pandemic. While we were following the spread of the virus in Asia, we were already able to effectively react to the challenges it presented in terms of our supply chain and logistics, minimizing the long-term effects it otherwise might have had on our ability to fulfill orders throughout 2020.
In 2020 iLOQ was able continue its growth and expansion into new markets.”
We are extremely happy to be able to report another record year despite the gloomy outlook 2020 presented. iLOQ was able to continue its growth and expansion into new markets. Our turnover went up 21% while our operating profit went up by 46% from the previous year. We were able to maintain stable operations throughout 2020 without the need for any layoffs or furloughs. In fact, we were able bring new people on board for key positions in sales and finance as well as entering new geographical markets with a local sales presence. The opening of our sales office in Canada marked iLOQ’s first entry into the North American market, with the iLOQ S50 mobile access management solution opening doors to the critical infrastructure markets like telecom and energy in the region.
The time and money we invested early on into the digitalization of iLOQ’s sales and marketing operations proved to be a big win for us. It meant that we were prepared when COVID-19 hit hard. For us, as a born digital company with a fully digital solution portfolio, embracing digital marketing early was a given. 2020 saw us launch our all-new product generation fully online. During a period where it has not been possible to meet potential customers face to face or interact with them on site or at trade events, we have been able to sell in excess of one thousand new iLOQ S5 solutions during the first year of launch. Under the current circumstances, it is a very encouraging result. We expect to see the growing interest in the new 5 Series continue to drive sales in 2021.
The time and money we invested early on into the digitalization of iLOQ’s sales and marketing operations proved to be a big win for us.”
Numerous major deals in the telecoms and energy industries continued to provide proof that the NFC-based keyless technology of our iLOQ S50 mobile access management solution is answering the needs and challenges of large operators in the utility sector. The fact that projects have been started in Europe, Asia and North America during the past year speaks to the global appeal of our solution. While our battery-free lock and key solutions for the residential, commercial and public sectors will continue to be our bread and butter, we see the role of mobile access management growing significantly in the near future – not just as a business for us, but as a whole.
The support of the new ownership announced in late 2019 has proven to be of great value. Nordic Capital’s expertise in accelerating global growth has given us the benefit of their knowhow, financial backing and added credibility as we have continued to execute on our strategy of growth and expansion. Our shareholders and board share the company’s vision and have shown a strong belief in the direction we are headed. Of course, this also means that ambitions and expectations are, and will continue to be, high.
I believe that an important part of our continued success has been the fact that, regardless of changes in organizational structure and ownership, our key personnel is fully committed to driving our business and technological development forward.
In my mind, iLOQ has always been a unique company that is all about the people behind the business. Despite the concerns about maintaining motivation and team spirits during this time of isolation and limited human interaction, I have been pleased to see that our bond and attitude have proven to be stronger than the global pandemic. Our entire staff took on the new challenges head-first, not only delivering a great result for the 2020 financial year, but also in terms of maintaining that special character that sets us apart from other companies.
I have been pleased to see that our bond and attitude have proven to be stronger that the global pandemic.”
Internal communications and regular online contact have played a major part in keeping this unified feeling alive during the still on-going COVID-19 period. We placed a lot of emphasis on organizing regular virtual get-togethers and afterwork activities to keep up spirits during 2020. The results of our employee satisfaction study show that these efforts were well received, as employee satisfaction was reported to be even higher than in previous years despite the current situation. We will continue to engage our staff regularly in 2021 and hope to return to some state of normality as soon as it is safe.
Looking ahead to 2021, we will continue to move forward based on our chosen path and strategy. The uncertainty that COVID-19 still brings will continue to make predicting the future difficult. We do see that certain factors such as sustainability, environmental performance, quality assurance and cyber security will continue to be increasingly important parts of the purchase decision for years to come. We will continue to place emphasis on these aspects of our business. I strongly believe that it is still our role and mission to usher in the new era of battery-free digital access management. With the successful launch of the iLOQ 5 Series in 2020, this new year shows great promise and potential. I look forward to seeing what we at iLOQ can achieve together in 2021.