Welcome to Our year 2021
This is the first digital version of our co-worker magazine Our year. Previously a printed publication, this digital format will reach more people internally and externally, sharing our biggest milestones of the year that went by.
As you all know, 2021 has been another challenging year, with the pandemic impacting people, businesses and society at all levels. Thanks to the enormous commitment and tireless efforts of our co-workers, we have overcome many changing realities and I truly believe we can feel hopeful and encouraged by what we have accomplished.
As a Group, much of our work was focused on the development and launch of our Ikano Group sustainability strategy 2022-2025. Through three live-streamed Ikano Future events, we laid the groundwork with KPI’s and detailed action plans to the set the course towards a better and more sustainable future together.
Among our businesses, Ikano Retail was most notably impacted by the pandemic, faced with long closures of shopping centres and IKEA stores, and a global logistics crisis that severely impacted the availability of products. In spite of this, Ikano shopping centres were among the best performing on our markets in 2021. Adding to the reasons to celebrate, was the opening of the first IKEA store in Mexico as well as the spectacular November opening of the first IKEA store in the Philippines – the biggest IKEA store in the world!
While many industries struggled in 2021, the real estate industry had some respite. Ikano Bostad experienced the best year ever with sold-out residential projects in both Sweden and Denmark. More than 800 apartments were sold in Sweden alone. Further, our team at Ikano Bolig in Denmark acquired the entire Bonava property development portfolio giving them a kick-start as a sizeable player in Denmark. Our rental properties continued with a stable cashflow and no vacancies.
Other exciting news was Ingka’s 49% acquisition of Ikano Bank, boosting our power to expand to new IKEA markets and accelerate the bank’s digital transformation, doing away with old legacy systems and onboarding a completely new business platform. We saw the successful summer launch of the new Ikano pay app in the UK, paving the way for further introductions in all Ikano Bank countries over the next few years. We also embarked on a new partnership with ICA Banken, Ålandsbanken and Söderberg & Partners for the distribution of private brand mortgage loans.
Ikano Industry kept busy on two separate continents. In Poland, the team mitigated global material price increases, availability issues, IKEA store closures and lack of orders, all while maintaining a steady hand in the production. In Mexico, the team ramped up the new factory in Saltillo and prepped for the entry into upholstery, to complement the successful mattress production. The investment into RetourMatras to recycle post-consumer mattresses has continued to materialize, with the recycling equipment all set up and continued fine-tuning to improve the quality of recycled polyol!
For Ikano Insurance it has been business as usual, with the professional management of claims coming from flooding, snowstorms, hurricanes, fires and other situations that are everything but ordinary. Ikano insurance continues to introduce its HEMSÄKER home insurance to more IKEA markets across the globe – and stay tuned, as we will hear more about growth with IKEA from our insurance colleagues soon.
Lastly, Ikano Insight onboarded a new CEO in August. Teresa Booth is now at the helm, leading the expansion and serving customers within the Ikano Group and also IKEA. The Insight team now operates out of three hubs, located in London, Moscow and Kuala Lumpur. We see lots of opportunity with this business going forward.
So, friends, thank you for everything you have done for the Ikano Group in 2021. The year is coming to an end and I wish all of you Happy Holidays. Please take good care of yourself and your family. Please stay safe and I look forward to seeing you in 2022.
All the best,
CEO of Ikano Group