#9 - Business news from the Economic Mission of the French Embassy in Denmark [fr]
#9 - Business news from the Economic Mission – 23.04.2021
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.
Alstom wins the tender to supply 150 electric regional trains to DSB.
Alstom has just won the international tender of the Danish railway operator Danske Statsbaner (DSB), for the delivery and maintenance of 150 electric regional trains, for a total amount of nearly €3 billion. Mainly in competition with the Siemens and Stadler groups, Alstom will support DSB in the conversion of its diesel trains into electric trains in Denmark, as well as ensuring their maintenance until 2031. This order is, to date, the largest investment in the history of the Danish public operator, as well as an essential step in the green transition of Danish public transport.
Expansion of Normal, especially in France.
Founded in April 2013, Normal is a Danish chain of original stores, selling branded products for everyday life (mainly in hygiene-beauty, home care and food) at low prices. In 2020, Normal achieved record sales of more than DKK 2bn (€270m), with after-tax profits of DKK 157.8m (€21.2m). The Danish company currently has 270 stores in six countries (Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands, and France). By the summer of 2022, it plans to have more than 400 stores (an increase of about 50%), and to continue its expansion in Sweden, Finland and France. Normal has been in France since summer 2019, and now has nearly 30 stores in the French territory. In addition, Normal has acquired a 194,000-square-meter plot of land in Hedensted for DKK 23.9M (€3.2M), where a 65,000-square-meter warehouse will be built, employing 600 people and replacing the one in Horsens.Finans
Arla wants to double its sales outside Europe.
Simon Stevens, the new CEO of Arla (which owns the Puck, Lurpack, and Castello brands, among others) and director of Arla International, aims to increase Arla’s sales in markets outside Europe. He wants Arla International to grow by more than 10% per year: while sales outside Europe were DKK 15 billion (€ 2 billion) in 2020, they could reach DKK 30 billion (€ 4 billion) within five years. This growth project is part of a strategic transformation of the dairy group, which still relies heavily on the European market: in 2020, Arla sold DKK 47 billion (€6.3 billion) worth of products in this area, about three times more than internationally. However, sales of dairy products in traditional markets (such as the UK, Germany and Denmark) are stagnating, while markets outside Europe represent opportunities for strong growth and better margins. Arla is, for example, already well established in the Middle East, which accounts for 40% of Arla International’s sales, and which experienced record growth of around 20% last year. Asia and Africa are also markets with great potential for Arla, for example for its lactose-free dairy products. Arla is also positioning itself in China, a market that is more difficult to access for the dairy producer due to strong local and international competition.
Three Danish companies distinguished by the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index.
The Bloomberg Index, created in 2016 for financial institutions and expanded in 2018 to all companies, assesses gender equality along five dimensions: leadership and female talent pool, equal pay and parity, sexual harassment policy, inclusive culture, and "pro-women" initiatives. In 2019, the first Danish companies (A.P. Møller-Mærsk and Danske Bank) appeared in the index. In 2020, the index includes 380 companies from 44 countries, including 3 Danish companies: A.P. Møller-Mærsk, Jyske Bank and Vestas.Børsen
Prime Minister confirms Denmark’s green partnership with India.
Mette Frederiksen spoke about the green transition and cooperation between India and Denmark during a speech at Raisina, India’s leading conference on economics and geopolitics. The two countries have been involved in a strategic green partnership since September, which includes increasing Danish opportunities to provide green solutions to India’s 1.3 billion people. As climate becomes a major issue in India, Denmark could contribute with its knowledge and experience. According to Mette Frederiksen, the partnership has already started to bear fruit for Danish companies, especially in the field of wind energy (several Danish energy companies have started production in India). In total, the Prime Minister said that Denmark could also learn from the Indian experience, especially in the field of solar energy. Berlingske
Vestas is the world’s leading wind turbine manufacturer.
