#15 - Business news from the Economic Mission of the French Embassy in Denmark [fr]

#15 - Business news from the Economic Mission – 24.06.2021

Disclaimer - The Economic Mission strives to provide accurate and up-to-date information and will correct, to the extent possible, any errors that are brought to our attention. However, it cannot be held responsible for the use and interpretation of the information contained in this publication.

Economy

European National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRP): opportunities for Danish companies
During Ursula von der Leyen’s visit to Copenhagen, the European Commission announced its approval of Denmark’s recovery and resilience plan, which details the use of the DKK 11bn (€1.5bn) of grants received under Next Generation EU. The Danish plan focuses on green and digital transitions: among other things, DKK 1bn (€130m) will be spent on energy efficiency. According to the Confederation of Danish Industries (DI), the European stimulus packages could make a significant contribution to the recovery of the economy after the summer. With Denmark receiving only 0.2% of the total subsidies, it is the plans from other countries, where the focus is also on green industries, that offer the most potential for Danish companies. In particular, the NRP’s of Italy, Poland, Spain and France are expected to be important export opportunities. Berlingske

Income inequality has increased since 2010
Income inequality has increased in 80% of Danish municipalities since 2010, according to data from Danmarks Statistik, analysed by the think-tank Arbejderbevægelsens Ehrvervsrad. The municipalities of Rudersdal (+46% increase in inequality), Lyngby-Taarbæk (+45%) and Vordingborg (+40%) are those where the income gap has increased the most between 2010 and 2019. In terms of value, the largest income difference can be seen in Aarhus, where the inhabitants of the Tingbjerg district have incomes 3.6 times higher than those of Gellerup. Copenhagen is not far behind: the inhabitants of the district of Gellerup are 2.9 times better off than those in Tingbjerg. Conversely, income inequality has decreased in 17 municipalities since 2010: Hendested municipality has seen the biggest decrease (-23%), followed by Skanderborg (-12%). Berlingske

Industry

Defence industry ready for ’green’ exports
This is the new ambition of the Danish government, which has just launched a climate partnership (the 14th) with this industry. The aim is to make the military industry the leading export market for green solutions that can reduce the global climate impact. In contrast to other climate partnerships (with the transport industry, the manufacturing sector, etc.), the aim is not only to reduce Defence’s CO2 emissions internally, but also to explore the possibilities for the Danish armed forces to become a catalyst for the development of climate-friendly technologies, such as Power-to-X. The Danish defence industry, which has an annual turnover of around DKK 4 billion (€540 million), 80% of which comes from exports, has set itself the goal of doubling this within a few years, with the green transition as its main driver. The Danish radar company, Terma, and the communications satellite company, Gomspace, have noted that solutions for reducing the carbon load of military activities are beginning to attract interest abroad. The partnership is expected to submit its recommendations to the government in the autumn. Børsen

Danish companies are experiencing labour shortages
In the first quarter of 2021, the number of vacancies in the private sector reached 39,000. In May, more than 36,000 new job vacancies were posted, the highest number since these statistics were first published. In addition, several companies have already reported that the labour shortage is resulting in a significant production restriction. In a survey of 151 CEOs of the 1,000 largest Danish companies conducted by Berlingske, 21% said they had had to turn down one or more orders in the past year because of a lack of staff, and 27% expect this to be the case in the coming year. Yet the number of foreign workers in Denmark has never been higher than it is today: there were around 240,000 in April 2021, 16,000 more than a year ago. Similarly, 29% of business owners expect to face difficulties in recruiting unskilled workers in the coming year, and 49% expect to face difficulties in recruiting skilled workers. Despite these concerns, business leaders’ optimism is currently at an all-time high, with 76% saying they are optimistic about the next three months (compared to just 24% in June 2020). Berlingske, Børsen, Berlingske

Record year for the retail sector
The year 2020 has been particularly positive for the Danish retail industry, partly due to the development of teleworking, the closure of restaurants and the decline in cross-border trade. The Salling Group, which owns the Netto, Føtex and Bilka retail chains, emerged as the largest retail group in Denmark in 2020. Its turnover reached DKK 60.9 billion (€8.2 billion), an increase of 7.3% on the previous year, and its profit after tax was DKK 1.8 billion (€240 million). The second largest retail group on the Danish market, Coop (Irma, Kvickly, Fakta, Brugsen and SuperBrugsen), also had a good year in 2020. It achieved a turnover of DKK 44.7 billion (€6 billion), up 4.5%, and a record profit after tax of DKK 756 million (€102 million). Norwegian group Rema, which has 357 shops in Denmark - 15 of which opened in 2020 - saw its turnover grow by 11.5% in 2020, to DKK 18.7bn (€2.5bn). Its pre-tax income was DKK 893m (€120m), up 65% on 2019. Finally, the Dagrofa and Aldi groups also saw an increase in revenue, but still had a loss of DKK 96m (€13m) and DKK 342m (€46m) respectively.Børsen