For the fifth year in a row, Vestas has taken the top spot in the Global Wind Energy Council’s (GWEC) ranking of the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturers. The Danish energy giant’s position is due in part to its strategy of geographic diversification, with new installations in 32 markets last year, and strong performance in the United States, Australia, Brazil, the Netherlands, France, Poland, Russia and Norway. In 2020, Vestas installed wind turbines with a total capacity of 16,186 MW, or the electricity consumption of 16 million homes. The rest of the GWEC rankings are occupied by GE (14,135 MW), Goldwind (13,606 MW), Envision (10,717 MW), and Siemens Gamesa (8,678 MW), which has dropped three places since last year. The German-Spanish wind producer, which has had a presence in Denmark since Siemens bought Bonus Energy in 2004, nonetheless retains its title as the world’s leading supplier of offshore wind turbines in 2020. According to Wind Europe, about 68% of the turbines installed in Europe are from Siemens Gamesa. While the offshore market was relatively small in 2020, it is expected to grow six or seven times by 2030. In particular, Siemens Gamesa will face increased competition from Vestas, which launched the world’s largest offshore wind turbine (V236-15.0 MW) in early 2021.Finans
Tourism in Denmark, down in 2020, reaches its 2013 level.
In 2020, the number of overnight stays in Denmark reached the same level as in 2013: it was 44.6 M, 20% less than in 2019. Hotels and hostels were the most affected establishments, with a 50% reduction in overnight stays compared to 2019. However, Denmark fared better than its neighbors (Sweden, Norway, and Germany), where the percentage reduction in room nights in 2020 was greater. The progress of vaccination around the world may allow for a recovery in tourism in Denmark, but it will take time for hotel activity to return to normal, according to Anders Christian Overvad, economist at Arbejdernes Landsbank. The new agreement between the political parties on travel restrictions will nevertheless give tourism stakeholders more visibility on the possibilities of welcoming foreign tourists in the summer of 2021.Berlingske, Børsen
Increased investment by large C25 companies in 2020.
Despite the global economic downturn, the turnover of the largest listed companies in Denmark has increased by 9% in 2020, according to a study by PwC. Moreover, C25 companies did not reduce their investments during the coronavirus crisis: they increased by DKK 32 billion in 2020, an increase of 23%. By comparison, C25 companies’ investments had increased by only 8% in 2019. This is largely due to the amounts invested in the digitalization of companies and digital platforms, as well as in the expansion and conversion of production facilities. In addition, PwC’s analysis shows that dividend payouts and purchases of treasury stock by these companies declined in 2020. Berlingske
Car sales fell in the first quarter of 2021 to their lowest level since 2014.
In the first quarter of 2021, car sales in Denmark were 32.8% lower than in the fourth quarter of 2020, and 14% lower than in the first quarter of 2020. In March 2021, 19,449 cars were sold in Denmark, almost as many as in January and February combined (19,956). This is the lowest level of car sales in Denmark since 2014. Of the cars sold in March, 8.6% were electric, and 19.7% were hybrids. Over the past 12 months, the total number of cars sold has decreased by 21.2%, while the number of electric cars has increased by 127%, and hybrid cars by 407%. According to Brian Friis Helmer, an economist at Arbejdernes Landsbank, the current economic situation suggests that car sales will increase again in the near future, thanks in part to the gradual reopening of society and the increased purchasing power of Danes.Børsen, Berlingske
The Danish standardization organization will coordinate a European working group on artificial intelligence.
The objective of this working group, coordinated by the organization Dansk Standard, will be to establish European standards and guidelines on artificial intelligence (AI), so that this new technology develops in Europe. This could allow Denmark to promote its values regarding artificial intelligence, especially in terms of transparency and ethics in the development of this new technology. Furthermore, it could also give Danish companies a competitive advantage, if they can quickly develop products and services that meet the new standardization requirements. The first meeting of the new working group will be held on June 1, and will define the work program for the next few years. Some 200-300 experts are expected to participate in the work, including Danish experts such as the Alexandra Institute, the Confederation of Danish Industries (DI), the Danish Business Authority, the Consumer Council Think, Grundfos, Nordea, and the University of Copenhagen. Berlingske