Record deficit for the Flying Tiger shop chain
Zebra A/S, the company behind Flying Tiger’s operations, reported a record deficit of DKK 1.5bn (€200m) in 2020. Flying Tiger’s turnover fell by 34% from the previous year to DKK 3.4bn (€460m). As a result, the Danish retail chain ended the year with negative equity and zero share capital, and took out new loans to ensure liquidity. Shop closures in many countries had a particularly negative impact on Flying Tiger’s business, as almost all sales were made in physical shops. Flying Tiger expects to return to a deficit in 2021, followed by a positive result in 2022. In February this year, Danish investment company Treville acquired Zebra A/S, which was previously owned by the Nordic private equity fund EQT. Finans

The insurance company Alm. Brand acquires Codan’s operations in Denmark
The acquisition of Codan DK by Alm. Brand for DKK 12.6bn (€1.7bn) makes the latter the second largest insurance group in Denmark, after Tryg, with a market share of 17.5%. Until now, Alm. Brand was the third largest insurer in the Danish market, with a market share of about 9%, followed closely by Codan in fourth place. The acquisition follows the takeover of the British insurer RSA Insurance Group, which owns Codan, by the Danish Tryg Group and the Canadian company Intact. Brand’s acquisition of Codan DK will be completed in the first half of 2022. The Alm. Brand Group will now consist of three independent branches (Alm. Brand, Codan and Privatsikring), allowing for economies of scale and access to a much larger number of customers. Berlingske,Finans

Initial public offering of Green Hydrogen Systems
Danish comet Green Hydrogen Systems has just made its debut on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange, with shares initially trading at DKK 40 (€5.40). The main investors in the company are ATP, Vækstfonden, Nordea, Bankinvest, Spar Nord and MK Ventures, as well as Nordic Alpha Partners, A.P. Møller Holding and Norlys, who continue to partly own Green Hydrogen Systems after its IPO. The order book for the IPO filled up in just two hours, and the share reached DKK 43 (€5.80) within half an hour of opening, before falling back to DKK 40 by the end of the day. In the end, Green Hydrogen Systems raised DKK 1bn (€130m), which will allow the company to finance its projects until the end of 2025, and thus expand its production capacity and invest in R&D. In 2023, Green Hydrogen Systems plans to launch a new product platform for electrolysis systems under the name "X-Series", which will succeed the current "A-Series". Børsen, Finans

Green energy

New political agreement to support six Power-to-X projects at European level
A broad political majority has reached an agreement to support six Danish Power-to-X projects with DKK 850m (€114m). The agreement was made as part of a pan-European project (IPCEI) to promote a European industrial policy for green hydrogen, with the aim of providing green energy to sectors where electrification is difficult to implement (e.g. heavy transport and aviation), as well as reducing costs. The aim of the agreement is for Danish companies to play a central role in this new high-potential market: these initiatives would both strengthen Danish exports and create green jobs in Denmark. Business organisations, such as the Confederation of Danish Industries and Dansk Energi, welcome the authorities’ support. The projects selected for Denmark are:
• Blue Seal, represented by Ballard Power Systems, specialising in fuel cell vehicles;
• Green Fuels for Denmark, a Power-to-X installation in the Greater Copenhagen area, which is expected to reach a total capacity of 1.3 GW. Behind the project, which will be represented by Ørsted, are A.P. Møller-Mærsk, DSV Panalpina, DFDS, SAS, and Copenhagen Airports;
• Green CCU Hub Aalborg, a project that aims to establish green methanol production in the port of Aalborg as the first step in a large green energy hub that will in the long term use the port’s CO2 to convert it into green fuels. The project, represented by REintegrate, is also supported by European Energy and Blue World Technologies;
• HySynergy, a green hydrogen production and storage project in a Power-to-X plant (with a capacity of 1 GW by 2030) in Fredericia, represented by Everfuel;
• Harvest, represented by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, which will build Europe’s largest Power-to-X facility in Esbjerg;
• PtX@EEIS, a Power-to-X project supported by the green industrial park GreenLab Skive.
By comparison, Germany has proposed 62 projects, with funding of DKK 60 billion (€8 billion). The Danish trade authority is currently looking for corresponding projects in other EU countries to create partnerships before the best European projects are selected in July. In addition, the Danish government is expected to present its Power-to-X strategy in the autumn.
Berlingske, Finans, Børsen

Dernière modification : 24/06/2021

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